Norton High School Named MassBioEd Innovative School of the Year
March 20, 2012 (CAMBRIDGE, MA) – Norton High School was named this year’s Innovative School of the Year by the Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation (MassBioEd) for inspiring students to explore life sciences careers through progressive biotechnology education and exemplary science career programming.
Norton High School has had a five-year partnership with MassBioEd since being selected as a BioTeach school in 2007. Students and faculty actively participate in both teacher professional development and student job shadow opportunities. Norton has successfully utilized their BioTeach grant to incorporate biotechnology based labs for all of their sophomore biology students. Additionally they have developed a very successful biotechnology elective course. Each year, more than 175 students are introduced to life sciences technology and careers.
“Norton High School is a shining example of commitment to science education designed to ignite interest in science careers as students look toward their futures,” said Lance Hartford, Executive Director of MassBioEd. “The judging panel was particularly impressed with the school’s commitment to teacher professional development, their passion for linking classroom science with real life science applications, and the school’s creative approach to maximizing the number of students who experience the wonders of biotechnology.”
In addition, Norton High School has been active in the Life Science Career Development (LSCD) initiative. Through the LSCD program students have explored careers in the life sciences, yielding an impressive increase in the percentage of students pursuing college STEM majors.
“Norton is elated to be the recipient of this award,” said science coordinator Tanya Benoit. “It will provide us with some equipment and materials we have not been able to attain as of yet. It will be the launch for taking our biotechnology classes to the next level in the hopes of adding a second year 2 biotechnology elective. We have worked hard to expose every student prior to graduating with some biotechnology knowledge and skills and are proud of how much we have been able to offer thus far.”
The award will be given at a luncheon ceremony at MassBio’s Annual Meeting on Tuesday, March 27th at the Royal Sonesta Hotel, 40 Edwin Land Blvd, Cambridge, MA. Science coordinator Tanya Benoit and student Kady Ferguson will speak at the ceremony. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Patricia Ansay and science teachers Paula Beisheim and Jason Henry will also attend on behalf of Norton High School.
The Innovative School of the Year Award was established by the MassBioEd Foundation to honor a Massachusetts school that has distinguished itself through exemplary progressive biotechnology educational programming.
Norton High School is undergoing exciting renovations that will result in five brand new science labs. These labs and an existing lab’s renovation will provide this creative group of science teachers a state-of-the-art learning platform beginning next December. This extensive physical commitment on the part of Norton will inspire students and support science education growth in the student body.
The Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation (MassBioEd), founded in 2001, is a non-profit charitable organization committed to supporting science and biotechnology education in Massachusetts through school programs, workforce training, and lifelong learning.