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WIB-Capital Region: YWIB Capital Region Spring into STEM 2019: Biotechnology and Careers in Life Sciences, March 28, 2019

Posted By Gelareh Abulwerdi , Tuesday, April 23, 2019

On March 28th, Emergent BioSolutions welcomed about 45 students representing four high schools in the DC metro area to their headquarters in Gaithersburg, MD. Emergent BioSolutions is a global organization that develops, manufactures, and delivers a portfolio of medical countermeasures for biological and chemical threats, existing and emerging infectious diseases, as well as a treatment for opioid overdose. The students participated in an engaging and interactive, 2½-hour educational experience that consisted of a career panel, lab tour, discussion on DNA, and lunch networking opportunity.

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With the goal of connecting with the next generation of scientific talent, Lisa Richardson, Senior Director of Corporate Development, facilitated a discussion with panelists from different functional areas. The panel consisting entirely of female executives included the following individuals: Hansilla Alaigh, Director External Development, Jyoti Koushik, Senior Human Resources Business Partner, Laura Saward, Senior Vice President and Head of the Antibody Therapeutics Business Unit, Michelle Saylor, Director of Antibiotics Research and Development, Trudy Tucker, Principal Scientist Fermentation, and Kelly Warfield, Vice President of Vaccines and Anti-Infectives. Ellen Lawrence, Glenda Soriano, Heidi Swaim, Carleton Barbour, and John O’Lear, also served as presenters and lab tour guides. During the lab tour, the students looked visibly excited as they donned their personal protective equipment before entering the lab. The panelists, presenters, and tour guides all shared their background, how their interest in STEM helped them navigate their careers, their roles within the company, and how they contribute to the overall mission of Emergent. Their inspiring stories generated a lot of questions from the highly-engaged students and the work Emergent does sparked curiosity about public health and other issues.


“Throughout my 10 years of organizing student visits and lab tours, this is by far the most socially aware and most interested group of students I have seen,” said Ellen Lawrence, Principal Scientist and Emergent’s Corporate Social Responsibility Team Lead for Montgomery County/DC. “Their school buses were outside waiting to leave, but the questions just kept coming – how do you lower the cost of medicines, what makes a good hire, have you applied CRISPR in the work that you do, how did your company start – just a variety of interesting questions.”

“I cannot thank you all enough, the field trip was a fantastic experience!” said José Pomarino, Science National Honor Society President. 

“The trip was amazing because it made me really hopeful and I loved the pen so much,” said Ainsley Pollock, Wakefield High School student.

At the conclusion of the event, each participant received a swag bag filled with giveaways. To say the least, it was a productive and meaningful day. From the organizers’ perspectives, it was not about the pizza or the giveaways or the day off from school that truly made this day fun – it was all about the conversations and learning! Throughout the day, participants were able to learn more about what a career in the life sciences really entails. YWIB Capital Region would like to thank our volunteers who supported this event. We would especially like to thank Miko Neri, Senior Director Corporate Communications, for her efforts in coordinating this event and Emergent BioSolutions for providing such an awesome opportunity for a diverse group of high school students.

Tags:  2019 

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WIB-Capital Region: YWIB Kid Museum Event, March 24, 2019

Posted By Gelareh Abulwerdi, Monday, April 15, 2019
KID museum hosted Girl Power Day on March 24th in Bethesda, MD.  Volunteers from Young Women In Bio (YWIB) – Capital Region participated in the event as STEM experts to engage in informal sessions with the girls and their families. Young Women In Bio hosted hands-on activities in Neuroscience Section. The activities are (i) muscle spiker activity with electrodes to measure the activity of your muscles in response to movement, (ii) brain hat activity to color different parts of the brain and make a colorful hat to take home and (iii) brain anatomy model. Volunteers from YWIB spearheaded the brain anatomy model activity. Each girl was provided with a disassembled brain model. With the guidance of the volunteer, the girls learned the different parts of the brain and its functions as they build the model.

The volunteers also engaged in conversations with the parents to provide insights about the fundamentals of the brain and brain disorders. Our conversations were well-received by the parents. YWIB Capital region would like to thank KID museum for hosting the event, Claire Cocciole, Director of Maker and Community Partnerships for organizing the event with YWIB and our volunteers who came to support our event and helped make the event a success.

Read more about the highlights of the event.

Tags:  2019 

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WIB-Capital Region AAAS Family Science Days, February 16 & 17, 2019

Posted By Gelareh Abulwerdi , Tuesday, March 19, 2019

American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) Family Science Days occurred on February 16th and 17th in Washington D.C. Family Science Days is a free public event that offers hands-on, kid-friendly activities. The event ran from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on both days with over 3150 guests in attendance. Young Women In Bio (YWIB) participated in the event as an exhibitor for both the days. Young women who are high school students from Montgomery County public school system performed the demonstrations and activities for YWIB.

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YWIB had two hands-on activities. The first activity consisted of identifying different organs and building a human anatomy model, while the other activity involved making an edible DNA helix using pieces of candy. In the first activity, each child was given a disassembled human torso model. With the help of YWIB volunteers, the children learned the functions of each organ as they assembled the model. Upon completion, each participant was allowed to spin a wheel to claim their prize. The prizes included rock candy, a lollipop, or a YWIB sticker. Approximately 500-600 children participated in this activity.

For the second activity, each child was given a packet comprised of Twizzlers, Gummy Bears, marshmallows, and toothpicks. With the help of volunteers, each participant made a DNA helix while learning about the composition of DNA – phosphate group, bases, hydrogen bonds, and sugar. Upon completion of the activity, participants could eat their edible DNA helix. Approximately 175 children participated in this event.

YWIB Capital Region had a great turn out for the event, and our activities were well-received by the attendees. One young man who participated in the edible DNA helix activity stated that “it was more fun and engaging than he had anticipated”.

YWIB Capital Region would like to thank the event organizer, Ms. Stacey Baker, AAAS, and the event sponsors – Analog Devices Inc, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Subaru for sponsoring the 2019 Family Science Days. We also would like to thank our YWIB volunteers and high school students who carved out time to support us over the weekend, and helped make the event a success.

Tags:  2019 

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Previous Past Event Recaps

Posted By Marsha Morgenstern, Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Click here for Young Women In Bio Capital Region 2018 Past Events

Click here for Young Women In Bio Capital Region 2017 Past Events

Click here for Young Women In Bio Capital Region 2016 Past Events

Click here for Young Women In Bio Capital Region 2015 Past Events

Tags:  2015  2016  2017  2018 

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