Fletcher Foundation Grant to St. Lawrence College Inspires Interest in Biotechnology

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A gift to St. Lawrence College (SLC) from The Fletcher Foundation will bring area high school students to the College’s labs as part of the Future Technologists Program. Students will work with specialized learning kits and gain exposure to hands-on learning opportunities in Biotechnology. The next workshop at SLC will be held on May 31 for students from Holy Cross Secondary School in Kingston.

The Future Technologists Program kits include tutorial and lesson plans for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, DNA sequencing, and pathogen detection that enhances the standard Grade 12 study unit. The curriculum, equipment, and supplies were deployed to Limestone District School Board schools during the fall 2022 semester and will be made available to all partnering school boards in 2023. The Future Technologists Program provides students in rural and remote schools across Southeastern Ontario access to equipment, curriculum, and hands-on learning experiences that they otherwise may not be able to access.

Feedback received from partnering schools has been overwhelmingly positive, demonstrating the impact of the Fletcher Foundation’s investment in the future of Biotechnology studies.

“The [Future Technologists Program] kits are invaluable. Without this outreach program at St. Lawrence College, there is no way that I could provide this opportunity for my students. Conducting the restriction enzyme digest was one of the highlights of the course for my students. Being able to see the bands of the DNA samples they prepared was fascinating for them; it helped them make connections to the theory but also brought to life what they had previously only seen in diagrams. For some, it was a fascinating activity and for others, it helped set the course for their future studies,” said Rebecca Dillon, Limestone District School Board teacher.

When not in use at participating secondary schools, the additional equipment purchased through the Fletcher Foundation Enhancing Educational Experience Grant (EEE) will supplement SLC’s Biotechnology – Advanced offerings by reducing wait times for equipment and lab results and lowering the student to lab equipment ratio for focused hands-on study.

“St. Lawrence College is grateful for this support from the Fletcher Foundation to create the toolkit and resources for increased exposure to Biotechnology in local high schools. These learning resources will create awareness of careers in this important field and inspire potential future SLC students,” said Elizabeth Gorman, Director, Alumni and Development.  

“We are thrilled that the EEE grant played a significant role in providing classroom kits that spark curiosity about the biotechnology field,” says Bob Jameson, C.E.T., Fellow Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT), chair of the Fletcher Foundation. “This program and the progress made to advance hands-on learning at SLC provides limitless possibilities for future and current biotechnology students, which I think is a positive step forward for this profession.”    

The Fletcher Foundation has previously supported the establishment of the OACETT/SLC Alumni Award which is given annually to an SLC student pursuing OACETT-track study and who demonstrates a desire, willingness and passion for learning, leadership, teamwork, innovative thinking, problem-solving, communication and ethics.


About The Fletcher Foundation

The Fletcher Foundation fosters excellence and builds skilled capacity for the engineering and applied science field through our support for education. For over 35 years, the Foundation has awarded bursaries to exceptional students. It aims to build funds to support educational initiatives, projects and programs that help to advance the engineering technology profession and the student educational experience at college. 


St. Lawrence College is situated on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples; we are grateful to live and learn on these lands. With campuses in Kingston, Brockville, and Cornwall, SLC delivers education and training that meets the needs of community, industry, and employers. The College prepares students to succeed in the global economy through relevant, practical programs and experiential learning opportunities. SLC offers more than 100 full-time programs including diplomas, degrees, graduate certificates, apprenticeships, micro-credentials and life-long learning opportunities. Everyone belongs in the SLC community, comprised of 12,000 full-time students and more than 125,000 alumni in 75 countries around the world.


Media Contact:
Laura Tulchinsky
Communications Officer
St. Lawrence College

Julie Einarson
Senior Advisor, Communications and Government Relations
St. Lawrence College

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