Science program launched under new leadership at Bell-Jeff

Scientific inquiry will get a boost at Bellarmine-Jefferson High School in Burbank this winter when The Amgen Biotech Experience is integrated into the school’s science curriculum.

A result of a new partnership with the Amgen Foundation, the free program includes teacher professional development workshops, curriculum and supplies as well as a three-week loan of research-grade lab equipment.

The program offers a hands-on, inquiry-based molecular biology curriculum designed to introduce the excitement of scientific discovery to students, who will have the chance to explore the steps involved in creating biotechnology therapeutics. Bellarmine-Jefferson High School will be one of 80 California school participants.

“The Amgen project allows students to use extremely delicate and expensive tools that could only be used in college level or beyond,” noted Antonio Kim, who teaches biology and religion classes.

“Bell-Jeff students will be learning with cutting edge technology in our biology classes,” added new principal Michael Stumpf. “I am excited for what this program will mean for our students; this is a beginning of a new era for Bellarmine-Jefferson High School.”

Stumpf, 41, who previously spent eight years as assistant headmaster for student life at Villanova Preparatory School in Ojai, told The Tidings that the biotech experience program planned for all tenth grade biology students deals with contemporary issues that often have ethical ramifications.

“When they talk about working with DNA and some of the engineering that goes on in science today, it also gives us an opportunity for our religion teachers to talk about some of the ethical issues in these areas I would definitely want them to explore,” said Stumpf. “It would be an opportunity for students to have a conversation about very current events in science that have to do with our faith.”

A native of Erie, Pa., who got his secondary teaching credential in social studies at Indiana University on a football scholarship where he was an offensive lineman, Stumpf said that his Catholic faith has helped him survive life’s challenges, including the “physically and emotionally demanding” time during college freshman football camp.

“Any time in my life since then, when things are tough, I think back, ‘It’s not as tough as that,’” shared the principal, who is positive about boosting Bell-Jeff’s enrollment with initiatives that include updated infrastructure technology to handle anticipated future implementation of a one-to-one student/computer program.

“It’s all based on faith that grace will be there for us,” said Stumpf. “It’s very important to me when I went into Catholic education to really have a faith-centered community, and I felt that at the recent retreat with the teachers. I think the team aspect is very important. You can’t do it yourself.”


 


Voices

The promise and potential of Catholic schools

Kevin Baxter

As the remaining days of summer slip by and students return to their schools for another academic year, there is great hope and promise for Catholic schools throughout the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

 

 

Events

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August 29, 2015

  • Saturday, August 29

    Family Foster Care and Foster Adoption Info Meeting, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Children’s Bureau Family Center, 1910 Magnolia Ave., Los Angeles. Children’s Bureau invites willing adults to become a resource family to children in foster care. Qualifying individuals (single or married) receive training, certification and support. (213) 342-0168. www.all4kids.org.

    A Pattern of Love and Forgiveness, 10 a.m.-4p.m., Mary & Joseph Retreat Center, 5300 Crest Rd., Rancho Palos Verdes. Cheryl Wunsch, Med RNCS, will share her faith journey to forgive the young man who murdered her mother. $50, lunch included. (310) 377-4867. www.maryjoseph.org.

    Grand Marian Procession, 3 p.m., Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 W Temple St., Los Angeles. Banners, flags, color guards and bagpipers will highlight the processional parade which starts at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels with a Votive Mass and will end at Our Lady Queen of Angels Church “La Placita” with the benediction. www.thequeenofangels.comhttps://www.facebook.com/events/451624838374689/.

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