HudsonAlpha’s Educational Outreach team, in partnership with the North Alabama Center for Educational Excellence, has just completed the first year of a new afterschool program for students in Huntsville City, Madison City and Madison County schools. The program is called Launching Aspiring Biotechnology Scientists, or L.A.B.S., and serves to equip students with the skills and knowledge essential for the future science, technology, engineering and mathematics workforce. This program was sponsored and made possible by Renasant Bank.

The goal of L.A.B.S. is to equip students from underserved populations with the needed lab and critical thinking skills to work independently in a laboratory setting to answer scientific research questions and take advantage of future lab opportunities, thereby increasing the number of students who enter the STEM pipeline.

This afterschool program is designed to provide sustained interactions between Upward Bound Math and Science students and educators from HudsonAlpha with a goal of enhancing students’ laboratory skills and providing opportunities to learn hands-on applications of biotechnology. Students who participant in multiple years of the program could enter college well equipped to work in a university lab and be competitive for coveted research lab positions and internships.

Danny Davis, City President for Renasant Bank commented, “Renasant Bank is proud to participate in HudsonAlpha’s Educational Outreach initiative in the communities we serve. We appreciate HudsonAlpha’s commitment to education and creative approach to engaging aspiring young scientists, who eagerly committed afterschool hours to the L.A.B.S. program.”

 

HudsonAlpha Educator Development Lead Madelene Loftin said, “We are very grateful to Renasant Bank for providing funding for the L.A.B.S. program. This is a unique opportunity for career exploration that could not happen in a traditional school day. This afterschool program has provided opportunities to work in a real lab setting, and students encounter the kinds of challenges that are common in biotech research. We are very proud of the way the students have wrestled with those challenges and are excited about what the future holds for these students and the program.”

The schedule for the 2015-16 L.A.B.S. program will be set in early fall. Interested students should contact Walter Cooper (walter.cooper@aamu.edu) at the North Alabama Center for Educational Excellence for more information.

 

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