Today, the Illinois Biotechnology Innovation Organization (iBIO) announced the expansion of iBIO STEM Kit program to four schools in the Community Consolidated School District 21 (CCSD21) and the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). The iBIO STEM Kit is a new program designed to fill an essential educational gap created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With support from Astellas more than 2,300 kits will enhance science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning experiences for 330 students in grades three through eight at Oliver W Holmes Middle School and London Middle School in CCSD21 and at Walter L. Newberry Math & Science Academy and Edward N. Hurley Elementary School in CPS.

The monthly kits provide everything needed for each learning activity, as well as information about real-world applications and career opportunities to which students can aspire.

“At Newberry, we are excited to provide our students with access to the STEM kits to further their exposure and enthusiasm for the content areas addressed; Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics. It is through opportunities such as this, as well as Stellar Girls, that students will develop a better sense of agency in the Sciences, allowing them to envision their future careers and potential,” said Linda Foley, Principal, Newberry Math and Science Academy.

“Through this opportunity, students will have increased hands-on access to explore STEM concepts at home, share a passion for STEM with family, expand curiosity, and foster excitement for discovery,” said Dr. Michael Connolly, Superintendent of the Community Consolidated School District 21 “We look forward to building a long-term partnership with iBIO and Astellas to support our students’ interest in STEM fields.”

Astellas Provides Support for STEM Education

Astellas is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. Its US headquarters is located in Northbrook, Illinois.

Astellas and the legacy Astellas USA Foundation began their partnership with iBIO in 2011 to support local STEM education by providing start-up funds to launch Stellar Girls, an after-school science program offered to more than 2,000 girls in the Chicago area since its launch.

”We’re pleased to continue our support of iBIO’s STEM education efforts through this new program,” said Steve Sabus, Senior Vice President and Head, Medical Specialties Business Unit. . “Now more than ever, it’s vital that we find creative ways to encourage and engage today’s youth.”

Astellas also sponsors iBIO’s annual STEMgirls Camp, a 5-day STEM Summer camp for 3rd-8th grade girls. In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Astellas is supporting the iBIO STEM Kit program to provide critical hands-on STEM education.

About iBIO

The Illinois Biotechnology Innovation Organization (iBIO) is a life sciences industry association that represents the nearly 88,000 life sciences employees at member companies, universities, service providers and venture firms. iBIO promotes the industry’s value to the public and policymakers; connects innovators to investment and talent; stimulates collaboration and fosters the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs to transform patient lives through groundbreaking research and works to grow the Illinois economy.

iBIO delivers industry-led STEM programs for teachers and students, thereby inspiring the next generation of innovators and helping restore America’s leadership in technology education. To learn more about iBIO and its programs, visit