The Gelfand Family Charitable Trust (“GFCT”) engages students with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.)

Note: Since January, 2016, the GFCT has been formally organized as STEM Synergy and its subsidiary in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:
• STEM Synergy fully adopts and sustains the GFCT vision,
• STEM Synergy brings additional experienced staff as it expands upon the GFCT mission and projects,
• STEM Synergy has already implemented new exciting STEM projects in friendly East Africa,
• STEM Synergy is a charitable 501(c)(3) organization in the USA, and is approved and registered in Ethiopia.
See the STEM Synergy web site ( for more info.

We initiate projects that provide hands-on STEM enrichment to students in grades K through 12 and beyond.

See below for a list of our STEM projects. View reports and video by clicking their icons: (This is a sample icon, see the icons below for a project's detail or This is a sample icon, see the icons below for a project's detail)


  • Massachusetts State Science Fair GEMS Curious Minds Initiative partnership with GFCT to promote inquiry-based teaching through science&engineering competitions. Click for details Click for newsletter Participating schools:   Andover West Middle School, Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School, Billerica Public Schools, Boston Public Schools (East Boston, Boston Green Academy, The Engineering School, Excel High School, Mary-Lyons School, Orchard Gardens, Rafael Hernandez, Urban Science Academy, Washington Irving Middle School), Braintree High School, Brockton Public Schools Click for report, Douglas Public Schools Click for report, Drury High School, Durfee High School, Lowell Public Schools, Quincy High School, Randolph High School, St Mary’s High School (Lynn), Triton Regional High School, Worcester Technical High School, Whitman-Hanson Public Schools.
  • Enrichment and robotics:   Brighton High School Burning Tigers robotics team Click for report, Beverly Public Schools, Danvers Public Schools, Fenway High School, KIPP Academy-Lynn, Lynn Public Schools, Marblehead Community Charter Public School, Peabody Public Schools, Salem Academy Charter School, Salem High School, Salem Saltonstall School, St Stephens Armenian School (Watertown), Sharon High School, Swampscott Public Schools Click for report, Swampscott Library STEM Click for report, Whitman-Hanson Regional School District (upper primary).
  • School labs:   Briscoe Middle School science lab (Beverly), Ashfield Middle School and South Middle School science labs (Brockton), Lowell Public Schools Science and Technology IDEA Labs (Lowell) Click for report, Tracy Elementary School computer lab (Lynn), KIPP High School science labs (Lynn), Swampscott High School robotics lab and STEM enrichment program (Swampscott).
  • Combined Jewish Philanthropies Jewish Day Schools science fair. Click for newsletter   Participating schools:   Bais Yaakov of Boston, Cohen-Hillel Academy, Gann Academy, Jewish Community Day School, Kehillah Schechter Academy, Maimonides School, Mesivta High School, MetroWest Jewish Day School, New England Hebrew Academy, The Rashi School, Shaloh House, Striar Hebrew Academy, Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston, Torah Academy.
  • Conferences:   Early Childhood STEM (Hebrew College).
  • Partnerships with organizations that provide STEM enrichment:
    • KnowAtom provides complete curricular systems for hands-on STEM in elementary and middle schools. Click for report
    • Lawrence Youth Development Organization new STEM DesignLabs in underserved Lawrence, MA. Click for newsletter
    • MassPEP pre-engineering program in underserved Boston.
    • Science from Scientists improves STEM awareness for grades 4-8 through hands-on activities. Click for overview
    • University of Massachusetts-Lowell Future Engineers Center ran a pre-engineering program for 10 years. Click for report

United States



    • Ethiopia   Click for video story, courtesy of IsraAID Click for ETV interview Click for EBS interview
    • Public school campuses built, including labs:
      • Foka Primary School (Bishoftu: Oromiya). Click for history
      • Gondar-north primary schools add new first-cycle high schools: Abweram, Aymba, Sankisa, and Walaj Click for report.
      • Gondar-south primary schools add new first-cycle high schools: Ambo Ber and Chuahit.
      • Kalamino Special Preparatory School (Mekele: Tigray) dormitory and enhancements.
      • Inda Aba Guna Special Preparatory School (near Shire: Tigray). Click for report
      • International Interlakes Primary School (Bishoftu: Oromiya). Click for story
      • Mykinetal Preparatory School (near Adwa: Tigray). Click report Click for story
      • Rufael Primary and Secondary School (Azezo/Gondar: Amhara). Click for story
      • Wukro Preparatory School (Wukro: Tigray) Click for video
      • Charles F. Brush Preparatory High School (Dansha: Tigray). Click for history Under Construction
    • Public school labs outfitted:
      • Axum Secondary School (Axum: Tigray) science labs.
      • Iteya Secondary School (near Adama: Oromiya) computer virtualization. Joint project with US Peace Corps. Click for report
      • Boru Jawi Secondary School (near Iteya: Oromiya) computer virtualization, costless with Iteya project leftovers!
      • Queen of Sheba High School (Adwa: Tigray) computer lab. Click for report
      • Tigray region Virtualized Computer Labs (in 7 woredas: Tigray.) Preparation for national roll-out.
    • Kotebe Science Shared Campus (Addis Ababa). 25 high schools share science curricula and labs. Click for article
    • Museums and Conferences:
      • Addis Ababa Science Museum. Joint project with MadaTech Israel. Click for video
      • Gondar Space Science Technology conference (Gondar: Amhara) January 2014. Click for report
    • Related projects:
      • Ethiopian Institute for Agriculture Research (Wondo Genet: SNNPR) lab equipment to study native biologics. Click for report
      • Mekele Institute of Technology (Ethiopia’s MIT) student projects’ funding. Click for report
      • 4 containers of “Books for Africa” (~100,000 books) English literacy pre-requisite for STEM education. Click for report
      • Interlakes International School community water supply (Bishoftu: Oromiya). Click for report
      • School libraries established via Cynthia Fund and Ethiopia Reads:  (Gambela) Click for report, and (Quiha:Tigray) Click for report
      • Municipal library enhanced for community internet access: (Bishoftu: Oromiya). Click for report
      • New municipal libraries established: Mai Kenatal (near Adwa: Tigray). Click report
      • Engineers Without Borders-Mekele (Mekele: Tigray) joint agriculture drip projects with EWB-Israel. Click for report Click for visit report Click for Israel visit video
      • Green Mark Herbs fresh herbs grown for export.
      • TodayTomorrow Ventures Porta (passage doors), IMG (scaffolding), Beeco (coffee), Asara (leather goods).




    • Kurdistan Region of Iraq




  • Uganda
    • Gulu Refugee Camp (Gulu District) IsraAID certificate program in water tech. Click for report


In East Africa, the GFCT works closely with the following NGO organizations: