About Us

What we do

Since 2001, AB PIP STEM has hosted and sponsored FREE Science, Technology, Engineering and Math educational events for grades K through 12. We are constantly on the lookout for new ideas for STEM events from students and parents. Contact us at actonpip@gmail.com. Below is the current roster of events:

AB PIP STEM Event Timeline

In addition to these events, we sponsor one-time activities, yearly fundraisers, and annual scholarships for AB student volunteers. Below are the highlights.

AB PIP STEM Highlights Timeline

Steering Committee

AB Schools Liaisons: Heather Haines + Jean Oviatt-Rothman

Co-chair: Karen Pierce

Co-chair: Dawn Peterson

Chair Emerita: Karen Herther

Market Math: Dave Hart

Secretary: Open

Star Party: Steve Feinstein and Sue Ropiak

Book Sale Fundraiser: Karen Pierce

Treasurer: Open

Webmaster: Janice M. Ward

2015 End of Year Lunch

2015 AB PIP STEM End of Year Lunch


  • 2000: Acton receives a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Energy and National Science Foundation to create math + science kits, the beginnings of PIP.

  • 2001 Acton Parent Involvement Project (PIP) becomes an organization.

  • 2002: Massachusetts PIP Award of Appreciation.

  • 2005: Recognition by Massachusetts DOE for community involvement in education.

  • 2005: Acton PIP + Discovery Museum mentor Glenelgh School of Abu Dhabi.

  • 2006: Acton PIP becomes Acton-Boxborough PIP STEM.

  • 2001: AB PIP STEM receives first William L. Ryan Community Service Award.

  • 2011: Karen Herther, chair, receives Massachusetts Unsung Heroine Award.

  • 2015: Janice M Ward, AB PIP STEM webmaster, receives Massachusetts Unsung Heroine Award.

  • 2020: AB PIP STEM goes virtual.

  • 2021: AB PIP STEM celebrates 20th anniversary.


In 2000, Acton-Boxborough PIP received a multi-year grant from the Massachusetts Department of Education (DOE) as part of the Statewide Parent Involvement Program (PIP). Although funding ended, the PIP coalition continued.


The mission of Acton-Boxborough PIP STEM is to provide and promote:

  • Family-oriented math and science activities and events

  • Collaboration among parents, students, schools, community leaders, and business partners

  • Resources that enrich Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in our community.


After receiving DOE and NSF grants to create math and science kits supporting MST (Math Science Technology) education, PIP evolved into an organization hosting STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) educational events including Market Math, Star Parties and Science Fairs. Eventually STEM turned to STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art Math), and now AB PIP STEM sponsors a variety of events for students K through 12 and their parents. AB PIP STEM also offers volunteer and scholarship opportunities for older students.

Chairs and Co-chairs

  • 2000-2011 Karen Herther

  • 2008-2015 John Peterson

  • 2011-2021 Dewi Winn + Karen Pierce

  • 2021-present Karen Pierce + Dawn Peterson

Other interim co-chairs include: Debbi Chu, Debbie Clough, Laurie Jacobsohn, Carly Krakoff, Claire Picard + Latha Swaroop

Karen Herther spearheaded the PIP initiative. She won the Stellar Service by a Volunteer Award for the AB Parent Involvement Project from the Massachusetts Middlesex Chamber of Commerce and the Unsung Heroine Award in 2011 from the State of Massachusetts. She remains PIP Coach and Co-chair emerita.