Watson Chronicle


Watson College News

Junior Seahawk Academy Receives Grant from the Biogen Foundation

Monday, April 04, 2016

The Watson College is pleased to announce that the Junior Seahawk Academy has received a $4,500 “Ignite the Power of STEM” grant from the Biogen Foundation. The funds will be used to expand field experiences and project-based learning for middle school students who attend the educational summer day program.

The Biogen Foundation’s “Ignite the Power of STEM” program awards grants to support science education programs and projects that expand and enhance science education at the elementary, middle and/or high school levels. The program is administered by the North Carolina Community Foundation.

The Junior Seahawk Academy aims to engage students ages 10-14 from underserved populations, with a focus on STEM education and exploratory learning. A key goal of the program is to raise students’ interest in careers in the fields of STEM, health care and education. 

“The grant will enable us to provide a mentoring network and more community-based opportunities for students,” said Angie Reid-Griffin, WCE associate professor and coordinator of the Junior Seahawk Academy (JSA) program.

The funding will support transportation so that we can arrange specialized talks with STEM and health care professionals, and tours of STEM and health care facilities in the region, she said. The grant funds will also enable the JSA to purchase materials to expand hands-on learning projects offered on campus.

“At JSA, we teach middle school students to value science, technology, engineering and mathematics by showing them how these subjects impact our everyday life,” Reid-Griffin said. “This grant will enable us to provide learning opportunities to increase students’ faculty and mastery in STEM, and field experiences that enable them to explore how careers in these fields influence society and the world around them.”

Reid-Griffin helped to spearhead the Junior Seahawk Academy at UNCW in 2005, and has served as coordinator of the program since 2007.

In 2016, two sessions of Junior Seahawk Academy will be offered: a one-week session from June 27-July 1, and a two-week session from July 5-15. Registration for both sessions is now open.

For information, visit www.uncw.edu/ed/jrseahawk.

About the Biogen Foundation

The mission of the Biogen Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives and contribute to the vitality of the communities in which Biogen operates. The Biogen Foundation is committed to sparking a passion for science and discovery, supporting innovative STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiatives, and strengthening efforts to make science accessible to diverse populations. Visit the Foundation’s webpage for more – www.biogen.com/foundation.

About the North Carolina Community Foundation

The NCCF is the single statewide community foundation serving North Carolina and has made $101 million in grants since its inception in 1988. With more than $237 million in assets, NCCF sustains 1,200 endowments established to provide long-term support of a broad range of community needs, nonprofit organizations, institutions and scholarships. NCCF partners with 60 affiliate foundations to provide local resource allocation and community assistance in 67 counties across the state, with an emphasis on rural areas.