Thursday, February 16, 2017

Minuteman Lands $108,172 Competitive Grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center

Minuteman Lands $108,172 Competitive Grant from

the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center

LEXINGTON – Minuteman High School has landed another major grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center to help upgrade its Biotechnology program.  The $108,172 competitive grant will enable the school to outfit its Biotechnology lab with more advanced equipment and send two Biotechnology teachers to intensive training in the latest biomanufacturing techniques.

“We’re extremely grateful to the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and to the Baker Administration for this investment in education,” said Dr. Edward A. Bouquillon, Minuteman’s Superintendent.  “This equipment will help us strengthen the Biotechnology pipeline and prepare our students for careers in one of the state’s fastest-growing industries.” 

The grant will enable Minuteman to expand its Biomanufacturing capability through the purchase of $100,000 in equipment, including three Biological Safety Cabinets (BSC) Class II hoods and three single-stage vacuum pumps to run the hoods.  The hoods are essential for maintaining sterility and aseptic technique in growing animal cells and microbes in the school lab.

The grant will also enable Minuteman to update the water purification system in its Biotechnology lab to meet industry standards. The purified water is required for cell growth, molecular biology, and biomanufacturing.

The grant will also allow Minuteman to purchase two 3D printers to introduce students to cutting edge technologies which are being used in micro-nutrient research and production and in tissue culture.  3D printers create models that allow students to visualize cell and tissue structure and better understand related diseases and how to target them.  Knowing 3D printing is fast becoming an essential skill for bio technicians. 

In addition to the $100,000 for equipment, Minuteman received $8,172 to enable Biotechnology teachers Patrick Rafter and Mark Jurman to take a four-day certificate program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) titled  “Microbial Fermentation Development, Scale-up, and Manufacturing.”

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center received a record-high 105 applications for equipment funds.  It approved 49 applications totaling $4.3 million.

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center is a state agency charged with administering a $1 billion state investment in the life sciences.  As part of that investment, it has funded five (5) rounds of equipment grants to Massachusetts middle schools and high schools to improve the delivery of instruction in the life sciences.   

Minuteman is an award-winning regional high school that integrates robust academic and career & technical learning to deliver a revolutionary competitive advantage. The school serves a diverse student body with multiple learning styles, expanding opportunities for college and career success.  The school is an accredited member of the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC). 

Pending local permitting, Minuteman is planning to break ground soon on a new 628-student high school consisting of two Career Academies supporting a total of 16 high-quality career and technical education programs. 

The new high school is planned for the Lincoln side of Minuteman’s property.

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