InnovatioNation, a K-12 educational program has been in creative development over the past year at Life Technologies, with seven teachers piloting the program in their classrooms during the 2011-2012 school year. 

What is InnovatioNation?
InnovatioNation was developed to provide employees the opportunity to connect with schools in their community to give students and teachers a glimpse into the world of biotechnology. The development of this program exemplifies the commitment of Life Technologies to take an active role in the development of “future scientists” just as the Life Technologies Foundation sponsored Smithsonian sequencing exhibit will. 

The program includes multiple components developed to create excitement about a career in life science. Among other activities the program includes a tour of the Life Technologies facility, an opportunity to meet Life Technologies employees to have career discussions, and the chance to do a cutting-edge science experiment with a Life Technologies scientist in their classroom.

What makes InnovatioNation different than other science education programs?
In developing this program, Life Technologies has collaborated with educators to find out how to really get kids excited about science. As a result, the science lessons incorporate a unique presentation style using interactive technology whereby students answer questions using audience response keypads.

The most exciting part of this program is giving students a chance to use donated Life Technologies products that they would not otherwise have the opportunity to experiment with including: DNA ladders, Competent cells, Sybr Safe TM E-gels®, Molecular Probes®, and the FLoid TM Cell Imaging Station.  

Additionally, a Life Technologies employee that coordinates InnovatioNation says, "This program wouldn’t be a true glimpse of Life Technologies if we didn’t pass along our generous spirit of giving.  We are teaching students the importance of community service. During the program, each class leads a community service project to give back to others in need around the world".

How is this program funded?
All lesson plans, equipment, and other costs of the program are funded through the Life Technologies Foundation. As an extra incentive to participate in the program, each teacher will receive a $1000 stipend to spend on additional science materials for their classroom. 

How do schools enter the InnovatioNation Program?  
At this time, the teachers have been established for the upcoming school year.  In the future, there may be opportunity to nominate a school to be part of the program. Keep an eye on the below pages for updates. 

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