ASCB Newsletter Nov 2013 - page 14

all at no cost. Word soon got around, and schools
in nearby towns asked for help. Within a year this
resource center was supporting science teachers in
dozens of schools all throughout Central and Western
Massachusetts. One teacher said, “To have these
materials is great. But to know that
someone out there
means even
Inspired, Mayrand went ahead
full bore, amplifying her resource
center into a wide network of
teachers all throughout the
state and expanding the roles of
scientists she corralled (none ever
turned her down) to get into the
schools and demonstrate not only
their passion for science but also,
most importantly, that science
is “not hard” if it is conveyed in
the right way. She raised major
funds to support these endeavors
and won many accolades. Always
someone to hide her light under a
bushel, she used all these awards
and honors only to fuel more
fundraising for her cause.
From her son’s mention of a
piece of dry ice, Mayrand went on
to become a heralded champion of science education
reform, receiving honors and awards in her local
community, from educational organizations in her
state and, most significantly, the Bruce Alberts
Award for Excellence in Science Education from
the ASCB.
This hero of science education later carried her
vibrant network of teacher support and science
education resources forward when
the Worcester Foundation merged
with the University of Massachusetts
(UMass) Medical School in 1997. At
UMass, she expanded her programs
even further and won more acclaim
and awards. She is a local hero, but
also reigns in the national pantheon
of science education, where she
continues to inform and inspire others.
What is so beguiling about her story
and success is that so grand a set of
achievements was founded on a single
but profound understanding of how
much science teachers needed a morale
boost. That was one of Mayrand’s key
insights, probably her most important
one. She had been contemplating
a move into science education and
would have likely moved forward soon
enough. But the tipping point was
something unexpected, that simple
piece of dry ice. As it sublimed, so did
Sandy Mayrand rise to new heights.
—Thoru Pederson, University of Massachusetts
Medical School
[Sandy Mayrand’s]
seminal idea was
that the morale of
science teachers
would be lifted if
they knew that
scientists wanted
to help and would
like to collaborate
with them in any
way they could.
Help us make this campaign a great success and donate at
(This is a tax-deductible contribution for ASCB
members in the United States.)
We are getting closer to our goal of raising $15,000 for a
classroom set of CellScopes for two teachers and students to
share in New Orleans! If you haven’t donated yet, please do so
online at
; click on the “Donate” button.
Please consider donating even if you aren’t attending the Annual
Meeting. This is a great opportunity for ASCB scientists to
provide 10 easy-to-use high-resolution microscopes (attached to
iPads) that will open new scientific worlds for the users. Because
the CellScopes are easily shared with other classes and schools,
we believe this gift has the potential to reach a wide audience.
The CellScopes will be demonstrated on Saturday, December
14, at the High School Program at the ASCB Annual Meeting.
Come see what they can do!
Thea Clarke
Please help ASCB
give back
to New Orleans
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