Brian Babineau/NBAE

Olynyk, National Grid Unveil STEM Lab in Boxford

BOXFORD, Mass. – According to the U.S. Department of Education, the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, collectively referred to as STEM, are at the forefront of the global economy. In recent years, leaders of the U.S. Department of Education have stressed the need to improve the quality of STEM learning opportunities in the United States.

With an increasing growth rate of jobs in the STEM field in the last decade alone, being able to ensure equal access to resources is a national necessity to prepare for future market competitiveness.

To that end, the Boston Celtics and National Grid have partnered to ensure students in Massachusetts and Rhode Island have access to proper educational STEM equipment.

A social media promotion tagged with the hashtag #EnergyAssist mobilized classrooms from the two states for a chance to enter to win a state of the art STEM lab for their school. The promotion’s call to action urged students in grades K-8 to submit videos and images showcasing how to conserve energy.

The Green Team, an eco-conscious club from the Spofford Pond School in Boxford, Massachusetts, unanimously earned the installation of the fourth co-branded lab. By showing great leadership and encouraging energy conservation in their school community, the Green Team showed they have what it takes to further their STEM education with the donation of proper tools.

The students received a jumpstart in the right direction, thanks to the donation of 25 Chromebooks, 13 Samsung Galaxy Tablets, a 65-inch Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast, Lego MINDSTORMS Education sets and K’NEX. The lab also was revitalized with brand new furniture and custom wall murals courtesy of City Year.

Celtics forward Kelly Olynyk, former player Leon Powe and National Grid Massachusetts Chief Customer Officer Terence “Terry” Sobolewski paid a special visit to the Spofford Pond School Wednesday to help present the new space.

Despite being just a few days removed from shoulder surgery, Olynyk was determined to participate in the unveiling.

“When you have the power to inspire, you might as well utilize it to the best of your ability,” Olynyk said on using his platform to encourage others. “It’s for a great cause. National Grid is here doing great things and building these opportunities for kids that they wouldn’t otherwise have, so it’s special to be able to come out here.”

The three guests spent the afternoon with the Green Team, exploring various stations of the lab and examining the new equipment. The unveiling was followed by a school-wide pep rally in the gymnasium, led by Celtics mascot Lucky, to celebrate the opportunity for the students to expand their education.

Olynyk, who completed his undergraduate studies at Gonzaga University and was pursuing a master’s degree when he entered the NBA, encouraged the youth to always keep an open-minded attitude when it comes to education.

“We should never want to stop learning,” said Olynyk. “You want to try to learn something new every single day in order to make a difference in the world, not just today, but for future generations as well.”

The tools provided with the #EnergyAssist Lab powered by National Grid allow for just that; equipment available at their fingertips, which opens a world of endless problem solving, evaluations and complex thinking to further their education.


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