Elizabeth Schar (pictured far left) of the Ravenswood Science Initiative is the winner of 2016 Biotechnology Educator Award, presented by the California Life Sciences Association (CLSA). Part of CLSA’s 2016 Pantheon DiNA Awards program, the Biotechnology Educator Award is an honor awarded to California’s most dedicated and selfless biotechnology educators.
Elizabeth was recognized for her contributions to the Ravenswood City School District, which has two schools in Menlo Park and additional schools in East Palo Alto. Operating under the motto: “If you want peace, work for justice,” she ended her 30-year career as a marketer for large-scale brands, including Oscar Mayer, Walt Disney World and the World Health Organization, to help address the inequities in sciences education within the school district.
Through the Menlo Church and the Ravenswood Education Foundation, Elizabeth recruited volunteers and gathered the resources needed to help brings hands-on science experiments into the Ravenswood classrooms for the first time.
In recognition of her effort and the work of the initiative, American Laboratory Trading Inc. (ALT) provided $25,000 in laboratory equipment to the Ravenswood Education Foundation.
“We appreciate American Laboratory Trading’s generous donation,” said Renu Nanda, executive director of the Ravenswood Education Foundation. “The equipment will help ensure that our children are well prepared for science in high school and beyond.”
The Ravenswood Science Initiative was founded in 2008, stemming from a need to better prepare middle school students for success in their high school sciences classes. Within the Ravenswood City School District, two out of three students failed to earn their high school diplomas.
Freshmen within the district had inadequate levels of knowledge and skillsets due in part to the deficit of hands-on experience in middle school, causing them to become uninterested and in turn, skip their science classes. Through lab support to middle school teachers within the district, the Ravenswood Science Initiative, with support from the Ravenswood Education Foundation, aims to better prepare middle school students for success in their high school science classes.