The Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, which operates as MilliporeSigma in the U.S. and Canada, is helping its employees give back while socially distancing and working remotely. Through virtual volunteer opportunities available on MilliporeSigma’s online SPARK™ portal, employees can dedicate their time, expertise and passion to a community organization.
For example, Jim Carter, a science teacher at the European School Frankfurt, wanted to bring one of MilliporeSigma’s Curiosity Labs™ lessons to his ninth grade class. However, when Covid-19 struck, the idea of a virtual “Virology 101” with a special focus on Covid-19 was born. Dr. Tobias Hertzig, regulatory affairs manager at MilliporeSigma, led two virtual virology sessions at the European School Frankfurt and the Metropolitan School Frankfurt, in the frame of the SPARK™ virtual volunteering initiative. Through the interactive sessions, students learned about the biological makeup of Covid-19 and outlooks for controlling it. They also had the opportunity to ask questions and gain insights into how Covid-19 compares with past pandemics.
Feedback from the students says it all: “Dr. Hertzig, I did not know 99 percent of what you presented! I went into this video conference knowing very little about the DNA and RNA associated with coronaviruses and came away with a great understanding. I now want to learn more about exactly how vaccines are developed.”
KEYWORDS: MilliporeSigma, virtual volunteering, Volunteering, SPARK volunteer program, STEM Education, STEM, science education, virology, COVID-19, European School Frankfurt, Metropolitan School Frankfurt