HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology has received a three-year, $71,000 Boeing charitable grant to fund its Launching Aspiring Biotechnology Scientists (L.A.B.S.) program.

Established in 2014, L.A.B.S. equips students from disadvantaged and underrepresented populations with the basic skills and knowledge that are essential in the STEM workforce. The program was revamped in 2016 and is now a two-year commitment for participants who are selected via an application process. When selected, students participate in after-school, lab-based experiences that illustrate and reinforce key math and science concepts.

“The L.A.B.S. program is a great way for students to dive into the biotech field and inspire them to pursue a career in STEM,” said Dasi Price, who leads K–12 student experiences at HudsonAlpha. “Boeing’s support is helping us provide a rich opportunity that has the potential to change their lives.”

“I really enjoyed the first semester of the L.A.B.S. program at HudsonAlpha,” said L.A.B.S. participant Alex Lewis. “Not only did it give me the opportunity to build on my previous lab skills, but also to learn new lab skills and put those into place. L.A.B.S is a great opportunity for students to get plenty of hands on experience.”

The award is one of Boeing’s “Our Future: Tomorrow’s Innovators,” grants, which target increased STEM diversity, proficiency and interest among K-12 students. Anchored by local and regional employee-engagement activities, Boeing charitable grants are geared toward developing tomorrow’s innovators through investment in the skills required in today’s modern workplace.

“We aspire to be a top performer in every area of our business, and that includes leading in the communities where our employees and their families live and work,” said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing chairman, president and chief executive officer. “By harnessing our teammates’ unique skills and passion for giving, our professional networks and partnerships, and our financial resources, we will inspire the dreamers and doers of tomorrow and drive positive, lasting change in our communities across the globe.”

Boeing supports a number of HudsonAlpha’s Educational Outreach programs and projects, including the development of the Biology Compendium, a “field guide” for the new Alabama Course of Study: Science. In addition, Boeing funded the first Genetic Technologies for All Classrooms (GTAC) session, a professional development experience that prepares science educators to address high school-level genetics, genomics and biotech content.

“Every student is going to enter into a world where science is important,” said Neil Lamb, PhD. “Thanks to Boeing’s continued support, we can provide the necessary tools to help them navigate through that world.”

To learn more about L.A.B.S., visit hudsonalpha.org/education/labs.

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