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Concord, Calif. (Feb. 5, 2019) – De La Salle High School of Concord, CA is pleased to announce it has received a $6,000 STEM grant from the Toshiba America Foundation (TAF). These funds will support the purchase of a plate reader for its 10th grade biology classes.

Now, more than ever, young people need real-world training and inspiring 21st Century Learning strategies in their STEM classes. At De La Salle, its faculty has seen firsthand the fun that high school students have and the confidence they gain when they learn basic biotechnology: how to accurately use a micropipette, to set up a PCR reaction, or to prepare and run gel electrophoresis. Whether they are in Algebra or in Calculus, the school’s 10th grade students can learn these skills and discover that they love biology.

“It is very important that students use their own eyes and trust what they see, but machines enable observations at resolutions that the naked eye cannot achieve,” shares Mrs. Victoria Acquistapace, biology teacher and author/project manager for the Toshiba America Foundation grant. “In some cases, it works fine to make a standard curve and eyeball match a test result color. But these labs could be run analytically, and with a new Plate Reader - they will be downscaled in volume and many more replicates will be performed, facilitating statistical testing. This machine brings professional biotech lab equipment into the classroom that is actually found in medical labs and agricultural labs. The students will have the ability to easily manage this upgrade, and it will expose them to modern methods and technology.”

All 10th grade biology students at De La Salle High School will benefit from the addition of a new Plate Reader to its lab curriculum. In addition, the school offers an AP Biology class that learns ELISA (Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay) technology. This group of students performs independent research and will also benefit from this technology. At least 24 students do this research each year, and this research opportunity has been in place for 18 consecutive years. These projects often serve as catalysts for college and career choices.

Toshiba America Foundation’s grants fund projects designed by individual classroom teachers. This “direct-to-teacher” approach brings immediate results. Teachers are able to change the way they teach Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects because the grant supports equipment for hands-on experiments and inquiry-based approaches to the curriculum. At TAF, we believe that STEM is a lot more fun than just reading a textbook. TAF grants provide teachers with the tools they need to be more effective educators. The grants make the classroom a more exciting place for both teachers and students.


About De La Salle High School:

Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers and founded in 1965, De La Salle High School is a Catholic all-boys school in Contra Costa County, some thirty miles east of San Francisco. The college-preparatory school challenges just over 1,000 boys to become men of faith, integrity, and scholarship. Its twenty-acre campus prominently features a state-of-the-art Science, Technology, Robotics, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STREAM) center that opened in the fall of 2016.  More information can be found on its website: www.dlshs.org.

About Toshiba America Foundation

Founded in 1990 with support from Toshiba Corporation and the Toshiba America Group Companies, Toshiba America Foundation (TAF) is a non-profit grant making organization dedicated to helping classroom teachers make STEM learning fun and successful for K to 12 students in U.S. schools. TAF grants support public and nonprofit private schools throughout the United States.  For more information, please visit: www.toshiba.com/taf.

Rich Davi, Communications Coordinator
(925) 288-8148, davir@dlshs.org

Victoria Acquistapace, Biology Instructor
(925) 288-8100 ext. 7000, acquistapacev@dlshs.org