Stockbridge teacher earns national technology award


Bob Richards, winner of the Lemelson-MIT Excite Award, will travel to MIT for invention education professional development. Above he is photographed at Team training. Harry Parker Photography

by Alex Weddon

May 13, Stockbridge Jr/Sr High School teacher Bob Richards was awarded a Lemelson-MIT Excite Award. Educators are selected for this award based on their capacity to lead a yearlong invention project with their students. This June, Richards will go to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston for the Lemelson-MIT Program’s annual EurekaFest, a multi-day invention celebration.

“It’s an honor to be selected as a Excite Award recipient,” Richards said. “The Lemelson-MIT Program provides outstanding opportunities for my students and me to expand our program and develop student ideas into working inventions.”

At EurekaFest, Richards will see InvenTeam projects and attend hands-on workshops and discussions led by MIT professors.

“Excite Award educators who attend EurekaFest leave the event ready to ignite student interest in science, math, engineering and invention,” said Leigh Estabrooks, invention education officer from the Lemelson-MIT Program.

Richards, a Business and Technology instructor, will work with his students this summer to finalize the grant application. This fall, a panel of judges composed of educators, researchers, staff and alumni from MIT and former award winners will select the final InvenTeam grantees.

“I’m looking forward to next year’s invention project,” Richards said. “We have a team of 12 students already working to design and build a micro-sized benthic lander that we can use to explore hard to reach areas of interest in the oceans and Great Lakes.”

About the Lemelson-MIT program

One of U.S. history’s most prolific inventors, Jerome H. Lemelson and wife Dorothy founded the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994. It is funded by The Lemelson Foundation and administered by the School of Engineering at MIT, an institution with a strong ongoing commitment to creating meaningful opportunities for K-12 STEM education. To date the Foundation has made grants totaling over $200 million in support of its mission. For more information, visit


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