Saskatchewan celebrates National Biotech Week with The Amazing Biotech Race, Biotech & Beer

( October 02, 2014 )

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High school and university students and nine “check-stop” organizations will take part in the Fourth Annual Amazing Biotech Race today at Innovation Place.

The Amazing Biotech Race starts at the Atrium at Innovation Place at 10:00 a.m., where costumed teams receive their first clues. Saskatchewan Polytechnic (formerly SIAST) BioScience Technology Program students are mixed with high school students from Evan Hardy, Walter Murray and Bedford Road Collegiates as well as graduate students from the University of Saskatchewan, and split into teams, encouraging networking and a healthy dose of competition. Innovation Place companies serve as checkpoints where students take part in lab challenges, answer skill testing questions and gather clues in order to complete the race. Examples of activities include pipetting liquid, stuffing pipette tip boxes, weighing material, or a safety gear dress-up race.

Blaine Chartrand, Program Head, BioScience Technology, School of Animal and BioSciences at Saskatchewan Polytechnic and creator of the event, says The Amazing Biotech Race is a great way to introduce students to the companies that call Innovation Place home. “We appreciate that the companies have opened their doors and are taking the time to visit with the students at the luncheon after the race. This kind of interaction can affect career choices.”

Later in the day, industry will gather for Biotech & Beer at Boffins from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., with presentations by Wilf Keller (President and CEO, Ag-West Bio); Andrew Potter (Director, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre); and Terry Gunter (co-Chair, Vaccine Industry Committee). Saskatoon Mayor Donald Atchison will also address the audience.

Ag-West Bio coordinates National Biotech Week activities in Saskatchewan, with a committee from Saskatchewan’s bioscience organizations. For information about other events in Saskatchewan this week, please visit: www.agwest.sk.ca/events.html