"I want to go into science and this class is a really good opportunity to help me decide what to do," said junior Annie Wilson.
Lessons include a laboratory experiment that demonstrates how easily disease can spread, procedures to assure the safety of medicines and learning how clinical trials are conducted. The journey will culminate in a project that involves creating a marketing plan for a new drug.
"To be effective and successful, you have to understand the science component to do the business side and vice-versa. The class blends those disciplines well," Baker said.
"We chose ES-M because it is our neighborhood school and we are impressed with the administration and teaching staff. We believe in the neighbor of choice philosophy, which means our neighbors give us permission to operate and therefore we want to give back in ways that are meaningful," said Rurkowski.
The program itself was created by a public-private partnership team including the National Science Resources Center, affiliated with the National Academy of Sciences and the Smithsonian Institution, the New Jersey Department of Education, seven school districts and various educational and pharmaceutical consultants, with Bristol-Myers Squibb as the originator and catalyst.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) has assumed leadership of the initiative and several other pharmaceutical companies are also involved.
"This is an excellent opportunity to open the eyes of our students to different careers," explained Reed. "The course is pass/fail so there is no grade-based pressure."
Marcia Kelley is the school information officer in the ES-M School District.