This Company Helps Nobel Prize Winners Conduct Experiments—And They Teach 5th Graders, Too

Liam Berry
This Company Helps Nobel Prize Winners Conduct Experiments—And They Teach 5th Graders, Too
Sponsored by, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Most companies say they want to change the world, but few companies will actually tell you how they plan to do it. 

Luckily, Thermo Fisher Scientific is in the latter category. They design and create scientific equipment and supplies that empower scientists working on the world’s most pressing and complex problems to do their jobs better.

In practice, that comprises everything from machinery (like crime-solving forensic tech) and lab supplies (like the original Nalgene bottle material) to methodologies that scientists, doctors, and Nobel Prize-winning researchers rely on.

But Thermo Fisher doesn’t just work with today’s greatest scientists—they help build tomorrow’s. As part of the company’s mission to serve science and make the world healthier, cleaner, and safer, they help train the next generation of scientists with their global STEM education program.

Advancing Science In The Lab And At Schools

Thermo Fisher Scientific provides ample opportunities for team members to volunteer at underserved schools around the world.

Apart from their products, Thermo Fisher offers an education program that facilitates better science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education for young people around the world. 

“Colleagues can connect directly with schools and other non-profit learning institutions within their local area to excite kids about STEM,” says Katie, a leader in Global Engagement and Communications at Thermo Fisher’s Corporate Social Responsibility office.

These in-person programs are basically guest teaching sessions run by Thermo Fisher’s top scientists and professionals. To engage students, they run cool science experiments that leverage the company’s state-of-the-art equipment. 

One example? A Thermo Fisher contest last year challenged employees to come up with an experiment that could be done anywhere with limited equipment. The winner was an exercise that focused on using coffee filters and the physics of mixtures to separate the colors in ink, much to the amazement of the class.

Sending Science Around The World

Another element of Thermo Fisher’s STEM education effort is the company’s “lab in a box” program. 

Shipped to children around the globe, Thermo Fisher’s “labs” (aka action-packed boxes) include everything necessary for science activities. From extracting the DNA from a strawberry to testing the pH of various mystery liquids, they also include materials to run your own custom science experiments.

Another cool program? The company has also shipped 62,000 of its science safety kits to ensure that all classrooms can conduct experiments with confidence.

This element of Thermo Fisher’s STEM education program allows them to reach farther than just the communities in which they have an official presence—because good ideas and great scientists can truly come from anywhere.

Enabling Students To Build Robots At The STEM Design Challenge

What’s the STEM Design Challenge, you ask? It’s a contest that gathers students to compete in groups of four to build a robot, structure, or vehicle to meet a specified challenge under the mentorship of a Thermo Fisher employee.

These challenges ask students to do everything from build a prototype of a more environmentally friendly “people-mover” to design a bridge that can stay stable across a set chasm. Students are guided and educated by Thermo Fisher mentors throughout the experience, but the ideas and discoveries are their own to make.

Making the world healthier, cleaner, and safer starts with giving people the tools to do so, and that means children, too. All of these efforts are integral to the company’s mission, and the breakthroughs made by students in classrooms are as valuable to the Thermo Fisher team as their own breakthroughs made in the lab.

“Providing our colleagues an opportunity to give back to their local communities and to use their skills to inspire the next generation is an important part of being a good corporate citizen and will become critical to the success of our industry in the future,” Katie says.

At Thermo Fisher, their mission is more than just their business—it’s their impact on the world around them that counts, too.

Ready to inspire scientists of all experience levels? Learn more about Thermo Fisher on WayUp!