Maine Mobile BIOLAB Brings STEM Education to Maine Middle Schoolers

Maine Mobile BIOLAB Brings STEM Education to Maine Middle Schoolers

Bioscience is a burgeoning business sector in Maine, and outreach programs are making sure students across the state know about it. Educate Maine, an education advocacy organization, is exciting students and teachers with creative STEM-related programs to help prepare the next generation of life scientists and to encourage talent to stay in-state when it comes time to find employment.

Maine currently offers approximately 9,000 jobs in the life sciences and as companies continue to grow, they need high school and college graduates in STEM fields to be ready with experience and skills. The members of Educate Maine, along with the Bioscience Association of Maine (BioME) and other groups, are creating programs and educational opportunities that bring biotech awareness to students, and more importantly, bring firsthand experiential learning directly to their schools. Their latest project, the Maine Mobile BIOLAB, aims to make laboratory science available to middle school students in rural communities.

lab table and stools with screenJanee Pelletier of Learning Undefeated, says, "The mobile lab will totally change the way that Maine students think about biotechnology careers. It is so difficult for students to visualize job opportunities if they don't know someone who works in the field. This program will help them realize that biotech in Maine is a vibrant career path with many avenues for meaningful work and financial stability." Learning Undefeated has successfully rolled out mobile labs in many other states and is excited to bring the concept to Maine.

Last week our FlowCam team had the honor of attending a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Maine Mobile BIOLAB in the state capitol of Augusta. This rolling laboratory is contained in two trailers totaling 50 feet long and has been built to accommodate 24 students and 2 educators.

The various stations on board the mobile lab include a "Micropipette Challenge", where students will learn about measurements and lab equipment, "Parasite Predicament", an activity about diagnostics, and a FlowCam station, where the kids will get to visualize microscopic particles and organisms as they flow through the instrument and are captured by FlowCam's software. FlowCam will give middle schoolers a glimpse at some of the innovative technology available in today's bioscience labs that they wouldn't normally be exposed to - and hopefully excite their curiosity about working in a real laboratory.

Watch a video about the launch of the Maine Mobile BioLab

4 women standing at lab bench with FlowCam instrument

We believe in the power of STEM education and are committed to making a positive impact in our community. That's why we are thrilled to be participating in a variety of educational events throughout the year. Our scientific team includes passionate educators who love bringing FlowCam technology to students and igniting a love of science in the next generation.

This Friday we'll be participating in the Maine Science Festival, where we'll be engaging with students in 7th and 8th grade from across the state. As proud sponsors of BioME, we also get the opportunity to visit schools every year for Maine Bioscience Day. We can't wait to see the excitement on the students' faces as they see FlowCam in action, and we're honored to be a part of their educational journey towards a brighter future.

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