The UK science base is important to our industry. Scientists in universities, as well as those employed by UK biopharmaceutical companies, have provided the inspiring ideas and practical solutions which have transformed healthcare and treatments. By encouraging young people to study science at school beyond the age of 16, they could become the scientists, doctors, nurses and academic researchers of the future, ensuring the UK continues to play a key part in creating breakthrough, life-changing medicines.
As the ABPI, we are well placed to encourage the next generation to enjoy studying science by providing the support that teachers, and their students, require. Through long term, low budget support for the ABPI schools website, www.abpischools.org.uk, we are proud to have created a free platform that provides high quality web-based materials which not only cover relevant curriculum topics but also show how the science relates to 'real life'. The website is the result of ongoing commitment and dedication over the last 15 years, and we are delighted that it has been named as the 'Best E-learning/Online Education' at the 2016 Association Awards. People learn in different ways and this award is recognition for the hard work we have put in, taking on board ideas and feedback, to ensure the resources suit the wide range of users that visit the site.
Amira Burshan, ABPI Education Officer, and Sarah collecting the award
The feedback we receive from some of the 1.7 million annual users is vital for the success of the website. User feedback ensures that our materials reflect what teachers want, and their students need. We make efforts to regularly update the site, most recently in October, helping us to ensure the high quality materials are easy to access and remain relevant to the school curriculum.
The fact that our animations and diagrams can be downloaded for use in their lessons is highly valued by teachers. They also like that topics stand-alone and can be used by students for research, independent study, and to explore a subject beyond what is needed for the compulsory curriculum. Students comment that they like the site as it makes their revision of topics more interesting, and they especially like the animations that bring the science to life.
We are grateful to the support of the science education community in using and promoting the website. With their involvement, we have helped thousands of teachers create engaging science lessons with materials that, unlike printed publications, can be kept up to date with information on cutting-edge science.
The website is also used by pharmaceutical company employees when they go into schools and colleges. There are currently over 850 STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) ambassadors who work for ABPI member companies, and can use the resources to support science teaching and provide career information. The topics on the site help the industry scientist aim their presentation and discussion at the right level for students, and provides content that will engage their audience.
One measure of success of the site is its global impact. The greatest use of the website is in the UK and USA, with high numbers also accessing it from Australia, India and Canada– it is a global site for a global industry. With this latest accolade, and as we continue to provide high quality, interactive content covering an even wider range of topics, we hope to see the website inspire generations of future scientists who will contribute to revolutionising healthcare treatments for many more years to come.