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2,800 SINGAPORE STUDENTS TO BENEFIT FROM NEW STEM PARTNERSHIP
Year Long Programme with Science Centre Singapore kicked off on World DNA Day as part of Illumina’s Future is Bright Initiative.
Illumina Singapore, subsidiary of Illumina Inc announced an inaugural partnership with the Science Centre Board to inspire 2,800 students through the power of genomics.
“The future of our Mission to improve human health is reliant on nurturing and equipping our future generations. We aim to inspire our youth to pursue STEM careers, support educators to bring genomics into the classroom and remove barriers for under-resourced groups,” said Sharon Vidal, Global Lead Corporate Social Responsibility, Illumina.
The year-long initiative begins with 2,500 primary and secondary students attending the DNA themed sessions at the Science Centre to learn about DNA and life sciences through hands-on DNA extraction experiments on fruits and other living organisms.
“At Science Centre, we believe that everyone should have equal access to STEM education and exploration. Hence, we are heartened to partner with Illumina to offer exciting and informative programmes to underserved communities as we celebrate our DNA Learning Lab’s 20th anniversary. Through initiatives like The Future is Bright, we are delivering programmes on DNA extraction to schools, the underserved, and the public,” said Associate Professor Lim Tit Meng, Chief Executive, Science Centre Board.
“Through this partnership, we will continue to engage the underserved communities so they can participate in the various science workshops and programmes we offer such as BrainFest and UNTAME. We want to empower students to explore the world of STEM and inspire the next generation of leaders. Together, we will ensure that all individuals have the opportunity to discover the wonders of science and technology,” said Lim Tit Meng.
STEM learning sessions will also be conducted for students from charity organizations and selected schools to grow their interest in life sciences and learn about different careers in the STEM sector.
Later in the year 300 students from underserved communities such as low-income families, at-risk youth and/or from social assistance programmes will have the opportunity to take part in “STEM is FUN-tastic”, a four-part series to grow and deepen their interest in different areas of STEM.
“In celebration of DNA Day each year, we host the “Future Is Bright,” a genomic literacy initiative that takes place over spring. Illumina employees connect with students by hosting career panels, implementing genomics curriculum, and leading hands-on experiments. This learning opportunity ties together genomic research, education and community impact,” Ms Vidal said.
Illumina is expanding its Future is Bright programme in APAC in 2023 by more than doubling its outreach to close to 5,000 students, from 1,400 in 2022. Future is Bright is Illumina’s flagship programme that seeks to increase equitable access to STEM education for all. Last year, the programme reached more than 90,000 learners, 1,600 community partners and 130 events with 1,500 employee volunteer hours. Illumina aims to reach five million STEM learners by 2030 globally.