Assabet programs seeking votes for Saint-Gobain contest


Assabet programs seeking votes for Saint-Gobain contest
Instructor Maria Bennes shows biotechnology students how cells would look in the fluorescence microscope and what the colors could mean to a diagnosis.

MARLBOROUGH – Not one but two technical programs at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School have made it to the final rounds of competition in a new grant program offered by Saint-Gobain North America.

Assabet’s biotechnology program is one of four Massachusetts schools competing at the silver level, while the metal fabrication program is competing for bronze.

The contest is called “Sustaining Futures, Raising Communities.” The program is focused on enhancing spaces in the communities where Saint-Gobain’s employees live, work and raise their families using both Saint-Gobain materials and other donations.
This is the first year this particular grant program has been available, and the company is very pleased with the interest from the local schools.

Senior VP of Human Resources and Communications at Saint-Gobain North America Magda Dexter said their products and solutions enable Saint-Gobain customers to build safer, stronger and more sustainable communities.

“Our 2022 Sustaining Futures, Raising Communities program will help the educators and students of those communities create something of their own – better learning environments where they can collectively thrive and grow,” Dexter said. “We feel so inspired by the response we’ve received to this program.”

What the Assabet programs are requesting

The biotechnology program is requesting a fluorescence microscope.

Biotechnology instructor Maria Bennes said the tool will help Assabet students gain skills to research new drugs and diagnose diseases. These are skills the students will use in their future job and education, she said.

“The scientists that will change the world are here at Assabet Valley,” Bennes said.

Meanwhile, the metal fabrication program is in need of raw materials.

Metal fabrication instructor Chris Wittmier said the rising costs of raw materials are a stumbling block for the curriculum for budding welders and iron workers.

“Some of our raw materials have jumped 80% in price over the last couple of years,” Wittmier said. “That is not sustainable on a school budget, but we certainly don’t want to reduce the number of hands-on projects for our students.”

Wittmier said Assabet hopes it can continue to create the future workforce with the help of companies like Saint-Gobain that are willing to donate materials.

Voting goes through Oct. 18

Both programs are asking students, families, and the local public to vote daily for their silver and bronze levels.

The public is invited to vote for one school at each level in their state every day through Oct.18. The winners will be announced on Oct. 27. Multiple votes are permitted.

Vote online at

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