Published On: March 11th, 2015

Grants will expand and enhance science education for Massachusetts schools

CAMBRIDGE, MA—Programming robots to record weather data. Fabricating mechanical parts with a 3D mill. Speaking with astronauts on the International Space Station. These are among the projects that will come to life in Massachusetts public and charter schools in 2015, thanks to Cambridge Community Foundation and Biogen Idec Foundation’s second annual Ignite the Power of STEM competitive grant program. Cambridge Community Foundation, which administers the program, selected 18 grants out of 54 applicants from across the state. Biogen Idec Foundation funded the program, totaling $84,520. The program represents a special partnership between business and the local community.

The Ignite the Power of STEM grants support innovative programs that increase science literacy, encourage youth to pursue scientific careers, create classroom excitement and provide hands-on learning experiences in science, technology, engineering and math. Applicant schools had to be represented at the 2014 Massachusetts STEM Summit to be eligible.

“I am impressed with the diversity of school programs and creative spirit in their grant applications. Most important are the collaborative efforts they represented. Congratulations to students, teachers, and schools, and thanks to Biogen Idec Foundation for breathing financial life into such STEM possibilities,” said Bob Hurlbut, executive director of the Cambridge Community Foundation and a former headmaster of 25 years.

“We have collective responsibility to provide a variety of STEM pathways for students of all abilities, and to provide resources and support for STEM educators,” said Tony Kingsley, chairman of the Biogen Idec Foundation.  “The Ignite the Power of STEM grant program supports innovative initiatives that reach a diverse group of students throughout Massachusetts.”

The Ignite the Power of STEM program received 54 applications. The winning programs span K-12 and urban and suburban districts throughout the state.  The winning projects are listed below:

  • Locke Middle School in Billerica for the Math and Science of Robotic Drones
  • Blackstone Vocational Technical High School in Upton for Space Station and Russian Integration Projects
  • Assabet Valley Collaborative Alternative School in Marlborough for “Robotics and Practical Application in the Classroom”
  • Bourne High School for “Aquaponics Lab”
  • Cambridge Rindge and Latin School for “Mapping Genetic Pathways in Yeast”
  • Danvers High School for “Digital Fabrication Lab”
  • Fuller Middle School in Framingham for “Supporting STEAM @ Fuller”
  • Everett High School for “EHS Robotics”
  • South Street Elementary School in Fitchburg for “WeDo Simple Machines”
  • Medford Vocational Technical High School for “Aquaculture Facility”
  • Nissitissit Middle School in Pepperell for “NMS Raspberry Pi”
  • STEM Middle Academy in Springfield for “Carlisle Brook Preserve/Outdoor Classroom”
  • Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High in Rochester for “Get the Lead Out”
  • Waltham High School for “Did You See That? I Did!”
  • Sandwich STEM Middle School for “Environmental Monitoring and Technology”
  • Country Elementary School in Weston for “Take it Outdoors: Green STEAM”
  • Abigail Adams Middle School in Weymouth for “littleBits” of STEM
  • Mass Academy of Math and Science in Worcester for “Professional Development for IOMIC/GOOD Training”

For a full summary of each of the winning projects, visit the MA STEM Summit website at

For additional information on the Ignite the Power of STEM grant program, visit  To learn more about the Cambridge Community Foundation, visit

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Media contact: Becki Harrington-Davis, communications director, Cambridge Community Foundation: 617-576-9966 or [email protected].