Durham middle school students in a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) apprenticeship program will receive academic mentoring as part of a new grant from the Biogen Idec Foundation.

The $250,000 in grant funds will also support students in Boston and Chelsea, Mass. The Citizen Schools program connects middle school students to academic support as well as professionals who volunteer their time offering students apprenticeships. The program is intended to help students link what they learn in the classroom to the real world and potential career paths.

The Biogen Idec Foundation also supports Citizen Schools’ apprenticeships in Massachusetts through a 10-week course at the Biogen Idec Community Lab, a 90-minute per week course that has helped Boston students transform into junior scientists.

Organizers plan to expand the program to Biogen Idec’s new Community Lab in North Carolina, set to open this fall at Biogen Idec’s Research Triangle Park office. Students in the program will be able to work side-by-side with Biogen Idec scientists.

“We are excited to launch our new STEM apprenticeship program with the Biogen Idec Foundation in North Carolina and model the success of the STEM apprenticeships in Massachusetts,” Jake House, executive director of Citizen Schools North Carolina said in a statement. “This investment will help connect the best volunteers to our students to inspire and engage with them in the essential subjects of science and technology.”