Register Sept. 15 to Exhibit at MIT Mini Maker Faire, Oct. 4

MIT will host its first ever Mini Maker Faire on October 4, 9AM-6PM at North Court on the MIT Campus (map).  Artists, crafters, engineers, and inventors who wish to exhibit their work must apply by 11:59PM on September 15.  It’s free but space is limited.  Others may apply to be Volunteer Team Captains.  To be a sponsor, contact the organizers.   All may register to attend for free.  Events include Go-Kart Exhibition Races, Robotic Combat, Pile of Parts ‘Sand Boxes’, and Rube Goldberg Machines.

RE-SEED: Retired Scientists and Engineers Assisting in the Classroom

Northeastern University’s Center for STEM Education runs RE-SEED (Retirees Enhancing Science Education through Experiments and Demonstrations) to train retired scientists and engineers (and those who are not retired but have time available) to assist K-12 science teachers in the classroom, with a particular focus on middle school.  Volunteers complete a 30-hour training course about their supporting role in the classroom, the process for assisting teachers and students, and examples of hands-on inquiry-based learning activities.  Each is assigned to assist in a classroom once a week for a school year.  Principals and teachers can fill out an application to request a volunteer, and assignments will be made in late September through October.

The training sessions for new volunteers for the fall semester were over (September 2-5 and 11-12) before NewtonSTEM learned of this, but if you’re interested in volunteering, contact Daniel Sullivan at da.sullivan@neu.edu or 617-373-3382.

Annual Report of DIGITS Program for 6th Grade STEM

The DIGITS program for STEM education/awareness has released its 2013-14 annual report (PDF).  Among Newton middle schools, Oak Hill participated again last year, for the fourth year in a row.  For this year, sixth-grade Math/Science teachers may register online to host a DIGITS volunteer STEM., and STEM professionals may register online to become volunteer STEM Ambassadors.  (More info at those links.)

Science Club for Girls Seeks Next Executive Director

Dr. Connie Chow is stepping down in December, after eight years as Executive Director of Science Club for Girls, which has served Eastern Massachusetts for 20 years.  The organization now seeks an Executive Director skilled in fundraising, communication, and management of a fast-growing organization transitioning to a stable phase (job description and application details PDF).  For more information, email EDSearch@scienceclubforgirls.org.

In addition, all are invited to the Science Club for Girls 2014 Catalyst Award and 20th Anniversary Celebration at the Newton Marriott on October 27.

Code.org Releases Open-Source Learning Platform, Code Studio

Code.org — the non-profit promoting the Hour of Code to expand participation in computer science — has released Code Studio, an open-source platform for learning the basics of computer science.  Students and parents are encouraged to sign up to be able to save their progress in online courses such as the 20-hour courses for elementary students, the Fun for Everybody courses, and the General Course for All Ages.  K-8 teachers are encouraged to sign up to use Code Studio for teaching computer science in the classroom.

Science Olympiad Coaches Meeting, Oct. 18

The Level C (High School) Massachusetts State Science Olympiad will be held March 21 at Framingham State University.  There will be a Coaches Meeting on Saturday, October 18 at 10AM in Hemingway 325 at Framingham State University to discuss selection of events and recruiting of event runners and helpers.  Coaches’ manuals will be distributed and registration fees ($125) will be collected.  For more information, contact State Co-Director Bob Goldstein at 617-842-6483 or Robert_Goldstein@meei.harvard.edu.

Women in STEM Idea Exchange Summit, Bentley University, Oct. 21

The Women in STEM Idea Exchange Summit will be held on October 21, 8AM-4:45PM at Bentley University.  Agenda includes:

  • The New Frontier of Engaging Men as Full Partnersin the Advancement of Women
  • Strategies for Leveraging Partnerships Between Key Stakeholders in usiness, Government, Education and Philanthropy
  • Thinking BIG about Girls in STEM and Million Women Mentors
  • Smart STEM Investing: What to Measure
  • Broadening the Breadth of the STEM Workforce Through Racial and Ethnic Diversity
  • Panel:  Employee Engagement: Programs that Work to Engageand Retain Women in STEM
  • Panel:  Future of the American workforce: how to recruit and retain talent in the new generation of STEM graduates
  • STEM Exchange:   To help students evaluate career options and assist companies in identifying local emerging talents for mentoring, internship and recruitment

NNHS Science Team Places Second in Nationwide TEAMS Competition

By winning second place in the State TEAMS competition last spring, the Newton North HS Science Team earned the right to be one of two teams representing Massachusetts at the national TEAMS competition in Washington, DC at the end of June.  At that national event, eight NNHS students at the Grade 9/10 level competed in written, verbal, and problem-solving challenges focused on this year’s theme, Engineering Tomorrow’s Cities.  In nationwide ranking, the NNHS team placed 2nd overall, 1st in the written competition, and 3rd in problem-solving.  Congratulations to David Reiss-Mello (captain), Derek Baker, Bowen He, Amy Huang, Katherine Gao, Shuming (Andrew) Sun, Nicholas Zhang, and Lucy Zheng!

Einstein’s Workshop: 3D Printerfest, Sept. 6

Einstein’s Workshop — a family-friendly STEM center in Burlington — will hold a free 3D Printerfest on Saturday, September 6, 1-5PM at 25 Adams Street in Burlington.  There will be demonstrations of multiple types of 3D printers and workshops for making 3D-printable objects.  Inventors, educators, and vendors of 3D printers are invited to exhibit.  Call 781-202-5645 for information.

Innovation Institute: Open House, Sunday, Sept. 7

The Innovation Institute — the leading STEM-focused academic enrichment program for grades K-12 in Greater Boston — will hold an open house Sunday, September 7, 2:30-5PM in its classroom laboratories at 288 Walnut Street, Suite 300, in Newtonville. Learn about courses for after school, for home school students, on weekends and during school vacations. Fall programs begin Wednesday, September 10 and will explore computer programming (Python), the science of renewable energies, neuroscience, and engineering immersion. A special high-school seminar, At the Biomedical Frontiers, will address the latest research in areas ranging from 3D printing applications to cancer therapeutics. For information, see theinnovationinstitute.org, call 617-340-9907, or email welcome@theinnovationinstitute.org. InnovationInstitute3DPrinting

Courses range widely, but here’s one example:  This summer, in a one-week mini-course on 3D Printing, middle-school students analyzed additive versus subtractive fabrication while creating Potatohenge. They worked on collaborative challenges that built teamwork skills, made individual Blue Sky presentations about the possibilities of 3D printing, and learned a bit of introductory CAD. They also visited labs at Harvard University, engaging with researchers and viewing demonstrations of amazing 3D printing applications.