Entrepreneurship and Science in AP French

Entrepreneurship and Science in AP French

Students in AP French speak with Dr. Mariana Royer, a French Guianese entrepreneur and scientist.

Entrepreneurship and Science in AP French

Students in Monsieur David Sainsily's AP French class had a unique and enriching experience as they engaged in a conference call with Dr. Mariana Royer, CEO and founder of Bio Stratège Guyane. Dr. Royer's company specializes in researching and extracting molecules from the Amazonian flora to create a diverse range of products, from skin oils to superfood powders, which are exported to the Caribbean and France. What made this interaction particularly rewarding was that students conducted the entire conversation in French, delving into topics ranging from business strategies to environmental stewardship.

Dr. Royer began by recounting the path that led her to establish her company. After earning her PhD in the chemistry of natural substances, Dr. Royer shared, “I dedicated many years to developing my expertise in the field of natural products, and more specifically in the characterization of natural extracts obtained from forest residues in a concept of biorefinery.” In 2013, she founded Bio Stratège Guyane with the main goal of  “developing and commercializing new active ingredients obtained uniquely from forest biomass and formulating them into cosmetic finished products, primarily for skin care.”

Following Dr. Royer’s talk, students seized the opportunity to ask insightful questions, showcasing their deep understanding of her work and passions. Channing B. ’25 inquired about Dr. Royer's target audience and the geographical scope of her market. Bella O. ’25 was intrigued by the influence of natural medicine and indigenous healing practices within the Amazon Rainforest on Dr. Royer's business model. Isabelle F. ’25 sought insights into Dr. Royer's academic journey in obtaining her chemistry degree, while Victoria P. ’25 probed into the delicate balance between business expansion and rainforest biodiversity conservation. Dr. Royer generously answered each question, offering thoughtful insights and further illuminating her trajectory as a female scientist and entrepreneur. 

Reflecting on the call, Channing expressed admiration for Dr. Royer's approach of harnessing plant molecules to create products with inherent health benefits. Dolores Y. ’25 appreciated Dr. Royer's emphasis on the potential for positive global impact beyond the realm of politics. Through her eco-conscious business practices and focus on inclusivity, Dr. Royer serves as a role model, demonstrating how entrepreneurship can be a force for meaningful change.

This in-class conversation with Dr. Royer greatly expanded upon the boundaries of a typical classroom experience—a practice to which all Marlborough faculty are deeply dedicated. This experience offered these French students valuable insights into the intersection of entrepreneurship, science, and sustainability—all while honing their language skills.

**Please note: As this conversation was conducted entirely in French, quotations and sentiments from Dr. Royer and AP French students have been translated and edited for clarity.

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In the image that accompanies this article, we take a peek into Monsieur Sainsily's classroom. The Zoom call with Dr. Royer is projected at the front of the class onto a large screen. Students sit at their desks around the room, looking at Dr. Royer on the screen. 

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