Regeneron Perspectives

Nurturing The Spark & Celebrating Stars

Our long-term commitment to fostering the next generation of scientists
Hala Mirza, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications and Citizenship December 12, 2019

When I was a kid, we used to visit the science museum regularly, and my favorite exhibit was an electrostatic dome. If you placed your hand on it, your hair would stand up. We would all fight over who got to go first — and in the process we learned a few things about physics and electricity.

I still remember how much that hair-raising science awed me and made me want to learn more. Today, as the head of Corporate Communications and Citizenship, part of my mission is to bring Regeneron’s passion for science to those outside of our walls.

We believe in creating opportunities that spark an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and help motivate and inspire budding scientists. Today we announced two exciting new programs to further this commitment — the Regeneron DNA Learning Center and the Regeneron title sponsorship of the storied International Science & Engineering Fair. These new initiatives, coupled with our broad existing efforts, strive to inspire and empower bright young minds on their journey from scientific spark to future innovators.

1. Expose young minds to the power of science

“Start ‘em young,” as they say. We wholeheartedly agree. From early on, fun and engaging STEM activities can ignite a spark in students and build connections to science.

The Regeneron DNA Learning Center, in collaboration with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, is a premier destination for hands-on science education. We invested $4 million in the new 4,700-square-foot center located on our Sleepy Hollow campus in Westchester County, N.Y. Our ultimate goal is to excite young students about science in their own backyard. Our two state-of-the-art teaching labs have already begun hosting local middle and high school field trips during the school year and will offer summer camps and semester- or year-long research projects.

2. Equip students with scientific skills

We want to help students build critical skills and mindsets that prepare them for future science careers. Teachers make all the difference, so we support programs — like the STEM Teaching Fellowship program — that enhance their preparedness and effectiveness as they nurture scientific leaders of tomorrow. We also support independent student research initiatives for students in underprivileged communities, including the Yonkers Partners in Education STEM Research Institute.

3. Elevate the best and brightest young scientists

As our co-founders Len and George frequently say, when we live in a world where scientists are the heroes, all of society wins. We strive to celebrate and elevate young scientific innovators so that over time, they are looked up to in the same way kids today revere athletes or celebrity entertainers. Science is not an easy endeavor — it requires grit, rigor and innovation, and this type of encouragement is critical to ensuring these talented young people continue to pursue a meaningful STEM career. I’m incredibly proud that Regeneron is now the top sponsor of both the most prestigious U.S. and international science competitions for high school students.

The Regeneron Science Talent Search, the oldest and most prestigious math and science competition in the country, will continue to be instrumental in cultivating, challenging and rewarding top scientific talent in the U.S. Now, we’re widening that impact with our title sponsorship of the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), which is also run by the Society for Science & the Public. Through our five-year commitment to Regeneron ISEF, we aim to provide pathways for top talent to compete on a global stage and encourage them to turn this passion in STEM into a career.

4. Investing in the future of innovation

Ultimately, we want every student to have the opportunity to get that spark — whether a true electric charge as it was in my case, or a different moment of wonder. We are proud to be a company that invests in elevating science in society and celebrating talented young people. Investing in these students is an investment in our collective future. They will discover innovations that solve some of the greatest challenges facing society. We can’t wait to see what they do next.

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