Collective industry effort supports STEM enrichment throughout the district

For the second year in a row, Life Science Cares Boston partnered with the Watertown Community Foundation and five Watertown-based life science companies to support the Watertown STEM Education Fund, a special effort to fund science, technology, engineering & math programming in the Watertown Public Schools.

Five corporate contributors— C4 Therapeutics, Enanta Pharmaceuticals, Kymera Therapeutics, Landmark Bio and Vigil Neuroscience, Inc.—and Life Science Cares contributed a total of $21,000 in funding for teacher-driven requests for supplemental materials, books, equipment, special events and speakers, student programs and experimental school or district-wide initiatives.

The fund builds on the Watertown Community Foundation’s annual school-based educational grants program and increase total funding for the foundation’s grants this fall. This year, funding will support STEM initiatives for every K-5 student in the district: Kindergarten, Animal Builders; 1st grade, Southwick Zoo’s No Bones, No Problem; 2nd grade, Southwick Zoo’s The Survival Challenge or Top Secret Science; 3rd grade, Rainforest Reptiles; 4th grade, Wind Energy: The Turbine Design Challenge; 5th grade, Wingmasters: Birds of Prey. Funding will also bring the Southwick Zoo’s Zoo Mobile Program to Watertown High School.

“With this support, our students are extending what they learn in the classroom by engaging in real science facilitated by experts from the greater Watertown community. We can bring hands-on programs that spark their curiosity and the students are excited to find out more.” said Elizabeth Kaplan, Math/Science Coordinator for grades K-7, Watertown Public Schools.

This collective giving program also allows companies, leaders, and employees in the burgeoning Watertown life sciences field to learn about Watertown Public Schools and forge deeper relationships with the school STEM community.

“This is what makes kids excited about learning! We are grateful to this partnership and other funders who have helped us lift our grant giving.  Our funds now touch every K-5 student across the district with an enrichment opportunity in STEM.” said Lauren Coughlin Unsworth, Watertown Community Foundation Board Co-President and School Grant co-chair.

“We are honored to continue our support of Watertown STEM Education Fund and help the district expand STEM education across the entire K-5 student population,” said Andrew Hirsch, president and chief executive officer of C4 Therapeutics. “Interest in science, technology and math starts at a young age, which our team at C4 Therapeutics knows well through our career path into the life sciences.  We’re looking forward to helping students explore career pathways to prepare our vibrant life science industry continue to advance new therapies for patients for decades to come.”

“At Enanta, we recognize the value of STEM education and believe it is incumbent upon us to foster accessibility and prepare the next generation for careers in this meaningful industry. We are proud to partner with Life Sciences Cares Boston, as well as the Watertown Community Foundation, to drive this important mission forward” said Jay R. Luly, President & Chief Executive Officer of Enanta Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to creating small molecule drugs for viral infections. “We have been a part of the Watertown community for 20 years, and appreciate the opportunity to support our local teachers and students and the critical work they are doing.”

“A quality STEM education at an early age is critical to help build the scientists, engineers, and medical professionals of tomorrow,” said Ran Zheng, CEO of Landmark Bio.  “The Watertown STEM Education Fund will help ensure we continue to make advances in science and medicine to benefit humanity. As a proud member of the Watertown biotech community, Landmark Bio is honored to support this important initiative.”

“As a new arrival in Watertown, we are excited to partner with Life Science Cares Boston, the Watertown Community Foundation and these life science companies to support the school STEM community and expand opportunities for students,” said Ivana Magovčević-Liebisch, Ph.D., J.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Vigil. “Early engagement and hands-on experience in science help foster curiosity and encourage students to view STEM careers as exciting and realistic options. We are proud to be a part of this meaningful effort.”

“Watertown has become a vibrant sector for the life science industry. We take our commitment to being good neighbors and true partners very seriously,” said Sarah MacDonald, Executive Director of Life Science Cares Boston, an industry-wide effort to fight poverty and expand opportunity. “We are thrilled to bring together companies and connect them to people and communities where they can live this commitment.”

For more information on the Watertown STEM fund or to join the effort, contact LSC Boston President Sarah MacDonald at