Register Now for Needham Science Center’s STEAM Night, Mar. 19

The Needham Science Center invites all to celebrate its 50th anniversary at Needham’s STEAM Night, 6-8PM on March 19 at Newman Elementary School (1155 Central Ave., Needham).  It will be filled with family-friendly activities, hands-on engineering challenges, student demonstrations, and more.  Admission is free, but space is limited, so register now.  For more information, contact the Needham Science Center at 781-455-0475.

Register Now for MIT Spark: A Weekend of Classes for Grades 7-8, Mar. 14-15

MIT’s SPARK offers students in Grades 7 and 8 a variety of short, interesting classes on the MIT campus over one weekend, March 14-15.  The registration lottery is open now through February 28, and until that deadline all course preferences will be treated equally in the lottery.  Students may choose from over 100 STEM courses*(plus other courses) and are encouraged to register on their own.  A $40 fee covers two days of classes and lunch and lots of walk-in activities.  Generous financial aid is available.  For more information not covered here, email  *Here are the STEM courses: Continue reading

Newton Library: Scratch Programming for Grades 3-6, Mar. 19

Registration will open on February 26 for the March 19 session of the Newton Free Library’s Scratch Club for Grades 3-6.  From 6:30PM to 7:30PM, kids work with the Scratch programming language to create games, animations, and stories.  Online registration is required, and space fills quickly.  This program repeats monthly so search the Library’s calendar for upcoming sessions.

Boston Citywide Science Fair Seeks Judges, Volunteers, Demonstrations, Mar. 7

The Boston Public Schools, in cooperation with Northeastern University’s Center for STEM Education and Science from Scientists, will host the 69th Annual BPS Citywide Science Fair and Science/Engineering Expo at Northeastern University’s Cabot Center on Saturday, March 7.   Over 300 middle- and high-school students — selected from thousands of science-fair participants citywide — will present their work, with an audience of over 800 expected.  Exhibits will be open for public view 1:30-2:45PM (full schedule here in PDF format).  The organizers seek people to serve as judges, to host table-top activities and presentations, and to otherwise volunteer.

  • Judging begins at 8AM with orientation and breakfast, and it continues 9AM-noon.
  • Table-top activities and presentations run 10AM-noon and 1:30-3PM.
  • Volunteers work for at least three hours on Friday, March 6 and/or Saturday, March 7 to assist with registration, logistics, and escorting students to activities.

Register online for any of these opportunities.  Lunch will be provided.  If you have questions, contact Daniel Sullivan at or 617-373-8380.

WGBH STEM Video Challenge: New Deadline (Mar. 1) and Entries Submitted to Date

With support from Google, WGBH is conducting a STEM Teacher Video Challenge for Massachusetts teachers to submit short videos (1-5 minutes) that demonstrate STEM concepts, experiments, or best practices.  Since our post last October, the deadline has been moved back to midnight on March 1 and a new introductory video has been posted to explain the online training that is available and how to submit entries.  Entries may be old or new but must be made by the submitter.  Winners will receive an iPad or document camera for their classrooms, and their videos will be shared nationally by WGBH and PBS Learning Media.  All participants will receive Google Play app cards.   You can see the videos submitted to date on the WGBH STEM Video Challenge Youtube channel.

‘Science From Scientists’ Wins Mass. @Scale Funding

Science From Scientists is a non-profit organization that brings “real, charismatic scientists” — vetted and trained for classroom work — into classrooms to run hands-on STEM lessons aligned with Common Core/ Next Generation Science standards.  This year, SfS is working with over 3,000 students in Grades 4-8 in 27 schools in Eastern Massachusetts — including Newton’s Oak Hill Middle School, which has participated since 2010.  SfS now has 49 additional schools on its waiting list.  Last week, the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education chose SfS as one of 3 recipients statewide to receive @Scale grants for expansion of successful STEM programs.  The Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council created the @Scale initiative in 2012 to identify and support STEM education programs that are proven to be scalable, effective, and able to secure private-sector funding.  SfS has been successful in attracting a broad range of supporters as well as generating excitement in classrooms about STEM.

Girl Scouts STEM Conference & Expo, Open to ALL Girls in Grades 6-12, Mar. 15

The Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts will hold their 3rd annual STEM Conference and Expo at the Sheraton Hotel in Framingham, March 15.  It’s open to all girls in Grades 6-12.   The cost is $45 for Girl Scouts or $70 for girls who are not members.  Registration (for Grades 6-7 or for Grades 8-12) closes on March 2. Non-members must register by emailing  This drop-off event runs 9AM-5PM and includes breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack — as well as workshops, hands-on activities, presentations, and opportunities to network with people from local businesses and universities.   Participants choose a workshop from this list (PDF): Continue reading

NSHS Science Team Places #1 in Final WSSL Meet, #2 for WSSL Season

Newton North and Newton South Science Teams compete in the West Suburban Science League, which hosts five meets from October through February for 17 teams in the Metro-West Boston area.  This was a particularly good year for Newton South’s team, which sent 20 students and placed first in the final meet last Thursday — and for the entire season achieved a very close second place (just 5 points behind Acton-Boxborough’s 366 points).  At Thursday’s meet, the Newton South team placed 1st in both Mystery Solutions and Fermi Questions, 3rd in Mission Possible, and 5th in Evolution.  Congratulations to Captains (Ian Paul, Ellen Kwon, and Sasha Kuznetsov), Coaches (Dr. Jordan Kraus and Dr. Alan Crosby), and the entire team.

Upcoming competitions for the Science teams include the TEAMS competition on February 26, the Blue Lobster Bowl on February 28 at MIT, the Northeast Science Bowl on March 7 at UConn, the Massachusetts Science Olympiad on March 21 at Framingham State University, the MIT Club Science Trivia Challenge on April 22 at the Broad Institute, and the Massachusetts Envirothon on May 14 at Quabbin Resevoir.

‘Toying with Science’ Show for Kids at the JCC, Feb. 16

On Monday, February 16,  the Leventhal-Sidman JCC (333 Nahanton Street) will present Garry Krinsky in his show, Toying with Science, with performances at 11AM and 1PM.  The event is for children ages 4-10 accompanied by an adult and is part of the JCC’s Magic Ark performing arts series for families.  It’s filled with circus skills, mime, comedy, original music, and audience participation.  A study guide (PDF) is available to help parents or teachers prepare children for the performance.  Tickets are $13 (JCC members $11) and available online or by phone at 617-965-5226 or 866-811-4111. .

Please Complete This STEM Survey for the Newton Free Library

The Newton Free Library has forged ahead in STE(A)M by offering 3D-printing, programming classes for young kids and Girls Who Code, and other activities.  As one way to gauge how well the Library is meeting the public’s needs and interest in STEM, the Library is conducting a short Technology Survey on STEM interest and awareness.  You may respond for yourself and/or for your children.  (Please take the survey before you review the Library’s STEAM programs, which might skew the results by increasing your awareness and interest!)