Colorado BioScience Association Launches New Pilot Externship Program, Connecting Jefferson County High School Science Teacher With Boulder Biotechnology Company, Array BioPharma

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Colorado BioScience Association (CBSA) has announced the debut of a new educational program this summer - an externship for a local high school science teacher at one of the area's prominent biotechnology companies. Tamra Miaja, a Bear Creek High School biology teacher is the first teacher to take part in CBSA's pilot externship program and has spent part of her summer at Array BioPharma, headquartered in Boulder.

A local high-school biology teacher is learning the ropes at a Boulder biotechnology company this summer, as part of a new six-week paid externship program launched by the Colorado BioScience Association (CBSA). The announcement is made by Chris Shapard, Deputy Director of CBSA, who says Tamra Miaja, a Bear Creek High School biology teacher, is the first teacher to take part in the pilot externship program and has spent part of her summer "externing" at Array BioPharma in Boulder.

Tamra's experience at Array includes working with the molecular biology and protein chemistry group, crystallizing proteins and determining their structure. She will also play an important role in a cell biology experiment at the company.

Tamra's enthusiasm is palpable as she states, "I've been learning so much each day that in the evenings I have to go home and read more background information just to keep up." She adds, "It's been fun getting a feel for what a job in the biotech industry entails and especially is interesting to see the differences between industry and academia. I can already tell that I'm going to have lots of insightful details to share with my students."

According to Bonnie Vivian and Kevin Smith, co-chairs of the CBSA's Education and Workforce Committee, "The CBSA is committed to finding ways to inform the K-12 science educators about jobs within the bioscience industry. We have heard from our bioscience company members that they want the CBSA to focus on promoting bioscience careers within local schools and we think this externship program will be an excellent method of doing so."

Jim Rizzi, Array's director of computational technology and a proponent of internship and externship programs notes, "Array is pleased to be a part of this important first step. Educating the educator about what career options are available for students will go a long way towards reaching a larger number of future scientists for years to come."

Funds for the externship program are raised through the CBSA's annual golf tournament, the BioScience Bogie. This year's BioScience Bogie is Monday, September 15, at the Omni Interlocken Resort Golf Club in Broomfield, CO. More information is available at the website:

What Is An Externship?

An externship, a term dating back to 1945, is an opportunity for a student (in this case a full-time high school science teacher) to engage in practice-based learning, by actively participating on-the-job at a local bioscience company. It is very similar to an internship, but is generally of a shorter duration. The term "extern" is also used to refer to a medical professional who is associated with a facility, but is not considered a full time member of the staff.

About the Colorado Bioscience Association

The CBSA is a not-for-profit corporation providing services and support for Colorado's growing biosciences industry. With more than 400 members, CBSA actively works to promote the growth of the industry by working for a better business environment, grow the state's biotech workforce, fight for policies that support a strong bioscience industry in the state and speak with a single voice on behalf of the industry. For more information, visit

About Array BioPharma

Array BioPharma Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of targeted small molecule drugs to treat debilitating and life threatening diseases. For more information, visit


Christine Shapard, Colorado BioScience Association - -

Maggie Chamberlin Holben, APR, Absolutely PR - -


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