Sweetwater High School in National City, California, receives its first donated refrigeration unit for its school lab. BioBuilderClub Officer Alpher Asphiras uses the refrigerator for project needs.
Cambridge, MA, February 3rd, 2020 – K2 Scientific has recently announced its support for BioBuilder’s STEM educational programs, with the donation of 12 refrigeration units throughout the year to schools within the BioBuilder community. With each unit valued at $1,000, these donations will enhance school labs around the country.
"Supporting kids’ interest in the life sciences is important to building a better future for all of us. These kids will produce the next medicines, treatments, and hopefully cures. We’re excited to contribute to the BioBuilder program. We hope our donations of refrigeration units improve the students’ experience."
– Ty Baugh, Founder and CEO, K2 Scientific
The inaugural refrigeration unit was donated to the classroom of Biology Teacher and BioBuilderClub team leader Jessica Sphar at Sweetwater High School in National City, California. Ms. Sphar participated in a BioBuilder Essentials Professional Development Workshop in August 2019 and went on to start a BioBuilderClub team with 27 students this academic season. This first unit was donated in honor of K2 Scientific’s new National Sales Director, Andy Blossfeld.
"Students are now using the K2 Scientific fridge to keep their bacterial stabs and media plates for various projects. We are so grateful for the support. The student in the photo is Alpher Aspiras, one of our BioBuilderClub Officers. He is working on a project that will focus on identifying genes found in a mycorrhiza that can also be found on bacterial plasmids in an effort to regenerate soil depletion."
– Jessica Sphar, Sweetwater High School teacher and BioBuilder trained instructor
The BioBuilderClub is a hands-on bioengineering design challenge for high school teams around the country and throughout the world. With the guidance of a lead teacher from their school, teams of students engage with the BioBuilder curriculum and experiments. With additional support from volunteer mentor scientists, teams design a synthetic biology project that addresses a real-world challenge, with some BioBuilderClub teams publishing their work and/or going on to build and test their designs.
"I love that we are investing in BioBuilder. The BioBuilderClub, where students can combine engineering and science to test their own real-world ideas, is the way I think every classroom should operate. The professional development workshops give teachers the tools to encourage students and expose them to synthetic biologists who are currently practicing in the field, which genuinely elevates the teaching experience. I am proud that K2 Scientific can contribute to these amazing initiatives."
– Dee Jetton, CAO, K2 Scientific
Schools to receive a donated refrigeration unit will be selected from among participants at professional development workshops, from within the BioBuilderClub community, and from economically disadvantaged schools where teachers are currently implementing the BioBuilder curriculum.
“We are so grateful for K2 Scientific’s support of BioBuilder’s mission to make synthetic biology and cutting-edge science opportunities accessible to all students.”
– Dr. Natalie Kuldell, Founder and Executive Director, BioBuilder
Created by an award-winning team at MIT, BioBuilder offers new ways to teach, learn, and explore cutting-edge science and engineering. BioBuilder provides students the chance to integrate biology and engineering through practical, hands-on lessons, club activities, and school-to-work experiences. Teachers learn new methods of teaching that engage and inspire the young scientists in their classrooms. By presenting authentic research questions in accessible, modular, and teachable form, BioBuilder aims to spark interest, engagement, and understanding in STEM fields. Conceptualized at MIT in 2007 by Dr. Natalie Kuldell, BioBuilder was incorporated as a Massachusetts public charity in 2011.
K2 Scientific specializes in advanced cold storage solutions for scientific applications in the life science, healthcare, and research laboratory industries.
You can follow the Sweetwater High School BioBuilderClub project progress by following Jessica Sphar on Twitter @jessica_jesspc