Biogen Idec Foundation Donates $100,000 to Launch STEM Education Collaboration with Teach for America

August 17, 2012

The Biogen Idec Foundation and Teach For America today announced a new collaboration in support of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education. A $100,000 grant from The Biogen Idec Foundation will be split evenly between Teach For America’s Massachusetts and Eastern North Carolina regions. The lead corporate STEM sponsor in both regions, Biogen Idec will make its Community Lab facilities available to Teach For America teachers and their students, and its scientists will share their expertise with the teachers in professional development sessions held during the school year.

The collaboration officially launches today, with a visit by 20 of Teach For America’s first-year science teachers to Biogen Idec’s Community Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts. High school students participating in a summer program at the lab will talk to the new teachers about how to get students excited about math and science curriculum; the teachers will give the students feedback on their science projects. The science teachers participating in today’s event will begin teaching in local public schools this fall.

The Biogen Idec Community Lab is a state-of-the-art facility where students can experience firsthand the wonder of science. In line with a company-wide commitment to science education, the mission of the Community Lab is to excite and inspire students to make the discoveries of tomorrow. More than 23,000 middle and high school students have visited the Biogen Idec Community Labs since 2002. This fall, the Cambridge-based Community Lab will celebrate 10 years of working with Massachusetts students.

“We’re thrilled to launch Teach For America-Massachusetts’ first-ever corporate STEM collaboration with The Biogen Idec Foundation,” said Josh Biber, executive director of Teach For America in Massachusetts. “The Foundation’s generous support and Biogen Idec’s scientific expertise will help our teachers to foster the next generation of scientists and innovators.”

“Advancing science education and inspiring students to pursue careers in science is core to the mission of The Biogen Idec Foundation,” said Jo Viney, board member of The Biogen Idec Foundation. “We’re proud to work with Teach for America on this innovative STEM collaboration, and we’re excited at the tremendous potential it holds to reach thousands of students in Massachusetts and North Carolina.”

Teach For America recruits, trains and supports top recent college graduates and professionals who commit to teach for two years in underserved public schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement for educational equity. This year, approximately 3,200 corps members nationwide will be teaching STEM subjects, including approximately 80 in Massachusetts and nearly 70 in Eastern North Carolina. Teach For America is among the largest providers of STEM teachers nationwide.

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