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iLabs: FLASH!!!! Micro World Receives Grant Funding for New Programs!!

July 18, 2013

I will be writing more about this later, but I wanted to give you all a heads up that our Museum received a grant from the Biogen Idec Foundation, the bulk of which will benefit our Micro World Lab.

We will be developing a Multidisciplinary Science Curriculum that weaves together topics from the natural, environmental and human health sciences so as to reflect current trends in scientific and medical research.

The curriculum will connect basic sciences, such as chemistry, immunology, microbiology, the environment, biotechnology methods, critical thinking, ethics, and scientific design, to applications in human health. Toxicology, bioremediation and biofuels; disease diagnosis and treatment; epidemiology and bioterrorism; natural, genetically engineered, and clinical drug development processes  and bio-manufacturing, are some of the topics that will be explored. Funds will also help underserved schools travel to the Museum for these classes.”

Anyway, more to come from us soon on what this new curriculum will look like. We will be offering it first to our Family Science, Homeschool, Visiting Public and Charter School audiences, with curriculum-correlated public school classes to follow the next year. Stay tuned for details of these class offerings, available later this summer!!!

Now, the press release:


Jonathan Pishney, Communications Director

NC Museum of Natural Sciences, 11 West Jones St, Raleigh, NC 27601  

Sent: Thursday, July 18, 2013 9:56 AM

Subject: Museum receives Biogen Idec Foundation grant for innovative health science programming

For immediate release – July 18, 2013

Museum receives Biogen Idec Foundation grant for innovative health science programming

RALEIGH — Would you like to perform your own enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay? You can, thanks to a $100,000 Biogen Idec Foundation grant made to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences for the development of innovative health science programming. The assay is a simulated peanut allergy test based on antigen-antibody reactions, and just one of many creative experiments visitors will soon have the opportunity to participate in and learn from. “This generous grant from Biogen Idec Foundation helps ensure that the Museum continues to provide the people of North Carolina with innovative, cutting-edge programming,” said Museum Director Emlyn Koster. “We are delighted and grateful for their continued support.”

The majority of the grant money will help coordinators of the Museum’s Micro World Investigate Lab develop and facilitate a new “interdisciplinary” curriculum that will connect basic sciences — such as chemistry, immunology, microbiology, the environment, biotechnology methods, critical thinking, ethics and scientific design — to applications in human health. Sample topics include “Bioremediation and Biofuels,” “Disease Diagnosis and Treatment,” and “Epidemiology and Bioterrorism.” The money will also help cover transportation costs for students in outlying and underserved counties to travel to the Museum for these Investigate Lab programs.

“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 BEST•Fest 2014 event, which brings university and industry scientists together to showcase amazing advances in Biotechnology, Engineering, Science and Technology through fun, hands-on and interactive activities. Visitors 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. Next year’s event will be held Saturday, April 5, and is being expanded to include more information on health science and innovations in the healthcare field.

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:

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh documents and interprets the natural history of the state through exhibits, research, collections, publications and educational programming. Hours: Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm, and Sun. 12-5pm. General admission is free. Visit the Museum online at The Museum is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, John E. Skvarla III, Secretary.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 23, 2013 10:24 am

    Terrific for you!! I can’t think of a better group to do this work!

    • July 30, 2013 5:13 am

      Chris, Thanks so very much! We are excited and in the planning stages now, for our new classes. Take care, Deb

    • September 7, 2013 12:40 pm

      Chris, I appreciate that comment. We just try to keep moving forward and expand as much as possible. Hope you are doing well!

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