Innovative Curriculum Helps Teachers Meet NJ Standards for 21st Century Essential Work Force Skills

National Science Resources Center, Princeton University and Bristol-Myers Squibb collaborate on program that builds science and math literacy and essential workforce skills

LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- For teachers exploring new ways to make science and mathematics more interesting – and more relevant – for their students, New Jersey is more than the medicine chest of the world. It is a living laboratory.

This week, 17 teachers from 14 high schools and middle schools in New Jersey and New York will participate in RxeSEARCH: An Educational Journey, an innovative curriculum using the pharmaceutical research and development process to teach teachers and their students about science, mathematics and societal issues. RxeSEARCH develops students’ skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, decision making, communication and teamwork through reality-based case studies and hands-on laboratory activities. Since 2005, teachers from more than 75 high schools, middle schools and community colleges in six states and the District of Columbia have used RxeSEARCH in their classrooms.

The National Science Resources Center (NSRC), which owns RxeSEARCH, is collaborating with Princeton University’s Teacher Preparation Program and Bristol-Myers Squibb on the weeklong Summer Institute at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Center for Science Teaching and Learning at Rider University.

During 11 fast-paced lessons, participants will study a simulated epidemic and work together to develop and bring new cures to patients. They will draw on their knowledge of biology, chemistry, social studies and language arts while working through the various stages of drug development, from initial research and discovery to clinical trials, the regulatory process and finally commercialization – gaining insight into a range of pharmaceutical careers in the process.

RxeSEARCH provides students an opportunity to explore and solve realistic problems in science while also offering them a glimpse of how the science they are learning is applied in science-based industry,” says David Marsland, NRSC’s director of professional development. NSRC is part of the Smithsonian Institution. “More importantly, RxeSEARCH helps high school students prepare for working life by linking school with the workplace.”

At this year’s Summer Institute, RxeSEARCH will introduce classroom activities designed to help teachers meet New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standard 9.1: 21st Century Life and Career Skills. Throughout the week, more than two dozen Bristol-Myers Squibb scientists will share not only their knowledge of biology and chemistry but also their real-world experiences in innovation, problem-solving, critical thinking, decision-making, collaboration and other higher-order skills that the New Jersey Department of Education believes are critical for success in the 21st century. The teachers also will tour Bristol-Myers Squibb’s laboratories in Lawrenceville. The 21st century workplace lessons being offered at this year’s workshops were created by adult learning experts from Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Drug Discovery Learning & Collaboration teams in New Jersey and Connecticut.

Michael Heinz, science coordinator in the Office of Math and Science Education at the New Jersey Department of Education, sees RxeSEARCH as a groundbreaking workforce development initiative where education and industry partners are working together.

“With today’s global competition for talent, we need to find ways to better prepare our students for the science and technology careers of tomorrow,” he says. “RxeSEARCH helps students learn and practice the skills they need to think critically, solve problems, manage resources and make decisions in a team environment. These workshops are all about reality-based learning for New Jersey’s workers of the future.”

Bristol-Myers Squibb has long been a champion of science education, working with educators, reformers and administrators to increase student interest in science, grow the pool of talented potential employees and help students in New Jersey and other communities where the company operates in the United States become more competitive globally.

“As a BioPharma leader, we are committed to making the study of science and technology exciting to young learners who one day will help us discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail against serious diseases,” says Frederick J. Egenolf, director, Community Affairs, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “Experiential learning helps students better understand abstract scientific concepts and get excited about science.”

Participating schools in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts are supported by Bristol-Myers Squibb, which developed RxeSEARCH with NSRC and local education partners. Bristol-Myers Squibb works with the NSRC to provide teacher and student guides, materials kits for laboratory activities and professional development workshops for teachers using RxeSEARCH in their classrooms.


  • Auten Road Intermediate School (Hillsborough)
  • Brooklyn Friends School (Private)
  • Camden County Technical Schools Pennsauken Campus (Camden County)
  • Colts Neck High School (Freehold Regional)
  • East Syracuse-Minoa High School*
  • Freehold High School (Freehold Regional)
  • Freehold High School Medical Science Learning Center (Freehold Regional)
  • Hillsborough High School (Hillsborough)
  • Howell High School (Freehold Regional)
  • Lawrence Middle School (Lawrence)
  • Lawrence High School (Lawrence)
  • Montgomery High School* (Montgomery)
  • Steinert-Hamilton East High School (Hamilton)
  • Thomas R. Grover Middle School (West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional)
  • Tottenville High School* (New York City)
  • Trenton Central High School (Trenton)
  • West Windsor-Plainsboro North High School (West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional)

* – Master teacher


National Science Resources Ctr.
David Marsland, 202-633-2967
[email protected]
Bristol-Myers Squibb
Fred Egenolf, 609-252-4875
[email protected]
Princeton University
Anne Catena, Ed.D., 609-258-2537
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  New Jersey

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Education  Primary/Secondary  University  Other Education  Health  Biotechnology  Pharmaceutical  Other Health  Research  Other Science  Science  General Health