Collaboration with scientists, researchers, inventors, entrepreneurs, artists, programmers, designers and musicians is central to learning at Acera.

From our early days, connections with leading thinkers have inspired our students and teachers to create, innovate and lead. Through our public outreach division, AceraEI, we are using the collaborative projects pilot-tested at Acera School to transform STEM education beyond our walls.

Flagship AceraEI Projects

Reinventing Biology

Using a nine-unit, NGSS-aligned curriculum he developed and pilot-tested at Acera’s lab school, AceraEI’s Michael Hirsch leads a series of free teacher training workshops in gene editing with CRISPR, the human microbiome, and agriculture. The units are inquiry-driven lab activities that link to real world innovations, enabling more students to envision a pathway for themselves as scientists and innovators. More than 20 public high schools in Massachusetts – representing 3,000 students – have participated in our Life Sciences Change Agent Teachers (LSCAT) series to date.

Whole Transformation

In a groundbreaking three-year, whole-school approach, AceraEI is partnering with Lowell Public Schools to implement its life sciences, SEEDS, and School Success Dashboard tools across the district. In year one, AceraEI is collaborating with the more than 50 educators at Joseph G. Pyne Arts Magnet School, which serves 500 students in grades K-8.

Redefining our Purpose

A school’s success can be measured by more than its standardized test scores. Are students growing in core capacities like creativity and self-initiative? Are teachers using evidence-based practices? Is the school culture positive? These areas, coupled with standards and achievement, are part of AceraEI’s School Success Dashboard. It is customized to measure what each school views as most important, and prepares students and educators to be adaptable leaders and contributors in a changing world.

Watch Lowell School’s Three Year Partnership with Acera

Current and Past Collaborators

The work of Acera School and AceraEI would not be possible without the partnership and support of our generous funders, public and community partners, and thought leaders over the last 10 years. In particular, we thank Saurabh and Richa Saha, who believed in AceraEI’s mission to transform science education for all students and made the initial investment in this effort.


  • Amgen Foundation
  • Anonymous
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Harvard University Institute for Quantitative Social Science
  • Horne Family Foundation
  • One Brave Idea, funded by the American Heart Association, Verily and AstraZeneca
  • Saurabh and Richa Saha

Public School and Community Partners

  • American Heart Association – STEM Goes Red (Boston)
  • Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell
  • Brilliant Labs of Atlantic Canada
  • Cambridge Youth Programs
  • 4H Clubs of Massachusetts
  • KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate High School and KIPP MA
  • Lowell Public Schools
  • Malden Public Library
  • Teachers from the following school districts participating in AceraEI’s Life Sciences Change Agent Teachers workshops:
    • Boston Latin School
    • Brockton High School
    • Burlington High School
    • Career Academy High School, Lowell
    • Dartmouth High School
    • Everett High School
    • Gloucester High School
    • Greater Lowell Technical High School
    • Innovation Academy Charter School, Tyngsboro
    • John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science, Boston
    • Joyce Middle School, Woburn
    • KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate High School
    • Lawrence High School
    • Littleton High School
    • Lowell High School
    • Masconomet Regional High School
    • Medford High School
    • Medford Vocational and Technical High School
    • Melrose High School
    • Minuteman Technical High School
    • New Liberty Innovation School of Salem
    • Peabody Veterans Memorial High School
    • Prospect Hill Academy Charter School
    • Salem Academy Charter School
    • Taconic High School
    • Winthrop High School
    • Woburn High School

Thought Leaders

  • Eric Alm, Ph.D., Founder, MIT Center for Microbiome Informatics and Therapeutics
  • Angela Belcher, Ph.D., the James Mason Crafts Professor of Biological Engineering and Materials Science at MIT
  • Peter Blake, Ed.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology and Director of the Social Development and Learning Lab at Boston University
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • James Cleary, MD, Ph.D, Medical Oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT
  • Mark J. Daly, Ph.D., Chief,  Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital; member of the Broad Institute
  • Tami Lieberman, Assistant Professor, Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, MIT
  • Julie Legault and Dr. Justin Pahara, Amino Biolabs
  • Calum MacRae, MD, Ph.D., Vice Chair/Scientific Innovation, Brigham & Women’s Hospital
  • John Maloney, Lead Developer of Scratch, MIT Media Lab and Founder of GP
  • Novartis Community Exploration and Learning Lab
  • Latanya Sweeney, PhD, Professor of Government and Technology in Residence, Harvard University
  • Tufts Center for Engineering Education Outreach
  • Dr. Thomas Vandervelde, Associate Professor, Tufts School of Engineering