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Credit: 
Steve Babineau

Olynyk, National Grid Unveil Lab in Chinatown

BOSTON – The Boston Celtics teamed up with National Grid this past season to educate students in Massachusetts and Rhode Island on the importance of electricity and energy reduction through a viral campaign referred to as #EnergyAssist.

Students from across the local area had the opportunity to participate in an energy conservation contest by submitting videos and images, showcasing their efforts to save energy at their schools. It was announced that at the conclusion of the social media movement, two lucky schools would be rewarded with a Celtics themed Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) lab.

The first of two summer renovations was unveiled Wednesday afternoon at the Quincy Elementary School in the Boston neighborhood of Chinatown. Attending the event was the Celtics’ most environmentally conscious player Kelly Olynyk, former Celtics player and local community leader Dana Barros, team mascot Lucky and National Grid of Massachusetts president Marcy Reed.

Quincy Elementary’s STEM lab came to life through the remodel, with hand painted wall murals, courtesy of City Year, along with a 42-inch and 70-inch HDTV. Twenty-five Google Chromebooks were also contributed, accompanied by a Chromecast digital media player. Multiple hands-on learning supplies were provided, including a hydroponics plant growth center, Lego WeDo Education kits, K’Nex, Robotics kits, LED Microscopes and a digital document reader. Additionally, a weather bug was linked to the 42-inch screen to livestream the local Doppler feed.

Enthusiastic students explored the new space in amazement of all the new resources available at their fingertips. A small subset of the youth began calculating formulas to control Lego WeDos digitally, while others were naturally drawn to the new weather bug station and began to analyze the weekly weather report.

Olynyk joined one group at the hydroponic growth center to participate in the planting of spearmint and basil seeds. Lucky, on the other hand, let his curious nature get the best of him and assisted students with the building of a K’Nex solar powered car and a hydropower turbine.

After the youth had some time to fully embrace the new equipment, their attention turned to a panel compromised of the Celtics and National Grid special guests.

During the discussion, Olynyk spoke on the importance of being aware of one’s personal carbon footprint.

“Factories are manufacturing valuable things for our lives,” stated the 7-foot forward. “But the rate at which we are doing it is detrimental to the environment, so we need to learn how to treat the world around us.”

The forward then asked the students to give examples of what small steps can be made in order to lower emissions in the environment.

Hands immediately shot up , and one by one, students replied with energy reduction practices that all global citizens are capable of following. Reponses as simple as riding a bike (as opposed to driving a car), to shutting the lights off when you leave a room, to more complex answers, such as buying hybrid power cars, were recited by the youth.

“We should all leave a positive impact here on earth,” concluded Olynyk. “If we all do one thing each day to help the environment, hopefully we can keep our natural resources intact for centuries to come.”

As the environmental conversations came to a close, the VIPs rewarded the students with autographs and encouraged them all to use the new equipment in the lab to further their education.

“Today, they're engaged as they explore their new STEM lab,” Reed said, regarding the student body at Quincy Elementary. “Tomorrow, they're that much closer to becoming the next generation of energy leaders."

For more information about National Grid and its Energy Efficiency programs please visit nationalgrid.com.

Kelly Olynyk, BCSF and National Grid unveil a new stem lab at Quincy Elementary School in Boston and explore the interesting stations.

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