NNHS Wins 1st Place in State Envirothon — Again!

The Newton North HS Envirothon team has once again won first place among 37 teams in the 28th annual statewide Envirothon competition, held last week on the shores of Quabbin Reservoir.  Team members each focused on specific categories of the competition, answering written questions and participating in hands-on activities at four eco-stations, and making a 15-minute presentation at the Current Issue station:

  • Soils (1st Place):  Kavish Gandhi, Lucy Lu, Rudy Gelb-Bicknell
  • Forestry (1st Place):  Kavish Gandhi, Rudy Gelb-Bicknell, Lucy Lu,
  • Wildlife (1st Place):  Kaija Gahm, Iris Liao, Jessica Chen
  • Water (3rd Place):  Bowen He, Amy Huang, Kirby Broderick
  • Current Issue: Climate Change (3rd Place):  Kaija Gahm, Kavish Gandhi, Bowen He, Amy Huang, Iris Liao

Newton South HS also fielded a team for the same competition, winning 3rd place in Soils, 3rd place in the Current Issues presentation, and 5th place in Forestry.  Congratulations to both teams! Continue reading

Mayor’s STEM Night with DePuy Synthes, May 18

The next in a series of Mayor’s STEM Nights will be held on May 18 in the cafeteria of Newton North HS.  The featured corporate partner for the evening will be DePuy Synthes of Raynam, MA — a division of Johnson & Johnson that develops products for neurosurgery and sports medicine.  The event will begin with free pizza at 6PM, followed by an interactive presentation for students at 6:30PM in which DePuy Synthes employees will talk about how they got involved with STEM and how engineers work with surgeons when planning complicated surgical procedures.

NSHS Science Dept. Open House, May 19

The Newton South HS Science Department will host an Open House on Tuesday, May 19 from 4PM to 7PM, featuring a broad range of student work:

  • Open classrooms with displays of student work, including projects in: Family Chemical Posters, A.P. & Honors Biology, Biotechnology Biobuilder, Genetics, and Physics
  • Presentations by the NSHS Science Team and the Newton LigerBots Robotics Team
  • Sustainability / Garden display
  • Tours of the Green Trail through the marsh (weather permitting)
  • Science Trivia Bowl
  • Speakers, including:
    • NSHS Conservation & Environmental Science class
    • NSHS Modern Global class, highlighting its recent trip to Cuba

Newton Library: Marshmallow Engineering, Grades K-2, May 22

The Newton Free Library will offer a Marshmallow Engineering session on May 22, 3:30-4:30PM, for Grades K-2.  Space is limited.  Pick up a free ticket at Children’s Desk 30 minutes beforehand.

Newton Library: Scratch Programming for Grades 3-6

The Newton Free Library holds monthly club sessions for kids in Grades 3-6 to explore and work with Scratch (a free programming language designed at MIT) to create games, animation and stories.  Each session is on a Thursday, 6:30-7:30PM in the Children’s Room on the following dates.  Space is limited and fills up quickly, so note the registration dates and register for each event individually:

Innovation Institute: Register for Fall (Some Openings for Summer, too)

The Innovation Institute in Newtonville has announced its fall schedule (also in PDF) of after-school and weekend STEM courses, including a new course in computer programming with specific appeal to girls.  Some spaces are still available in summer courses, which are mostly 9AM-noon for one or two weeks with some full-day exceptions (see schedule).  Courses are taught by a team of educators, researchers, and STEM professionalsEnroll online.  Fall courses (with approximate Grade levels) are:

  • Architects of the Future: Design, Building and Geospatial Skills Development (K)
  • Investigate, Discover & Design: Developing Critical Thinking Skills through Science & Engineering  (K-4)
  • Microworlds: Microorganisms, Cell Biology & Molecules  (3-4)
  • Chemistry of Human Body Systems  (4-5)
  • Mechanical Advantage: Introduction to Mechanical Engineering  (4-8)
  • Microworlds: Microorganisms, Cell Biology & Molecules (5-6)
  • Science & Engineering of Renewable Energies  (5-6)
  • Neurophysiology: Electrical Engineering and the Nervous System  (6-8)
  • Introduction to Computer Programming  (6-8)
  • Molecular Biology, Genetics & Neuroscience  (6-8)
  • Electrical Engineering Design Immersion  (7-8)
  • Astronomy & Astrophysics  (7-8)
  • Neurophysiology: Electrical Engineering and the Nervous System  (7-12)
  • At the Frontiers: Materials that Matter (9-12)

