Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-5) visited MdBioLab at Surrattsville High School on March 10. While visiting the MdBioLab, he received a tour of the mobile laboratory, met with students, and participated in teacher Abimbola Akinmolayan’s AP Biology class.
Akinmolayan’s students used agarose gel electrophoresis to analyze hemoglobin molecules while on MdBioLab. The students conducted the entire investigation themselves. MdBioLab instructors were on hand to lead the laboratory activity and provide support if needed.
Established by the MdBio Foundation, MdBioLab is a mobile laboratory built inside a tractor-trailer that was created to bring authentic career experiences to high schools across Maryland. In the lab, students receive hands-on experience with equipment and are exposed to young professionals with STEM backgrounds.
As a state with one of the largest concentration of bioscience organizations, STEM initiatives are critical to Maryland’s continued economic health and development. Maintaining our state’s competitive advantage as a welcoming environment for these valuable STEM employers will help sustain and grow our economy for years to come. In challenging economic times, supporting these businesses with qualified employees has become even more critical.
MdBio Foundation’s education programs provide students with effective STEM education to prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow. STEM programs like those offered by MdBio Foundation ensure that Maryland’s workforce meets the needs of our existing employers, as well as attracting new businesses to our state.
“The MdBioLab is an outstanding example of innovative science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs that enrich our students’ education and provide them with the skills they need to compete for the jobs of tomorrow,” stated Congressman Hoyer. “Not only does the MdBioLab provide students with resources and hands-on experience they would not otherwise have access to in the classroom, but the program also exposes students to young professionals with careers in science so they can hear firsthand about STEM careers and opportunities. With a growing number of well-paying jobs in the STEM fields, it is critically important that our students have the education and skills needed to pursue those opportunities and succeed. I thank the MdBio Foundation for all they are doing to promote STEM in our schools and for inviting me to learn more about their important work today.”
Also on hand was Foundation CEO Brian Gaines.
“We are thrilled to have leaders such as Congressman Hoyer visit the MdBioLab”, stated Gaines. “His time and participation not only meant a lot to the students, but to their teachers and administrators as well. His message to students, was particularly poignant – you are our future, not just of Maryland, but the country as a whole.”
Since 2003, more than 110,000 students and 1,5000 teachers have participated in hands-on lessons onboard MdBioLab. By the end of the 2013/14 school year, MdBioLab will have served 10,000 students at 36 schools.