GAITHERSBURG, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The MdBio Foundation, a non-profit that provides STEM education and workforce development to underserved communities, has been awarded a $265,751 grant from the Rebuild Texas Fund, a collaborative project of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and the OneStar Foundation that was established to support the rebuilding efforts in communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey. With this grant, MdBio Foundation has raised more than $500,000 since October 2017, when it launched its “Learning Undefeated” initiative designed to provide science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education on its mobile laboratory to schools in southeast Texas that were damaged by the hurricane.
“Hurricane Harvey, which hit Texas exactly a year ago, damaged nearly 300 schools and destroyed so many science labs and classrooms. With our mobile STEM lab, we saw a great opportunity to help students and teachers regain a sense of normalcy and support a high level of instruction while the area recovered,” said Brian Gaines, CEO of the MdBio Foundation. “We are honored to receive this grant from Rebuild Texas, acknowledging our work to date and allowing us to continue providing STEM education in hurricane-impacted communities.”
MdBio's Learning Undefeated program kicked off last November with visits to the Port Aransas Independent School District near Corpus Christi and the Houston Independent School District. It was initially supported by $40,000 in contributions from Maryland companies: AstraZeneca and its global biologics research and development arm, MedImmune; CNSI; Northrop Grumman and VWR International.
Since then, the Learning Undefeated program has received two additional grants from Rebuild Texas, totaling more than $465,000, and served more than 2,300 students from South Texas schools, including Refugio, Wharton, Houston and Port Aransas. The grant will enable the mobile lab to visit an additional six south Texas schools for three to four weeks each this fall in towns impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
“MdBio Foundation has been a fantastic partner of the Rebuild Texas Fund. The team brings a wealth of knowledge, high energy and a passion for assisting schools and communities in need along the Texas coast. Through the partnership of Rebuild Texas Fund and MdBio Foundation, we have been able to assist students, teachers and school districts with their science laboratory needs as they continue to recover from Hurricane Harvey,” said Cristina Cornejo, program officer for the Rebuild Texas Fund.
During an event yesterday, 7th and 8th grade students from the Wharton Junior High School demonstrated a few of the STEM activities that take place on the mobile lab, including a micropipette challenge, forensics and DNA profiling, and a virtual reality demonstration.
“The students and teachers at Wharton Junior High School are incredibly excited to have the mobile lab at our school for the start of our school year,” said Wharton Junior High School Principal Jerrell Barron. “Our community experienced a terrible impact from Hurricane Harvey, and this school year represents a chance to turn the page and start fresh. Getting to do hands-on science experiments on the mobile lab is helping students get excited about the school year, and is something they’ll be talking about for a long time.”
About the Rebuild Texas Fund
The Rebuild Texas Fund is a collaborative project of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and the OneStar Foundation, established to support the rebuilding efforts in communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The Rebuild Texas Fund works alongside organizations within the impacted communities that are making an impact in the following six focus areas: community and economic development; health; housing; education and childcare; transportation and workforce; and capital for rebuilding small businesses. The Rebuild Texas Fund will continue to fund projects and organizations within these areas through the end of 2019. Funding through the Rebuild Texas Fund is provided to eligible nonprofit, government, corporate, and philanthropic organizations working on the ground in Texas communities that have been affected by Hurricane Harvey. More information about the Rebuild Texas Fund is available at www.rebuildtx.org.
About MdBio Foundation
MdBio Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides innovative, effective and experiential science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and workforce development opportunities to underserved communities. MdBio’s interdisciplinary approach uses STEM to explore a real-world, problem-centric curriculum that bridges school, community, health and business. The foundation’s flagship program is a mobile laboratory for high schools that has provided quality educational experiences to more than 170,000 students since its launch in 2003. MdBio also operates other celebrated STEM education programs, such as the Young Science Explorers Program for middle school students, the Maryland BioGENEius Award, and ATLAS: Advancing Tomorrow’s Leaders in STEM college and career symposium. Visit www.mdbiofoundation.org or follow on social media @MdBioFoundation.
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