Albuquerque science teacher awarded grant for research projects

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An Albuquerque science teacher is one of just 52 in the country getting a share of $100,000 in grants.

For Sergio Torres, teaching isn’t just about writing a bunch of science terms on a whiteboard. It is getting his juniors and seniors hands-on experience in his lab at Native American Community Academy.

“A lot of our students come from various tribes or pueblos, and they are now being exposed to a high-tech type of analysis,” Torres said.

Torres received a $5,000 grant to purchase much-needed equipment for research.

“So that really put us into a field where we can do research, and continue working for our common goals to increase research across more diverse students,” Torres said.

That is the goal of Society for Science, a nonprofit based out of Washington, D.C. which engages students from diverse and low-income communities through research projects. It’s something Torres wishes he had in his early days as a scientist.

“Most of my career has been actually being a scientist,” he said.” I’m a molecular biologist, biochemist and I started teaching in Australia when I was doing research for Hepatitis C.”

Now, as a teacher, Torres hopes to take his past as a researcher and provide his students with a brighter future.

“So that they can grow and hopefully motivate them to consider, you know, their experience with what career paths they undertake,” Torres said.