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$10,000 Biotech Grant Enhances Hands-On Science and Fosters Collaboration with Broader Community

A new $10,000 biotech grant from Avantor Sciences Foundation will infuse biotechnology concepts into The Country School's long-standing, hands-on biology curriculum while also allowing Country School students to connect with professional scientists and students from other communities. Through classroom instruction and labs, Middle School students will learn about the technologies that allow scientists to study molecular systems such as DNA and apply that knowledge to independent research projects, enhancing the school's signature STEAM program. Beyond the classroom, Country School students will share their learning with students in other Middle School communities, with a special focus on connecting with underrepresented students in the STEM field.

"Hands-on, inquiry-based labs and projects will allow for collaborative and innovative problem-solving, which is crucial to any STEM pursuit," said Amy Cornell, Ph.D., Country School Science, STEAM, and Robotics Teacher and creator of this biotechnology program. "Students will make sense of scientific information and develop skills through their own agency, assertion, and problem-solving. Clearly, this program will further the school's Mission of inspiring lifelong learners with a dynamic and rigorous curriculum."

Seventh Graders accept the grant from Avantor.

Introducing the concepts and tools of biotechnology at the Middle School level will prepare students for the science curriculum they will encounter in secondary school and beyond. At the same time, welcoming guest speakers to school, creating a mentor/mentee bridge program with neighboring schools, and touring academic and corporate labs will help prepare students to thrive in our increasingly complex, interconnected, global STEM community.

Established in 2009, the Avantor Foundation is committed to giving back to the science community. The Avantor Foundation has donated more than $3.7 million since its inception, supporting organizations and programs that align with its three strategic priorities: funding research for new innovation and scientific applications; improving health and well-being; and building greater awareness and improvement in science education. Previous awardees include St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Hands-on science at The Country School