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Biogen Idec Foundation awards $100,000 to support Museum’s lab-based programs

Working in the Micro World Investigate Lab.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 28, 2014     
Science, Education and Business Editors.
Contact: jonathan.pishney@naturalsciences.org; 919.707.8083

RALEIGH—More children throughout North Carolina will participate in innovative lab-based programs at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences thanks to a $100,000 grant from the Biogen Idec Foundation. Over the past two years, Biogen Idec Foundation has awarded the Museum $200,000 to create cutting-edge science programming and to ensure that these programs reach underserved schools across the state.  

“The Museum is committed to continually providing the people of North Carolina, especially students from across the state, with the highest quality science programming,” said Dr. Emlyn Koster, Museum Director. “The generous and continued support of the Biogen Idec Foundation helps make this possible and we are most grateful.”

The grant will support new programs in the Micro World Investigate Lab inside the Museum’s Nature Research Center. These programs will connect basic sciences — such as chemistry, cell biology, and molecular biology— to applications in human health. Additionally, the funds will help cover transportation costs for students in outlying and underserved counties to travel to the Museum for these Investigate Lab programs. The grant also funds the development and delivery of a new lab-based outreach program that enables the Museum to participate in afterschool initiatives and provide hands-on lab experiences to children who have limited opportunities for high-quality science programming. 

“The Biogen Idec Foundation and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences share an ongoing commitment to science education in our state through inspiring, innovative programming,” said Machelle Sanders, director of the Biogen Idec Foundation. “We’re especially pleased to be able to help underserved students benefit from the Investigate Lab programs. The Museum’s new Micro World Investigate Lab curriculum will engage youth through extensive hands-on learning and experimentation, ignite long-term scientific curiosity and ultimately will inspire our next generation of science leaders to pursue passions that change our state and our world.” 

A smaller portion of the grant will support the Museum’s 2015 Triangle SciTech Expo, which brings university and industry scientists together to showcase amazing advances in biotechnology, engineering, science and technology through fun, hands-on and interactive activities. Expo visitors will also learn about the Triangle area’s history and promising future as an innovative leader in these fields, as well as why these fields are important to their daily lives.

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The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (11 W. Jones St. and 121 W. Jones St.) in downtown Raleigh, is the state's most visited cultural attraction. It is an active research institution that engages visitors of every age and stage of learning in the wonders of science and the natural world, drawing them into the intriguing fields of study that are critical to the future of North Carolina. Hours: Mon.- Sat., 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sun., noon-5 p.m. Admission is free. Visit the Museum on the web at www.naturalsciences.org. Emlyn Koster, PhD, Director; John E. Skvarla III, Secretary, Department of Environment and Natural Resources; Pat McCrory, Governor.

The Biogen Idec Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of peoples' lives and contribute to the vitality of the communities in which the company operates, with a special emphasis on innovative ways to promote science literacy and encourage young people to consider science careers. Additional information about the Biogen Idec Foundation can be found at: http://www.biogenidec.com/citizenship_biogen_idec_foundation.html

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Publish Date: 
Friday, March 28, 2014