Science is most exciting when it's experienced firsthand. That principle is the driving force behind Genzyme's science education programs, which connect our employees with local students for immersive experiences designed to spark their curiosity and inspire their interest in the many facets of science.
Our Scientists in the School program is a global volunteer initiative that sends Genzyme scientists into local schools and community organizations to work directly with students, share knowledge, and get them excited about biotechnology and other related fields.
Activities may be as simple as mentoring a student or speaking at a career day. Or they can be more involved projects that introduce students to hands-on experimental techniques and critical scientific thinking. Our employee volunteers also introduce students to their workplaces, opening students' eyes to career prospects in biotechnology.
Waterford Scientists in the Schools
Employees at our Waterford, Ireland, site have found creative ways to make science fun and exciting for children in several local schools.
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In 2009 we launched a signature program to connect local middle school students with the employees of our state-of-the-art Science Center which opened in Framingham, Massachusetts, in 2008. Through the Genzyme Science Kids program, Genzyme employees go to Fuller Middle School to tell students about the exciting work happening just around the corner. Students experience science for themselves through a series of interactive stations and experiments. Under the guidance of Genzyme scientists, the students explore topics such as DNA replication, tissue repair, and arthroscopy using equipment that simulates real-world science, such as performing surgery to repair a mock knee. Our goal is to motivate more students to continue studying science – and perhaps even return one day as Genzyme employees.
Science Makes Students' Lives "Fuller"
In 2012, Fuller Middle School recognized the Genzyme Science Kids Program Volunteers with the John Ebb Award, which is given to people outside the school who have made enormous contributions to Fuller students. Since the program's inception, over 200 Fuller students have had the opportunity to interact with Genzyme employees and get a glimpse of what it's like to be a scientist.
The future of Genzyme's innovative leadership depends on talented young scientists continuing to enter the field. Through our scholarship programs, we offer opportunities for students seeking higher education and a career in science.
Since 1994 we've been awarding the Genzyme Biotechnology Scholarship to graduating seniors or college students studying life sciences or engineering, who live in the Allston-Brighton, Mass., community where Genzyme has had a longstanding presence. We award individual scholarships of $1,000-$10,000 to multiple students, totaling over $355,000 to date since the program's founding.
In 2014, we began offering individual scholarships to seventh through ninth grade students either living in or enrolled in school in the Allston-Brighton community. The Genzyme Youth Science & Engineering Workshop Scholarships will allow up to five students to enroll in two weeks at Boston University’s U-Design Science and Engineering Workshop.
The application process for the 2014 Genzyme Biotechnology College Scholarship Program and the Genzyme Youth Science & Engineering Workshop Scholarship is now closed. Check back for the 2015 application season.
Science education is a significant focus of Genzyme's charitable giving strategy. While many of our grants go toward student and school programs, we also partner with educational and community groups on projects that raise awareness about science among people of all ages. Here are some highlights of our recent efforts, many of which also involved hands-on employee involvement in addition to the financial grant:
- Massachusetts State Science and Engineering Fair – In 1999 we established this science fair's top prize, the Genzyme Science Award, which now awards $10,000 – plus a paid internship valued at approximately $2500 – to the winning student, as well as $15,000 to the winning teacher and school.
- Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation – Since its inception, we’ve contributed $330,000 to the BioTeach Program as part of our commitment to developing better science teachers, supporting biotechnology education, and inspiring students to pursue degrees and careers in the life sciences.
- Science From Scientists – Our 2013 grant of $20,000 funds Science From Scientists’ programming in Boston public schools, which aims to increase interest in science and academic outcomes of middle school students by providing hands-on instruction from real scientists.
- Just-A-Start Corporation – Our grants to this organization support the Cambridge Biomedical Careers Program, which prepares local residents for entry-level jobs in the biotechnology industry.