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Cytiva Collaboration: Field Study

NEIA's Biotrek journey continues! Our 11th graders spent an entire morning at the facilities of a leading Medical Technology company. After months of learning these scientific concepts, these students get to see these ideas in action in a real-world setting.

On Wednesday, 11th-graders walked right down Locke Drive to Cytiva, a global provider of technologies and services to advance and accelerate the development, manufacture, and delivery of therapeutics. Cytiva is a huge name in the Biotech industry. During the pandemic, their scientists were involved in 70% of the global efforts, including 380 vaccine development programs and 200 monoclonal antibody initiatives.

Cytiva has six facilities within fifteen miles of our school. The facility we visited specializes in Fast Track manufacturing. Before the tour, Cytiva representatives reviewed lab safety and the structure of the company and its many subsidiaries. One engineer called this field “a wonderful industry, a neverending learning cycle” where everyday you are helping people. Another employee emphasized why he enjoys working at a company like Cytiva because it allows workers to bounce around the many stages of development and manufacturing so they can find what they are most passionate about. 

On the tour, our 11th-graders were taken on the entire journey of manufacturing medical products, starting upstream (the creation and growth of cells), and moving downstream (cell purification and ultimately formulation), and even meeting a member of the sales team that uses his entrepreneurial spirit to combine his love of business and science. The tour guides answered all of our Innovators’ questions, explaining each concept simply and succinctly. 

On Friday, the 11th grade went to Manchester NH for a college day. They toured the University of New Hampshire at Manchester campus and the Biotechnology Innovation Center. They also spoke with representatives from the University about the unique opportunities they offer. Afterward, the 11th grade visited the Southern New Hampshire University campus for a demonstration of their robotics program and to take part in a biology activity. These experiences help to open our students’ eyes to the possibilities that exist after high school. 

These exciting opportunities were once again facilitated by the amazing team at Biotrek. The Biotrek journey continues to bring fascinating real-world experiences to our science curriculum and our 11th-graders.

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After our first full week into summer, we want to look back on a year-long project that yielded impressive results for three of our amazing rising 12th graders.

This past fall, NEIA 11th graders pitched products that could add value to people’s lives by curing diseases or ailments. This is part of the BioTrek Program: a joint initiative by ARMI (Advanced Regenerative Medical Institute) and BioFabUSA. Students pitched their amazing ideas to Tim McCauley, their peers, and a panel of judges made up of NEIA staff members. 

Throughout these presentations, our students walked through all phases of the Biotrek journey. First, identifying a problem. Second, engineering a solution using bio-manufacturing techniques. In the third phase, they developed a business and financial model for their product. The final phase was this event: pitching to their peers and judges. They are trying to solve real medical issues, such as endometriosis, chronic lung disease, color blindness, and osteogenesis (just to name a few). 

The winners moved on to the Final Presentations judged by representatives from ARMI and Biofab, which decided
who would represent NEIA against other schools in the Biotrek Championship. The winning group chosen to go to the championship was Endopexy, created by Milena, Lila, and Max H.

Milena, Lila, and Max’s hard worked paid off as they were the winning team of the championships. We are so proud of these three innovators for working hard the whole year and being recognized in such a highly competitive program.

This project-based learning program continues to be a very valuable experience for our innovators. You can clearly see the intersection of subjects like science, math, entrepreneurship, and communications. It is the perfect example of how integrated academics lead to exciting projects and connections.

#NEIA #BioTrek #Innovation #entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #integration
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This weekend, three of our 11th grade students: Vicki, Owen, and Langston, won first place at the Entrepreneurship for All - EforAll All Ideas Pitch Competition for their idea around the NEXTGEN Summit, a conference that Langston initiated this spring at NEIA.

Owen explains the idea to execution as follows, "My mother is an alum of the Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) Business Accelerator Program. One night while scrolling Instagram, she found a post by EforAll about an All Ideas Pitch Competition happening. She sent me the post at 11:20 p.m. and we were signed up for the event by 12:15 a.m. A few weeks later we were selected to table at the event with the potential of being able to participate in the final pitch competition. We landed a spot in the pitch competition, and it was a huge success as we not only won the first place prize of $1000, but also won the Fan Favorite prize for an additional $500. We were by far the youngest attendees at the event and were pitching with people who were already well removed from college."

We are so proud of our innovators and commend them for their efforts to not only seek new opportunities each and every day but to thrive within them.

#NEIA #PitchCompetition #EForAll #NEXTGENSummit #NEXTGEN #FutureOfEducation #Innovation #Entrepreneurship
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That’s a wrap! We will see you soon, innovators. We miss you already.

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