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28 October 2022

Moderna Gives Back in Boston

by Moderna
Moderna Gives Back in Boston: STEM DAY & HOCR

“It was so rewarding to engage with students through active learning tools and see the look of amazement, excitement, and further curiosity on their faces. I feel confident in our next generation of scientists!”
- Vi Nguyen, Principal Research Associate, Rare Diseases

At Moderna, we are committed to giving back to the communities in which we live and work. We view this commitment as an extension of our mission to maximize the positive impact we have on patients and our extended communities. Corporate Social Responsibility is an integral part of who we are and what we do; our efforts are driven by a commitment to using our expertise and resources to give back locally. Our journey to building the most impactful version of our company includes acting as a good corporate citizen by supporting organizations that align with our mission and values and promote public health, scientific education, and diversity and inclusion, particularly for underserved populations. As a global company headquartered in Cambridge, MA, we were proud to give back this month by taking part in two iconic local events: STEM Education Day at Fenway Park, presented by Moderna, and the Head of the Charles Regatta.

STEM Education Day at Fenway Park, Presented by Moderna

In September, we were proud to engage the next generation of scientists in a celebration of STEM by supporting STEM Education Day at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. The event brought approximately 3,000 kids aged 8-15 and their educators to the ballpark for an educational morning of interactive exhibits. This year, we hosted four stations to help kids learn about mRNA science by experiencing it first-hand. It was heartwarming to see how engaged and excited the kids were to learn about mRNA and its fundamental role in our biology.

Moderna scientist, Vi Nguyen set up a makeshift Fenway Lab to allow participants to observe their cheek cells under the microscope, add “mRNA” (colored water), and simulate the process of cellular mRNA uptake and expression on a time-lapse video.

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“A key highlight was seeing my impassioned colleagues speak to the science of mRNA in a relatable way to eager students and then immediately see the curiosity and excitement on the students' faces. It was a great event to continue our community partnership and showcase our science!”
- Donny Lee, Scientific Advisor

Kids learned about mRNA and its relationship to protein at our second station by assembling short mRNA strands out of labelled balls. At our third station, kids learned some basic concepts around protein translation and folding by rearranging LEGO protein structures to create new shapes and maximize their compactness. Finally, a looping series of videos highlighted Moderna team members from across our company to help kids understand the wide range of career options available in biotech.

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We were proud to participate in such a rewarding event that hopefully instilled a love of STEM in Massachusetts kids.    

 “It was great to provide students a variety of engaging ways to better understand science, Moderna, and mRNA. All in all, a great way to give back to the community!” 
- Marissa Curcuru, Director, Multi-Channel Excellence 

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Moderna Gives Back at the Head of the Charles Regatta 

Our sponsorship of the 2022 Head of the Charles Regatta (HOCR) provided another opportunity for community engagement in the Boston metro area. As the world’s largest 2-day regatta, HOCR draws 225,000 spectators and athletes from around the world. More than 100 Moderna employees signed up to volunteer behind the scenes, stationed throughout the race course in various positions, including with the Sustainability Committee and the Awards Committee. 

Volunteers with the Sustainability Committee significantly reduced the amount of waste generated at the Regatta by facilitating vendor recycling, minimizing bin contamination, and managing collection containers for compostable food waste and packaging.

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At Moderna, we’re proud to support efforts that aim to make a difference in the world and appreciate being able to leverage our collective strengths and expertise for community engagement. We will continue to encourage volunteerism by providing employees annual paid time off to volunteer at the organizations of their choice. We are looking forward to volunteering globally as part of our 4th Annual Volunteer Week in November, centered around Giving Tuesday and International Volunteer Day.