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3D cadavers and enhanced makerspaces: Regeneron STS 2021 awards helps scholar schools in a variety of ways

By Gayle Kansagor

Regeneron STS 2021 awards helps scholar schools in a variety of ways

Each January, 300 top STEM students are named scholars in the Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS), the nation’s most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. With this accolade, comes a $2,000 award for not only the named scholar, but also a $2,000 award for each school they represent.

In 2021 alone, 184 scholar schools received a total of $600,000 as part of the Regeneron STS. The funding supported a variety of the schools’ STEM needs, including supplies, equipment, departmental support, science fair registrations and school clubs.

Some scholar school administrators shared that they intended to purchase a range of specialized equipment catering to specific student projects including a Mettler Toledo balance scale, fluorescence spectrophotometers, stereo microscopes, a mini flow cytometer, Vernier plunger carts and gel electrophoresis boxes. Other schools indicated that the funds would be used to buy general lab equipment, such as computers, pipettes and probes while others said that they would use the funding to replace old, broken or out-of-date equipment. One school in New Jersey, for example, shared they would use the money to fix their broken Autoclave control board.  Another school in New York reported that they are in the process of building a new science center and would use the funds to support that project.

The funds for scholar schools are not only being used for tangible materials but also for after school programming, enrichment materials for teachers and educational software for independent student research projects. One Connecticut school plans to use the funding to support travel involved in students’ independent research while a school in Ohio will use the funds to bring in guest speakers.

Other creative ways of how this funding will be used include:

  • A New York school planned to host a virtual tour of the Kennedy Space Center for their Academic Enrichment Club.
  • A Virginia school wants to create a space where science equipment is more easily accessible to students during hours outside of classes.
  • While another Ohio school plans to purchase a 3D cadaver, a machine that would allow students to explore the human body in a deep, authentic way.
  • A California school intends to purchase two Backyard Brains recording systems: one system that would study cockroaches and the other would function as a human EEG.

Stay tuned for this year’s top 300 scholar announcement, to take place on Jan. 6, 2022. Follow our hashtag #RegeneronSTS