State Sen. Majority Leader Bob Duff of Norwalk joined Laura McCabe, senior director of advocacy and strategic alliances of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), today to announce a new educational grant to support The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk’s TeMPEST program for teens.
TeMPEST is a program at The Maritime Aquarium for students in grades 9-12 that focuses on science, engineering and the environment. In sessions offered after school or on weekends, students use Aquarium resources to explore and experiment in such themes as sustainability, ecology and engineering.
It’s free to the students, thanks to gifts and grants from such Aquarium partners as PhRMA.
“The biopharmaceutical industry is committed to supporting America’s future innovators,” McCabe said. “STEM programs that incorporate hands-on experiences allow students to gain valuable experience. The concepts they learn here at The Maritime Aquarium will better prepare them for their future careers in STEM fields.”
Besides announcing the new funding support, McCabe and Duff met with several TeMPEST students to talk about furthering their STEM education and the many opportunities to apply those skills in the biopharmaceutical sector.
“The Maritime Aquarium provides innovative STEM educational experiences for our students,” Duff said. “By being selected to receive a STEM Talent Pipeline grant, these students will receive the type of hands-on learning that goes far beyond classroom walls. The skills learned through this unique program will prepare every student for whatever their future studies and careers may bring.”
Tom Naiman, the Aquarium’s director of Education, called TeMPEST – which won a national education award from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums in 2016 – “one of the most successful things we’ve done.”
“Gifts like this from PhRMA make a very real difference in making what we do at the Aquarium accessible to these and literally thousands of other students,” Naiman said.
Aquarium President Jason Patlis said the gift “defines successful conservation in this day and age.”
“It’s having private support from PhRMA, and it’s having public leadership from Sen. Duff,” Patlis said. “This public-private partnership, which comes though The Maritime Aquarium, serves the students who are learning, serves conservation, and serves the resources we care about.”
For more information about the Aquarium’s educational programs, exhibits and events, go to www.maritimeaquarium.org.
For more information about the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, visit www.phrma.org.