The Biogen Idec Foundation has awarded a $500,000 grant to The Possible Project (TPP), a non-profit organization that teaches high school students how to start and run their own businesses through a tailored curriculum, and access to technology and to mentors from the local business community. The grant, payable over five years, will support TPP's new Makerspace, which will offer students a permanent incubator space for their businesses and provide the opportunity for real world application of TPP curriculum.
Located in Kendall Square, the new 1,800-square-foot Makerspace will open this fall in partnership with the Cambridge Housing Authority and will support a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) curriculum, acquisition of technological skills, and operation of TPP's in-house businesses. Students will work with 3D printers, laser cutters, vinyl cutters and other state-of-the-art equipment, and will have access to computer-aided design software for all types of creation, including manufacturing, digital fabrication, graphic arts, digital photography and electronics.
"The new space will bring cutting-edge manufacturing technology and digital arts to our students in a unique, hands-on learning environment, complementing and enhancing The Possible Project experience," said Becky Levin, executive director of The Possible Project. "Organizations like the Biogen Idec Foundation help make our vision a reality for Cambridge-area students, and we are extremely grateful for their support and recognition."
The Possible Project is a three-year afterschool program that works with high school students from Cambridge, Massachusetts, the majority of whom face barriers to success. Students launch and operate their own entrepreneurial ventures, work as part of in-house businesses, and receive significant advising and assistance with post-high school planning. TPP will serve 150 students this year and expects to increase to nearly 200 students in 2015.
"The Biogen Idec Foundation and The Possible Project share an ongoing commitment to interactive learning and innovative programming," said Tony Kingsley, chairman, Biogen Idec Foundation. "We are pleased to be able to help these students benefit from TPP's new Makerspace curriculum and provide access to science and technology resources and growth opportunities that will inspire an interest in innovation-focused careers."
Biogen Idec Foundation, Inc.