Massachusetts Life Sciences Center
Announces Equipment and Supply Grants
For Public Middle Schools and High Schools
In Northeastern Mass
For Public Middle Schools and High Schools
In Northeastern Mass
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Date: April 6, 2015
Media Contact: Angus McQuilken, MLSC Vice President for Communications and Marketing
MASSACHUSETTS LIFE SCIENCES CENTER ANNOUNCES EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLY GRANTS FOR PUBLIC MIDDLE SCHOOLS AND HIGH SCHOOLS IN NORTHEASTERN MASS
Grants to fund new equipment and supplies for STEM education at public middle schools and high schools
Lowell, MA – The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) today joined local school leaders and elected officials at Lowell High School to announce more than $260,000 in funding to improve science courses, and provide new equipment and supplies for students in public schools in Lowell and Gloucester. The four awardees include Lowell High School, Lowell Middlesex Academy Charter School, Lowell Makes and O’Maley Innovation Middle School.
“Massachusetts’ flourishing life sciences community has created opportunities and spurred economic growth in every region of the state,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These grants from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center will further strengthen our workforce in order to meet the needs of this growing industry through enhanced training facilities and programs at our middle schools and high schools.”
The largest grant of $100,000 was awarded to Lowell High School. The school plans to establish the Lowell High School Life Sciences Maker Space at the UMass Lowell Medical Device Development Center (M2D2). The grant will provide incubator space to more than 800 students for hands-on life sciences training and early exposure to life science career pathways. The Maker Space will be outfitted with high powered microscopes, life science lab supplies, computers with technical computing software, a 3-D printer and more. Students enrolled in the M2D2 Early Pathways program — a yearlong internship program that connects high school students with entrepreneurs – will use the Maker Space as their laboratory to design their own medical devices.
“By providing a one of a kind MakerSpace in collaboration with the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2), Lowell High School can better support our students by providing opportunities for authentic, hands-on, inquiry-based learning in the Life Sciences,” said Roger Morneau, Head of the Lowell High School Science Department.
Lowell Middlesex Academy Charter School (LMACS) received over $90,000 in funding from the MLSC. The LMACS serves the Lowell School District’s most at-risk students. The MLSC grant will establish a science laboratory at the school to support the development of the LMACS Life Sciences Training Program, which will provide students with a strong foundation for further studies and employment in the life sciences industry. The laboratory will provide students with equipment that they have never had access to before, including dissection pans, scales, balances, incubators, refrigerators, stir plates, autoclaves, microwaves, fume hoods and more.
Lowell Makes, a non-profit, shared community workshop and laboratory that prepares Lowell Public School students for further study and careers in the life sciences industry received a $50,000 grant. The grant will purchase a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) that will provide instruction to more than 4,400 urban middle school students – an experience that virtually no public school has the financial resources or scientific expertise to procure/maintain. Through this innovative partnership, grade 5-8 students will visit the SEM for 5-10 class periods per year as part of their life sciences curriculum. Lowell Makes will shepherd the SEM for afterschool programs as well as for high school life science units and other nonprofit educational purposes.
“Receiving the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) grant award is an amazing opportunity for the Lowell Public Schools to more actively support the deep content knowledge development of teachers in STEM teaching through their high level professional learning,” said Jean Franco, Superintendent of Lowell Public Schools.
"Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are an important part of education today,” said Representative Thomas A. Golden, Jr. (D-Lowell). “Through the generosity of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center grants students will have the necessary resources that will help to support them in their research, development and innovation within the life sciences programs.”
“Creating pathways into the life sciences workforce is a critical part of the Center’s mission,” said Susan Windham-Bannister, Ph.D., President & CEO of the MLSC. “We want to make those opportunities available to all students across the state, and we are pleased to be providing these resources to enhance STEM education in Lowell and Gloucester.
The MLSC Equipment & Supplies Grant Program provides grants of up to $250,000 to vocational technical schools, and public high schools and middle schools in Gateway Cities, other schools serving low-income populations, schools implementing innovative STEM curriculum, and workforce training organizations that support such schools. Since its inception, the program has awarded nearly $12 million to more than 100 different Massachusetts high schools and middle schools.
Awardees provide an array of training ranging from general STEM education curricula to biotechnology. The student population that will benefit from these equipment grants represents a diverse workforce.
About the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) is an investment agency that supports life sciences innovation, research, development and commercialization. The MLSC is charged with implementing a 10-year, $1-billion, state-funded investment initiative. These investments create jobs and support advances that improve health and well-being. The MLSC offers the nation’s most comprehensive set of incentives and collaborative programs targeted to the life sciences ecosystem. These programs propel the growth that has made Massachusetts the global leader in life sciences. The MLSC creates new models for collaboration and partners with organizations, both public and private, around the world to promote innovation in the life sciences. For more information, visit www.masslifesciences.com.