Transforming Science Education

Biogen Idec Foundation's Transformational Grants in Science Education fund innovative science programs serving middle and high school students, primarily those from diverse and underserved backgrounds.

In 2011, the Biogen Idec Foundation awarded five Transformational Grants totaling $275,000. These grants are benefiting approximately 2,700 students in Greater Boston, Mass., and N.C. The following organizations were recipients:

CityLab at Boston University

CityLab is a fully equipped laboratory located at the Boston University School of Medicine that is available to middle and high school students and educators interested in exploring biotechnology. Since 2010, Biogen Idec has been a supporter of CityLab’s SummerLab Biotechnology Program, which gives students hands-on lab experience and exposure to biotechnology concepts. In 2011, the Biogen Idec Foundation provided a $50,000 grant to CityLab to send 18 students from Bertie County, N.C., as well as their teachers, to the 2011 SummerLab program.

Science Club for Girls in Cambridge, Mass.

In 2011, the Biogen Idec Foundation awarded $50,000 to the Science Club for Girls, a non-profit organization providing hands-on science and engineering programs. The grant will be used to launch “From A to Zebrafish,” a two-year program that will serve approximately 70 middle and high school girls who will study zebrafish to learn about human disease models. The high school girls will learn from female scientists who work with zebrafish and then have the opportunity to share their knowledge with the program’s middle school students.

Contemporary Science Center in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

Since 2004, the Biogen Idec Foundation has supported the Contemporary Science Center (CSC), a non-profit organization that provides real-life science experiences to students. Its $50,000 grant to the CSC in 2011 was given to help fund the planning and development of an innovative public school that focuses on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. The school is scheduled to open in 2012.

East End House, Cambridge, Mass.

In 2011, the Biogen Idec Foundation awarded the East End House, located in Cambridge, Mass., a $100,000 grant for its GENASAS (Generating and Evaluating New Adventures in Science After School) program, which engages middle school students in STEM fields. With this support, the East End House nearly doubled its enrollment in 2011, serving 125 local students through its GENASAS program and its high school and career readiness programs.

North Carolina New Schools Project

The North Carolina New Schools Project was awarded $25,000 in 2011 to advance its mission of accelerating systemic, sustainable innovation in secondary schools across N.C. The grant will enable the North Carolina New Schools Project to offer a new science education program called Modeling Biology Instruction, an intensive 10-day summer program in which teachers will learn new and more effective approaches to teaching biology.