BATEC Info-Tech Summer Professional Development, Aug. 10-14

The Broadening Advanced Technological Educational Connections (BATEC) National Summer Institute provides free, intensive, week-long “Train the Trainer” professional development for current faculty of high schools, community colleges, and universities.  This summer the BATEC Summer Institute will be held August 10-14, 7:30AM-12:30PM, at UMass Boston (100 Morrissey Blvd, Boston).  For more information, contact Katie McGeary at katie.mcgeary@umb.edu.  View course descriptions and register online for one of these concurrent courses:

Advance HTML 5 CSS Specialist, Android Development, Culturally Situated Design Tools, Data Science and Big Data Analytics, Ethical Hacking, Linux Essentials, Moving Beyond the Lecture, Oracle, Python, and Ruby on Rails.

3 Newton Middle-School Student Ambassadors Named for ‘Envision the Future’

Three Newton middle-school girls have been chosen to represent Newton at Envision the Future, a one-week residential summer STEM program for girls ages 11-13.  Newton’s student ambassadors will be rising 7th Graders Abigail Brooks (Brown MS), Deanne Harris (Oak Hill MS), and Dumebi Okonkwo (Day MS).  This summer, they will gather with 45 other middle-school girls from Southeastern and MetroWest Massachusetts, under the auspices of the Southeastern Massachusetts STEM Network, for challenging STEM activities, career exploration with STEM professionals, meeting women role models, and connecting with other girls with similar interests.

In Newton, this program is sponsored by the John M. Barry Boys & Girls Club of Newton (which will fund scholarships for the students), NewtonSTEM, the Newton Free Library, and Newton Community Education.  In the next school year, these student ambassadors and sponsors plan to replicate one or more of the program’s STEM-promoting practices in Newton.  Newton was invited to participate based on the sponsors’ interest in replicating these activities in our community.

NSHS and NNHS Math Teams: 3rd and 4th in New England

On May 1, the Newton South HS and Newton North HS Math Teams placed third and fourth, respectively, among all large high schools in the New England Association of Mathematics Leagues Annual Tournament, behind Acton-Boxborough and Lexington.   Teams were invited to this regional championship based on their performance in state competitions (in which Newton South HS tied for second).  Ethan Xu was recognized for his perfect individual-round score of 18, while Bahvik Nagda and Captain Jason Ma were recognized for their scores of 17 and 15, respectively.  Other team members participating were Captain Jae Seung Lee, Andrew Shaughnessy, Zhe Wu, Evan Zeng, and James Rao.

NSHS-Math-Team-May-2015Newton South HS Math Team

The Newton North Team included four seniors — Captains Anna Ellison and Kavish Gandhi, Julia Feinstein, and Bill Shen — who were part of the team that won the same NEAML meet in 2012, when these students were freshmen. This year, Kavish Gandhi was recognized for earning a perfect 18 on his individual rounds, and Julia Feinstein was recognized for her score of 14. Other members of the team were sophomores Christina Cong and Daniel Kleber and freshmen Alex Park and Tony Sun. The Newton North team is unusual among the top teams in the NEAML for having three or four girls on its team each time it competed in the last five years. The exceptional composition of this team was recognized in the Math Prize for Girls blog.

RSM Volunteers Engage Grades 1-8 in Math Games at Library, May 13

As part of the Newton Free Library‘s expanded STEAM programming, on May 13, teachers from Newton’s Russian School of Mathematics will host an hour of engaging games, puzzles, and hands-on activities for kids in the Library’s Druker Auditorium:  Grades 1-4 at 3:30PM, then Grades 5-8 at 4:30PM.  RSM aims to make math more accessible to all children, to shed stigmas that kids may associate with it, and to encourage flexing of problem-solving muscles!  The program is free, but registration is required (Grades 1-4 , Grades 5-8).  For more information, contact the Children’s Room at 617-796-1370.