HS Students Create MadLabz iOS App for STEM Engagement

Local high-school students Jennifer Wang, Anya Lefkowitz, Sarah Knotts, and Sherry Xu have created MadLabz, a free, iOS-based app designed to engage students in at-home STEM exploration. It’s based on the #SCFGatHome collection of resources and activities compiled by Science Club for Girls, where Jennifer and Sarah have been Junior Mentors. The team originally created this app for the 2020 Technovation Challenge and decided to publish it to help students and families during the COVID shutdown. Here’s the video they created to present MadLabz in the Technovation Challenge.

Perseids Meteor Shower: Peak Viewing this Week

The Perseids meteor shower lasts several weeks each summer and is most visible this week, on the nights of August 11-13. Edge on Science has a blog post about the best ways to view the event. Framingham State University held an AstroNights Live video session last Friday about the event, and you can view a recording of it here: Prepare for the Perseids.

New England Aquarium Reopens

The New England Aquarium has reopened under COVID safety restrictions. Advanced reservations are strongly encouraged and walk-up ticket sales are also possible. The Simons Theatre has reopened with a maximum capacity of 25. Remote Zoom-based virtual encounter sessions with marine mammals, penguins, or aquarists who care for the Giant Ocean Tank are available for private group sessions for $150.

Museum of Science Reopens with Science Behind Pixar, Continues Wide Range of Virtual Programs

Boston’s Museum of Science has reopened under COVID restrictions, and its featured exhibit is The Science Behind Pixar. Advance tickets are required. In addition, #MOSatHome virtual programs are continuing online and include MOS Live, a daily live stream, virtual exhibits, Sparks of Science, Pulsar: A Podcast, family STEM activities, a Town Hall, and Subspace: Adult Programs After Dark.

FIRST LEGO League Launches its Season Challenge: RePLAY

FIRST LEGO League has announced the details for this season’s challenge, RePLAY, a competition for teams of students in Grades 4-8. This video presents details about the season’s theme as well as the innovation project and robot game missions that comprise the RePLAY challenge. Newton’s high-school robotics team, the LigerBots, has supported local FLL teams for several years through mentoring teams and by hosting two major FLL regional competitive events each fall. For more information, email fll@ligerbots.org.

CSRecitations Offers In-Person Coding Classes this Fall

CSRecititations will offer all of its in-person coding classes this fall at its school at 5 Michigan Drive in Natick. In addition, it will offer its Max Flex Program for either online or in-person instruction: Create a group of one or more students; choose days, times, and frequency of meeting; choose subject matter; and pay for sessions as they occur.

LigerBots Complete Session 2 of Online Summer cAMP for Elementary Students

The LigerBots robotics team has completed the second two-week session of its online summer LigerBots cAMP (Awesome Mentoring Program) for elementary students. with much enthusiasm and support from teen counselors and their elementary-school students. Each session ends with a showcase of students’ accomplishments, and this session’s celebration highlighted CAD creations, music composed in under six hours, and a drawing of a well constructed Aquaponics system. This summer the LigerBots cAMP will connect with about 200 students in Newton, Needham, Lexington, Boston, Brookline, and even New Jersey and Ohio! cAMP gives students opportunities to connect with old and new friends. cAMP’s teen counselors — almost 100 in all, from Newton, Brookline, Cambridge, Andover, and beyond — are gaining experience in teaching and interacting with younger students while building their resumés and having fun. The remaining sessions are August 3-14, and August 17-28.

Z-Kai Offers Online Coding, Robotics, and STEM Literacy Enrichment for Elementary Students

Z-Kai USA, based in Arlington, started in 2018 as a U.S. subsidiary of the large Japanese college-prep training company Z-Kai, started in 1931. It’s pursuing a different strategy in the U.S. by focusing on coding and robotics classes for elementary students and partnering with LEGO Education, Tufts CEEO, and MIT Scratch. During the COVID shutdown, several of its classes are online: Zoom Up Math, Java Script Coding, Basic Robotics, and STEM Literacy. In the STEM Literacy course, students read a book (e.g., about bridges), learn relevant terminology, then are asked to define the problem to be solved, and finally solve the problem (using LEGO). See schedule here for summer and after-school programs. For more information, email info@zkai-usa.com.

New England Sci-Tech Gradually Opening for Members Only, Maintains Online Classes for All

The New England Sci-Tech STEM education center in Natick is gradually opening up with programs and activities for members only, including:

In addition, NEST continues to offer online classes, many of which are free for members, and admission is low-cost for everyone else.

Help Mass General Study COVID-19 in Their Daily Survey

The COVID Symptom Study is asking people of all ages and backgrounds to participate in a daily survey taking one minute per day. Download the app (Apple or Android) and answer daily questions about how you feel, then get an estimate of COVID in your area. Research updates from the study have revealed six distinct types of COVID-19 and that skin rash may be a fourth key sign of COVID-19.