Congressman Joe Kennedy recently launched a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Tour of Massachusetts where he has been visiting businesses, schools, and programs across the Commonwealth that highlight the state’s leadership in STEM education and workforce development.
On August 21st, Congressman Kennedy visited SPARK Academy in Lawrence to see the STEM innovation happening in the city. He met with Desh & Jaishree Deshpande, Raj Melville (Executive Director of the Deshpande Foundation), Jeff Riley (Superintendent of the Lawrence Public Schools), and various stakeholders from the education community.
The Congressman also had the opportunity to hear from participants in the Sandbox. Orlando Torres, a fourth grade teacher in the Lawrence Public Schools, talked about how funding from the Sandbox Education Innovation Challenge has helped him start a student-based vegetable garden at his school that has changed the way students learn science. Then Sandbox Accelerator Finalist Karen Mahon talked about her venture Balefire Labs which is aiming to revolutionize the education app industry. Lastly, Mary Beth Burwood discussed her experience as a Sandbox Catalyst, and how hands-on teaching can be a powerful tool in promoting STEM education.
Special thanks to Congressman Kennedy for choosing Lawrence as one of the cities for STEM Tour 2013.