Catalent staff lead biology program for GRC students
Published 9:20 am Thursday, November 30, 2017
Students at George Rogers Clark High School got a special lesson in biology and microbiology from staff members at Catalent Pharma Solutions Wednesday afternoon.
According to Research and Development Project Manager Roger Croucher, the program was done as a part of Winchester Catalent’s day of service, a day done at each of the company’s branches centered on giving back to the community in some way.
“Our focus is on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math),” Croucher said. “Our goal is to pique interest in students both in STEM and in Catalent.”
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About 12 Catalent workers visited three classes at the high school, giving a presentation on what the company does and the various forms of medications it creates. They then demonstrated to students how a medicine is dissolved and spread through the body using vinegar and candy and showed how Catalent’s microbiology lab identifies and studies different bacteria.
The company chose to visit GRC for its day of service, but Catalent has been active for years as a member of Partners in Education working with Robert D. Campbell Jr. High School, an effort that has seen a resurgence this year.
“In prior years we would have three to seven volunteers,” Croucher said. “This year we have well over 20 volunteers able to impact 28 students at RDC through mentoring.”
He said the mentoring work the volunteers do takes several forms, from homework help to just lending an ear to students and being there to talk to them when they’re experiencing academic problems.
During the day of service, Catalent officials also presented the winners of a contest involving GRC’s Project Lead The Way program. As part of the contest, teams of students submitted ideas for projects to earn scholarship money. The first-place project studied the development of bacteria on various types of face masks. The second-place project studies the affects of microgravity on bacteria.