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Local Partnership Addresses Lagging Scores and Interest in Science and Math Among Students
Date:5/20/2011

EAST HANOVER, N.J. and PARSIPPANY, N.J., May 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- During a 'Day of Science,' more than 30 middle school students from Newark Science Park High School experienced what it was like to be scientists for a day during a behind-the-scenes mentoring program hosted by Students 2 Science, Inc. (S2S). The "A Day in the Life of a Scientist" program is one of many integrated full-year science education programs offered by S2S that seeks to address the fact that American high school students lag significantly behind other industrialized nations in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects. This particular initiative provides middle and high school students the opportunity to work directly with science professionals to perform hands-on experiments using sophisticated laboratory instruments. Through funding and mentoring support provided in-part from Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., S2S developed the program, purchased laboratory supplies and provided teacher stipends for curriculum development work.

New research from The National Math and Science Initiative showed that only a fraction of American college undergraduate students (five percent) go on to earn college degrees in science and engineering, compared to 42 percent of college undergraduates in China, for example. According to a study conducted in 2009 by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, 78 percent of eighth-graders and 79 percent of twelfth-graders did not meet expected science proficiency scores. Scores in the STEM subjects typically decline in urban-area schools in the U.S., where a lack of access to technical professionals, laboratory space and scientific instrumentation hold back learning opportunities and stifle young students' thirst for scientific exploration.

During the 'Day of Science', students were mentored by professionals, including research scientists, health economics experts and medical fellows from Daiichi Sankyo, who worked alongside the seventh and eighth graders in the lab to conduct a series of "real world" scientific experiments, including:

  • "I Can't Believe I ate the Whole Thing," where students titrated unknown antacids using indicators and a pH meter to determine the strength;
  • "Working with Solutions," where teams prepare and explore various physical properties of solutions;
  • "Ouch!!! How do Sunscreens Work," where students analyze active ingredients in commercial sunscreens and prepare their own formulation;
  • "Time to go Green," where students use density and solubility to identify polystyrene from a variety of unknown plastics and the viscosity and molecular weight to determine if the material is suitable to be recycled into CD cases.

"It is a rare opportunity for students to see what goes on behind the doors of scientific labs, but through our partnership with Daiichi Sankyo, we are providing a glimpse of what a career in the field of science means in terms young students can easily understand," said Paul A. Winslow, Ph.D., President and Co-Founder of Students 2 Science. "The students and the lab mentors share a common bond of passion for science, and we enjoy providing an opportunity for each to inspire one another."

"Scientific curiosity and discovery are the foundation of the pharmaceutical industry and are what leading companies like ours count on to make scientific breakthroughs in medicine," said John Gargiulo, President and CEO, Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. "With dramatic successes in the battles against heart disease, cancer and other previously untreated diseases, mentoring, inspiring and supporting young students is part of our company's responsibility to sustain and nurture innovation."

S2S' East Hanover facility houses approximately 4,000 sq feet of commercial laboratory space equipped with state of the art instrumentation to perform wet chemistry, organic chemistry, chromatography, spectroscopy, biology, botany, biotechnology, ecology, environmental science, computer science, engineering and robotics. It has the capacity to host approximately 10,000 students per year.

About Science 2 Students

Students 2 Science, Inc. is a New Jersey non-profit corporation inspiring, motivating, and educating students to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Encouraging STEM subjects is especially important for minority, underrepresented, inner-city, and women students who traditionally have considered these fields of study to be unattractive or out of reach. We make our program available to all students. For more information, visit www.students2science.org.

About Daiichi Sankyo

The Daiichi Sankyo Group is dedicated to the creation and supply of innovative pharmaceutical products to address the diversified, unmet medical needs of patients in both mature and emerging markets. While maintaining its portfolio of marketed pharmaceuticals for hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and bacterial infections, the Group is engaged in the development of treatments for thrombotic disorders and focused on the discovery of novel oncology and cardiovascular-metabolic therapies. Furthermore, the Daiichi Sankyo Group has created a "Hybrid Business Model," which will respond to market and customer diversity and optimize growth opportunities across the value chain. For more information, please visit www.daiichisankyo.com.

Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, is a member of the Daiichi Sankyo Group.  For more information on Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., please visit www.dsi.com.


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SOURCE Daiichi Sankyo, Inc.
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