Bristol-Myers Squibb Donates $50,000 to Ayer Middle-High School
Accepting a $50,000 donation is (from left): Ayer Middle-High School Principal Don Parker, Ayer Middle-High School Teacher Martina Kenyon, with Bristol-Myers Squibb Vice President of Devens Operations Chris Perley and Bristol-Myers Squibb Associate Director of Supply Chain and Community Outreach Team Lead.
Thanks to a $50,000 donation from Bristol-Myers Squibb, students at Ayer Middle-High School in Ayer, Massachusetts, will be conducting more hands-on, inquiry-based science experiments.
“Ayer Middle-High School has always strived to incorporate meaningful, hands-on activities into our science curriculum,” said Don Parker, Ayer Middle-High School principal. “While we have been able to accomplish this to a small degree with our current budget, this generous donation from BMS will allow us to provide students with experience conducting experiments and analyzing data using some exciting technology. It will also allow us to invest in a moderate facility upgrade that will improve lab safety by updating our storage, ventilation and lab work areas,” he added.
“Science is at the core of everything we do at Bristol-Myers Squibb and in order to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers, students need to conduct relevant science experiments in a safe environment,” said Chris Perley, vice president and general manager of Bristol-Myers Squibb Devens operations.
The funds will be used in part to purchase lab equipment that will allow students to gather data within the classroom and around the school. The lab kits that will be purchased include such data collection tools as temperature and pH sensors, motion detectors, heart EKG and respiration monitors, and digital input microscopes, all of which can be connected to graphing calculators or laptops to enable both data collection and analysis. “Our goal is to encourage scientific inquiry and understanding in a way that is relevant to our students,” said Scott Boyd, Ayer Middle-High School Science department head.
The Ayer Middle-High School staff is seeking the technical expertise of Bristol-Myers Squibb staff in planning the lab space upgrades. Current plans include repairing the ventilation system in the labs, updating the lab storage and improving the lab stations in preparation for their use with the lab kits. “Having access to highly skilled, knowledgeable facilities experts will help us tremendously so that we can plan for the future,” said Don Parker.
As a leading BioPharma company, Bristol-Myers Squibb is committed to making the study of science and technology exciting to young learners who will one day discover the cures of tomorrow.
In the three years since the company began construction in Devens, Bristol-Myers Squibb has assisted in the creation of a biotechnology/biomanufacturing degree program at Mt. Wachusett Community College and at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Additionally, employees have participated in numerous community activities including participation in Habitat for Humanity, Loaves and Fishes, and activities that protect an endangered species, the blanding turtle.