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IDEXX Gives Lyman Moore "Science Makeover"

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IDEXX Gives Lyman Moore "Science Makeover"
Posted on 10/09/2014

IDEXX Laboratories has donated $18,000 in technology, equipment and 300 volunteer hours to give the Portland Public School’s Lyman Moore Middle School a “Super Science Makeover.” The makeover is the result of an innovative partnership between Lyman Moore and IDEXX designed to increase student exposure to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teaching and learning and careers.

As part of this initiative, IDEXX outfitted two science classrooms with the latest in classroom technology and equipment and new supplies, and provided employee volunteers to refurbish furniture, and clean and paint the two rooms.

The makeover was unveiled Thursday, Oct. 9, in teacher Pam Trieu’s sixth/seventh-grade science class during an interactive teaching demonstration attended by Portland Public Schools administrators; Portland Board of Education Chair Sarah Thompson; Maine Sen. Anne Haskell (D-Portland); Travis Kennedy, regional representative for U.S. Sen. Angus King; and IDEXX employees.

The focus of the new initiative is to expand the students’ study of animal biology to include companion animals (pets) and to expose them to related careers. Westbrook-based IDEXX Laboratories is a global market leader in diagnostics and information technology solutions for animal health and water and milk quality.

The students participated in an introductory lesson that involved their using the newly installed SMART board and projector and digital teaching microscopes.

Portland Public Schools Superintendent Emmanuel Caulk said, “When they graduate, our students will need skills that will make them competitive in a world of rapidly changing technology. This generous donation from IDEXX will help Lyman Moore Middle School students realize that goal."

Lyman Moore Principal Steve Rogers was enthusiastic about the collaboration and its implications for students. “We’re so pleased to be partnering with IDEXX and appreciate their willingness to support our students. Our vision for Lyman Moore is to be a leader in STEM in the classroom. IDEXX’s generous donation of equipment and volunteer time, and their willingness to share their scientific expertise with us is a huge step in this direction.”

IDEXX scientists and community veterinarians will be visiting the classes later in the school year to lend assistance and expertise as the students study canine and feline biology. The company will also be supporting a new STEM Club at the school where students will explore options in STEM careers, including veterinary medicine.  Club activities will include visits to local small- and large-animal veterinary practices.

Betsy Richards, Public Relations Manager for IDEXX, spoke about the company’s commitment to community. “Our motto at IDEXX is ‘Be Great, Do Good.’ The Super Science Makeover was a hands-on community project where we could really make a difference. As a global company in the STEM world, we want to do our part to inspire students to love science and think about careers that they may not have been previously exposed to.”

Richards praised Trieu as "one of the most passionate teachers" she has ever met and said Trieu asked IDEXX for help because she had only six microscopes to be shared by her four science classes of about 20 students each.

In addition to the 300 volunteer hours IDEXX employees donated, the company also donated technology equipment and supplies valued at over $18,000. The equipment and supplies included:

  • Panoramic white boards (2)
  • SMART projectors (2)
  • Document cameras (2)
  • Human, dog and cat skeleton models (2 each)
  • Teaching aids (posters, models, slides, safety glasses, specimen collection supplies)
  • Laboratory glassware and beaker drying racks
  • Microscopes (30)
  • Paint
  • Classroom shades

IDEXX employee volunteers donated 300 hours of time to:

  • Paint two classrooms
  • Replace furniture in two classrooms
  • Clean computers
  • Install window shades

In addition, IDEXX contracted with Headlight Audiovisual to install the interactive technology and provide training on the new tools for faculty.

Superintendent Caulk said, “We are preparing our students to be leaders in innovation. We thank IDEXX for partnering with our district as we pursue this goal, and we invite other businesses and other types of organizations to also partner with the Portland Public Schools in this effort.”

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Lyman Moore Middle School students Marlee Mellen (left) and Alexis Nicholas lead their classmates in a lesson on the scientific method, using a new SMART projector donated by IDEXX as part of a STEM initiative with the school.

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Lyman Moore Middle School sixth-grader Nate Hanscom uses one of the microscopes that IDEXX
donated to his classroom as part of a STEM initiative. Classmate Meredith Hunt looks on.

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Pictured, from left to right, are Jennifer Fitz, Betsy Richards, Tracy Hoffman, all IDEXX employees, standing to the left of a poster outlining a Lyman Moore and IDEXX STEM initiative. On the right side of the poster, back row, left to right, are Travis Kennedy, regional representative for U.S. Sen. Angus King,and Portland Public Schools Superintendent Emmanual Caulk. Left to right in the front row are Maine. Sen. Anne Haskell, Portland Board of Education Chair Sarah Thompson and Lyman Moore Principal Steve Rogers.