Biogen’s Community Lab is a state-of-the-art laboratory program where middle and high school students engage in hands-on and virtual biotechnology experiments and interact with scientists and other biotech professionals. It offers free interactive science activities, rigorous summer programs and teacher professional development that inspire the next generation of science leaders.
In 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we brought our Community Lab program together with the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to launch the new online Biogen-MIT Biotech in Action Program. This virtual lab offered Massachusetts and North Carolina high school students a first-hand experience in biotechnology and provided the opportunity to learn directly from, and be mentored by, leading scientists at Biogen and MIT. Most of the students were from low-income households and groups historically underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
In 2021, we renewed momentum and drove global expansion of the program. Biotech in Action expanded to 19 countries, with some of the sessions offering live translation in Spanish and Portuguese. The 2021 Biotech in Action student population was 12% international, 50% low-income, 34% historically underrepresented in STEM and 59% female or non-binary. Since then, this program has become a pillar of our Community Lab, hosting students from more than 30 countries.
Former Community Lab student participant
“The Biogen Community Lab is an amazing space that I was introduced to in 2018 and loved it so much that I kept coming back throughout the years. In 2018, I took part in the Adventures in Biotechnology summer program, and that summer program made me fall in love with STEM and sparked my interest in biotechnology as a career. I am so thankful for the connections I made and the vast amount of knowledge that I have gained while taking part in activities at Community Lab!”