Bringing two coasts together to celebrate 25 years

Our East and West Coast offices got together for two days of team building and brainstorming. We demoed our newest technologies, dreamed up new projects, and solved a (fake) murder mystery. We had a great time celebrating our 25th anniversary!

Forty-five enthusiastic staff converged at the beautiful Lyman Estate in Waltham, Massachusetts, where we enjoyed a tour of the mansion, wandered through the greenhouse, played Frisbee, and juggled on the gorgeous grounds.

President Chad Dorsey says, “It was wonderful to gather this incredible group of people, some of whom have been with the Concord Consortium for over 20 years and some of whom are in their first month or two here. Everyone brings incredible talents and backgrounds in education, research, software development, learning science, and much more.” Chad enthuses, “We’re proud of our amazing history of innovations and excited for the future.”

We kicked off our retreat with an engineering challenge to build the tallest structure to support a single marshmallow, using spaghetti, tape, and a yard of yarn. We then gave demos of some of our 45 current projects, including software to support learning about matter and its changes at the kindergarten level, engage students in systems thinking through designing, building, and revising models, integrate computational thinking into hands-on high school biology investigations using simple electronic sensors with Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity, enhance learning with simulations through hand gestures, meld craft and computation, integrate genetics and evolution, and investigate the force of hurricanes and their impact on human lives. Plus much more!

Executive Vice President Sherry Hsi notes, “We use video conferencing all the time to connect with our East Coast colleagues, but there’s nothing like face-to-face time together. It was great to watch our software engineers juggle in sync and our QA pair troubleshoot together, as well as many other bicoastal teams work side by side.”

But it wasn’t all work. We also figured out who killed Mr. Boddy with Team Bonding. (Hint: It wasn’t Mr. Green, though he had us fooled! And it wasn’t the revolver, since that was hidden in the dining room chandelier.) The Lyman Estate was the perfect setting for the Clue Live Mansion Mystery. And while interrogating the suspects, we enjoyed amazing appetizers from Tastings Caterers.

After all the fun and togetherness, we’re back at our desks in Concord, Massachusetts, and Emeryville, California, continuing our work to ignite large-scale improvements in teaching and learning through technology.