-- Biogen Idec Foundation Awards $275,000 in Transformational Grants in Science Education --
WESTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--About 2,700 students in Greater Boston, MA and North Carolina will benefit from $275,000 in science education grants from the Biogen Idec Foundation.
The Foundation’s Transformational Grants in Science Education program was created to support organizations that are strengthening efforts to develop effective science teachers and to encourage youth to pursue science careers. Government, business and academic leaders all have identified strengthening K-12 STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education as a critical component of keeping the U.S. competitive in the global economy.
“These are truly innovative programs that will make science come alive for many young people,” said Esther Alegria, Ph.D., Chair of the Foundation and Biogen Idec’s Vice President, Manufacturing and General Manager of the Research Triangle Park (RTP), NC site. “The Biogen Idec Foundation is pleased to support these organizations and their efforts to create programs that aim to transform the way science is taught and to inspire youth to pursue careers in STEM fields.”
The Foundation awarded Transformational Grants to the following organizations:
- East End House in Cambridge, MA – $100,000 to expand its GENASAS (Generating and Evaluating New Adventures in Science After School) program, which teaches young people to think, question, hypothesize, test and observe like scientists. The grant will help to nearly double the size of the middle-school program and begin to develop high school and career readiness programs. In all, the grant will fund participation by 125 students from Cambridge public schools. Low-income students represent more than 65% of those enrolled in East End House programs. In 2008, the East End House received a $300,000 Transformational Grant for the GENASAS program.
- Science Club for Girls in Cambridge, MA – $50,000 to pilot the “From A to Zebrafish” program, in which approximately 70 middle and high school girls will learn about zebrafish as a tool to understand biology and human disease. During the two-year program, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School students will learn from area women scientists conducting zebrafish research. A subset of these students will then teach the zebrafish concepts to middle schoolers. High school students also will be encouraged to participate in summer internships or supplemental science programs as well as showcase their zebrafish explorations at the state science fair. Approximately 75% of the program’s participants will come from low-income families.
- Contemporary Science Center in RTP, NC – $50,000 for planning and development of an innovative public STEM school that will model and scale to diverse parts of North Carolina new ways to educate, using the entrepreneurism, talent and resources of the Research Triangle. The Foundation’s lead challenge grant will help fund the development of an education plan, identification of key partners and potential staff, and securing a facility in RTP. With a goal of opening in August 2012, the school is anticipated to have a target enrollment of 400 students and impact many more students and teachers across the state through virtual and professional development programming.
- Boston University School of Medicine’s CityLab – $50,000 to connect a select group of teachers and 18 students from Bertie County, NC with 80 Greater Boston area students through the school’s 2011 SummerLab program and to continue the partnership during the academic year virtually through monthly lab challenges. The grant doubles one awarded by the Foundation last year.
- North Carolina New Schools Project – $25,000 from the Foundation for its Modeling Biology Instruction program, an intensive 10-day summer program in which teachers will learn new, more-effective methods of teaching biology. Twenty teachers reaching approximately 2,000 students will be offered the opportunity to attend the program.
The Biogen Idec Foundation has awarded $11 million in grants to science education and community-based programs in Biogen Idec’s U.S. operating areas since its incorporation in 2003.
About the Biogen Idec Foundation
The mission of the Biogen Idec Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives and contribute to the vitality of the communities where we operate, with a special emphasis on innovative ways to promote science literacy and encourage young people to consider science careers. For more information about the foundation, please visit: http://www.biogenidec.com/citizenship_biogen_idec_foundation.aspx?ID=5782
About Biogen Idec
Biogen Idec uses cutting-edge science to discover, develop, manufacture and market therapies for the treatment of serious diseases with a focus on neurology, immunology and hemophilia. Founded in 1978, Biogen Idec is the world’s oldest independent biotechnology company. Patients worldwide benefit from its leading multiple sclerosis therapies, and the company generates more than $4 billion in annual revenues. For product labeling, press releases and additional information about the company, please visit www.biogenidec.com.