New STEM Books at Newton’s Independent Book Stores

If you’re thinking of STEM-related gifts this holiday season, take a look at the selection of new STEM books at Newton’s independent bookstores — the Newton England Mobile Book Fair and Newtonville Books.  Click on the photos below to see their featured new titles more clearly, then stop by these stores to take a closer look.

New England Mobile Book Fair
Newtonville Books

Northeastern Engineering: ‘Building Bridges’ Day for High School Students, Dec. 5

Northeastern University’s Center for STEM Education will host its Fall 2014 Building Bridges program on Friday, December 5, 9AM-3PM, for high school students interested in engineering.  Twice a year, high school students can gather for a full day of interactive engineering activities led by NEU faculty and students.  It’s an opportunity to understand various engineering disciplines, to learn about NEU’s College of Engineering and its research programs, and to gain an overview of potential career paths and education options.  Breakfast and lunch are included.  The cost is $15 and financial support is available.  Register online.  The event takes place at NEU’s Curry Student Center (Rooms 318, 320, and 322).  Activities may include:

  • Design and Test a Bridge
  • Implantable Biomedical Devices
  • Design and Build and Electronic Night Light
  • Synthesize Slime
  • Streamline a Sports Utility Vehicle
  • Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing
  • Computer Chip Design and Fabrication
  • Simulate an Earthquake

Lego Engineering on Sundays in January, Grades K-2 & 2-5

Newton Parks & Recreation will offer two Lego Engineering activities on Sunday afternoons, January 4 to February 8, at the Newton South HS Recreation Complex:

  • Grades K-2:  1:15-2:45PM
  • Grades 2-5:  3:35-4:45PM

Boys and girls will use tens of thousands of Lego blocks to design and build boats, bridges, mazes, buildings, etc. with the guidance of a Play-Well instructor.  Cost is $135 and space is limited.  To register, go to Newton Parks & Recreation registration site, click Newton South Indoor Recreation Program, then click Engineering with Lego 2015.

Help ‘Science Club for Girls’ Win $20K Challenge Grant by Dec. 31

Science Club for Girls has raised $13,000 and needs to raise an additional $7,000 by December 31 in order to win an all-or-nothing challenge grant from The Amelia Peabody FoundationRead the reviews of this local non-profit and consider making a donation.

WPI Hosts ‘Super Saturday’ STEM Educator Workshops, Dec. 6

The Massachusetts Academy of Math & Science at WPI will host a morning of workshops on Saturday, December 6, 7:30AM-12:30PM for all teachers interested in these topics:

  • TInspire
  • Enhancing Feedback on Homework and Classwork with ASSISTments
  • Science and Engineering Projects for a Project-Based Learning Classroom
  • Promoting Literacy in Science
  • Integrating IPad Technology in the Classroom
  • Building and Editing Content in ASSISTments
  • Forensics
  • Smart Board: Moving Beyond Display

The cost is $10.  Register by December 2 by emailing Jackie Bonneau ( or Shari Weaver (  Walk-ins will also be welcome.

Applications Open Nov. 25 for Women’s Technology Summer Program at MIT (Summer Program for After Grade 11)

The Women’s Technology Program at MIT is a rigorous summer residential program (June 27 to July 25) for female high school students who are completing Grade 11, who love and excel in math and science, who have little or no experience in engineering or computer science, who are not yet certain about their plans for college majors, and who want to explore engineering.  Through hands-on activities, problem solving, and collaborative learning, students explore either of two fields: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science or Mechanical Engineering.  Female MIT graduate students design and teach the courses, assisted by female MIT undergraduates.  Applications will be available November 25.  From a nationwide pool, 40 will be selected for Electrical Engineering/Computer Science and 20 will be selected for Mechanical Engineering.

Newton Schools Foundation Launches Annual Appeal, Funds STEM Projects

The Newton Schools Foundation has launched its annual appeal to fund innovation in the Newton Public Schools, and a major part of the requested funding will be for STEM.  Here’s what NSF funded last year in the world of STEM, and what it proposes to fund in the next few years with your contributions.  For further information, contact Continue reading

Mass. Tech Leadership Council Promotes Computer Science Education

The Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council‘s Education Foundation is undertaking several initiatives to promote K-12 Computer Science education in the state:

  • The I Love CS! video contest invites Massachusetts K-12 students to create short videos to inspire other students to explore Computer Science.  Videos must be 90 seconds or less and submitted by a parent, guardian, or teacher by December 1.  Selected videos will appear on the MassTLC’s website and at major events in 2015, and those who submit the selected videos will be able to designate a school or non-profit to receive a $500 stipend for Computer Science education.
  • A list of third-party after-school and summer-camp programs to engage K-12 students in computer science can be filtered by elementary, middle, or high school.
  • A list of tools and curricula for computer science shows what is available to students, teachers, parents, and STEM volunteers.
  • A partnership with TEALS-CS in high schools:  Technology Education And Literacy in Schools recruits, trains, and places volunteer teaching assistants in high-school classrooms to support partner schools and teachers in offering computer-science courses.  In Massachusetts last year, TEALS worked with Billerica, Boston, Cambridge, Medford, Revere, and Watertown.  Applications will open in December for the next school year.
  • MassTLC volunteers are signing up to assist in Computer Science Education Week’s Hour of Code, December 8-14.  Sign up here.

MassTLC-EF’s cites these statistics driving its initiatives:

  • “In most MA public schools, computer science is considered an elective, not a core math or science.
  • There is no licensure for teachers to teach CS in our state.
  • Only 1000 students in Massachusetts took AP CS in 2012 — less than 1% of all AP tests taken. 559 passed, of which only 24 were underrepresented minorities and 89 were female.”

Register Now: MIT Lincoln Lab’s Science on Saturday, Dec. 6

Registration is now open for the next monthly Saturday-morning session Science on Saturday, on December 6 at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory (244 Wood Street in Lexington).   Jude Kelley of Lincoln Laboratory will discuss Electricity, Ions, and Chemistry.  Students will see demonstrations of how ions produce wild colors and interesting effects with electricity.  All children must be escorted by an adult, and every adult must be escorted by a child or children.  Admission is free but each person attending must be registered.  Space is limited, so register online soon for either Session 1 (9AM to 10:30AM) or Session 2: 10:45AM to 12:15PM).  Adults much bring government photo identification.  See other rules on the registration pages.

MIT Edgerton’s ‘Science on Saturday’ for Grades K-12, Dec. 6: Underwater Robotics

MIT’s Edgerton Center holds free Science on Saturday program about monthly for elementary, middle, and high school students — as well as their parents and teachers.  On December 6, the program will be focused on underwater robotics (PDF), presented by the Edgerton Center’s Marine Robotics Team.  Kids under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.  The program includes a one-hour presentation at 10AM followed by hands-on activities at 11AM.  No pre-registration is necessary but seating is limited and first-come, first-seated.  It’s held in MIT’s Kresge Auditorium, 48 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge.