MADISON, CT - Avantor Sciences Foundation has awarded The Country School with $10,000 for its Biotechnology Signature STEM Program. This pilot program will infuse biotechnology concepts into The Country School’s long-standing, hands-on biology curriculum. 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. Beyond the classroom, Country School students will share their learning with students in other Middle School communities, targeting underrepresented students – minorities and women – in the STEM field. Introducing the concepts and tools of biotechnology at the Middle School level will naturally prepare students for the science curriculum they will encounter in secondary school and beyond.
Having previously worked as scientists in academia and corporate environments, Country School science teachers have extensive background in biotechnology approaches and techniques. Their experience, coupled with a generous school community, will contribute to the success of this biotechnology program. Country School Science, STEAM, and Robotics Teacher and creator of this biotechnology program Amy Cornell, Ph.D. states, “Hands-on, inquiry-based labs and projects will allow for collaborative and innovative problem-solving, which is crucial to any STEM pursuit. 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." Welcoming guest speakers to school, creating a mentor/mentee bridge program with neighboring schools, and touring academic and corporate labs all factor into Cornell’s vision.
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.
Founded in 1955, The Country School serves students in PreSchool-Grade 8 on its 23-acre campus in Madison. The Country School is also the proud recipient of a $50,000 gift, The Rothberg Catalyzer, that encourages the growth of coding, engineering, and robotics in students from as young as three through 8th Grade. Learn more about how The Country School furthers the study of STEAM at www.thecountryschool.org