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“VERTEX AND BGA TEAM UP TO ADVANCE SCIENCE EDUCATION”
September 28, 2012–Vertex Pharmaceuticals is one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies that works to cure diseases and improve people’s lives, and on September 28th, the company brought its powers into the classrooms – and the gymnasium – at Boston Green Academy.
In June 2012, Vertex announced a partnership with the Boston Public Schools to improve science education. Working exclusively with BGA and Excel High School, Vertex aims to make improvements by allowing students to work hands-on with scientists through service days and internships, and also provides university scholarships, research fellowships for teachers, and access to state-of-the-art lab space.
To commence this groundbreaking partnership, Vertex employees – including the Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Peter Mueller, and Chief Financial Officer, Ian Smith – visited BGA for a Day of Service. The day began with Dr. Mueller addressing the student body on the future of science and pharmaceuticals, during which he also fielded questions about his career path and offered advice to our students. Shortly after, students got their own chance to dabble with advanced science.
Bryan Vought, Senior Research Scientist, led students in an experiment to purify their own DNA. And in classrooms throughout the school, an array of Vertex employees from different sectors of the company spoke with students about their personal and professional backgrounds, and why a career in science pays off.
Not only did students walk away from the day with a heightened knowledge of Vertex, its employees and the advantages of a career in science – they also walked off with sweet treats from Stonyfield, who stopped by at dismissal with a delicious donation of ice cream, milk and cookies.
While the day had ended for students, the staff around school was gearing-up for a more competitive conclusion: after dismissal, the staffs of BGA and Vertex went head-to-head in a soccer match in the school’s gym. Although the competition was fierce and the injuries were numerous, the BGA team had the advantage of several student athletes, and walked away with a 4-1 win.
All games aside, it is clear to see that the partnership between BGA and Vertex is a win for all. We look forward to growing this successful collaboration so that the students who walk our halls today may become the Vertex employees of tomorrow.
August 1, 2012–This past August, Boston Green Academy students Luisney Diaz and Stanasa Dowdye traveled to Kyoto, Japan to join other young adults from 9 cities across the globe for the Kyoto Sister Cities Youth Conference. Accompanied by Virginia McNally, AP Environmental Science teacher, students met to discuss the future of global environmental issues, including their own presentation on an issue that strikes close to home.
Selected based upon their leadership and excellence in the sciences, Luisney and Stanasa convened with students representing various corners of the world including Cologne, Germany and Paris, France. For three days, students convened at the Kyoto International Community House at Sakyo Ward, where they discussed numerous global environmental issues and actively problem-solved solutions for future change.
Luisney and Stanasa elaborated on the early development of the Boston Main Drainage System, established in 1884. Being a major port since 1660, Boston Harbor earned notoriety as the “filthiest harbor in the nation,” with the majority of waste greatly impacting the native aquatic life within the harbor, including striped bass, herring, bluefish, harbor seals, and porpoises. It was not until legal action was taken against the city of Boston for change to happen in the form of treatment plants.
The presentation spoke to the global issue of efficient and sustainable waste disposal without compromising natural resources and habitats. Working diligently to reduce their carbon footprint and those of their peers, Luisney and Stanasa proudly represented BGA in this global movement to protect our Earth and to ensure a brighter, “greener” future for all of us.
Tying nicely into their AP Environmental Science class curriculum, Luisney and Stanasa embodied the true meaning of being “green” both in name and action as Boston Green Academy students.
“THE PLAY ‘GOOD PEOPLE’ PROVIDES A GOOD MESSAGE FOR BGA STUDENTS”
September 27, 2012–Students from surrounding neighborhoods of the Greater Boston Area gathered at the Huntington Theater to celebrate a particularly infamous neighborhood—South Boston—in the compelling and humorous play “Good People.” The play hit close to home as Boston Green Academy seniors enjoyed this wonderfully captivating piece that embraced what it truly means to be from “Southie”. Marked with thick “Southie” accents and witty commentary, the play masterfully wove themes of financial struggles, class, and how luck and opportunity forge our life’s path.
Written by playwright, David Lindsey-Abaire, the play follows Margie Walsh, a single mother recently out of a job, and her pursuit of a comfortable life. As misfortunate plagues her life she seeks out a flame from her past in hopes of finding a new beginning. Students experienced the trials and tribulations of adult life, making due with what one has, and the importance of taking advantage of the opportunities that are presented. Following the play, students were able to participate in an open question and answer forum with the cast “Good People” where they delved deeper into the underlying messages of the performance. Through good humor students were able to take away good messages for the future.
“FROM S’MORES TO SUSTAINABLE ENERGY—STUDENTS CREATE SOLAR POWER OVENS AT BGA”
September 21, 2012–Did you know that half of the world population must burn wood or dried dung to cook their food and boil clean water. This leads to widespread deforestation, the spread of disease, and malnutrition. A feasible solution to this problem is solar oven technology. This solution allows the community to be self-reliant and sustainable, alleviating struggles that people face every day. Students in Erica Wilson’s Sustainable Engineering course are well on their way to doing just that and paving the way for the future of solar energy.
Students were asked to research solar oven designs and learn the physics principles behind maximizing the heat energy inside their creative, “green” appliance. They used resourceful materials to build their solar ovens such as tinfoil, mirrors, and seran wrap. In a culminating activity, the class then tested their designs using Vernier NSpire temperature probes that tested the efficiency of their ovens. The result: an increased in temperature by 90° F in only 20 minutes, some very tasty s’mores, and knowledge that will literally power the future.