Polito announces $50k biomedical science grant for Shrewsbury High School

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By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter

Shrewsbury High School Principal Todd Bazydlo with Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
Photo/Melanie Petrucci

Shrewsbury – Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito stopped by Shrewsbury High School March 12 with some very good news for the school. She addressed an assembly of students from various science classes with the news that SHS will receive a $50,000 grant to fund a biomedical science program that will enhance the school’s curriculum.

“It’s not a surprise to you that, here in central Massachusetts, we have a lot of life science jobs. Now, why would that be? Is there one entity in central Massachusetts that might be the engine for that kind of healthcare delivery system? We have UMass Hospital, we have UMass Medical School and we have the research and development…all that’s happening right here in your back yard,” Polito said.

“Today’s announcement will allow you to have more of that lab experience, specifically around life sciences and biology. The $50,000 grant over the next few years will help your educators develop their expertise to bring that hands-on learning environment here, to the high school, and build on what you have here,” she added. “Your talent, your expertise, your skills are needed here in your hometown, in your home region and in this Commonwealth of Massachusetts,”

Polito serves as co-chair of the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council. The council serves as coordinator, bringing together state agencies, the legislature, and public and private entities involved in STEM education.

This award is part of the state’s STEM Career Pathways Grant which links STEM education with real world workforce and is also supported by the One8 Foundation and Mass STEM Hub.

“We are very excited to have this grant opportunity, mainly because it’s going to open up opportunities for students to take classes that they would not normally be able to take,” said Shrewsbury High School Director of Science and Engineering David Hruskoci. “For instance, we offer AP biology, we offer Honors human anatomy and physiology and there are some students that are not qualified to take those classes but they still maintain an interest in biomedical sciences. We feel that this pathway is going to allow the opportunity for those students to take courses that continue to drive their interest.”

According to Mass STEM Hub, these grant funds will strengthen the school’s program by adding a three-course biomedical science pathway, supporting teacher professional development and funding the purchase of materials and equipment.

“These kinds of state/private partnerships are critical to connect K-12 education because we have great ideas that we want to execute but we need the resources to do them,” said Superintendent Dr. Joseph Sawyer. “This grant funding is very much appreciated.”