Women in Tech: An Inspirational Story Slam, Oct. 27

Women in Tech: A Story Slam will be held on October 27, 7-9PM at the Microsoft NERD Center (1 Memorial Drive, Cambridge).  In this live story slam “shining the spotlight on positive role models,” several prominent women in STEM careers (engineers, product managers, researchers, investors, company leaders) will give 10-minute talks about the the people, places, and events that led them to a career in STEM.  Read a compelling account of its rehearsals at BetaBoston.  Students can attend free, and others are asked to make a donation of $10 or more to Science Club for Girls.  Register online.  Speakers include:

  • Mary Finlay, former CIO of Partners Healthcare and Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Board Member of Mass TLC, and professor at Simmons School of Management
  • Jessica Iandiorio, VP of product marketing at Acquia, one of the fastest-growing software companies in the U.S.
  • Rudina Seseri, Partner at Fairhaven Capital
  • Laura Major, Analytics and Human Systems business area lead at Draper Laboratories
  • Jillian Kando, CTO of educational field trip company EdTrips and member of the 2014 TechStars Boston class
  • Donna Tremonte, co-chair of Harvard’s Women in Tech Group and developer at Harvard University

Erica Orthmann, the VP at LaunchPad who created this event, tells her story at WBUR’s Conoscenti.

Registration is Open for Boston College Splash — Grades 9-12, Nov. 16

Boston College will hold BC Splash on Sunday, November 16 from 9AM to 4PM.  Splash is a student-run program in which undergraduates and graduate students teach free mini-courses for high-school students.  Running in parallel is the Parent Program for parents to talk with financial advisors, admissions directors, and faculty.  Registration is required, is first-come/first-served, and is open until November 12.  STEM-oriented courses this year include:

  • Introduction to Programming with Pytho
  • Message from the TARDIS: The Science Behind Doctor Who
  • Star Stuff: How to Walk and Talk Like a True Astronomer
  • Introductory Neuroscience!
  • Space: Why it’s a lot cooler than you think
  • Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream
  • Intro to Computer Science

For more information, email bcsplash@gmail.com or call 617-291-7524.

Registration is Open for MIT Splash — Grades 9-12, Nov. 22-23

MIT’s Splash program runs each year on the weekend before Thanksgiving — this year, on November 22-23 (1oAM-9PM on Saturday, and 9AM-6PM on Sunday).  It gives students in Grades 9-12 the opportunity to take a wide range of over mini-courses and participate in drop-in activities.  This year, over 300 courses will be offered in the areas of Science, Computers & Programming, Engineering, and Mathematics — plus other stuff.  Here’s a list of the STEM-related courses (PDF).   The cost is $40 regardless of the number of courses taken, and generous financial aid is available.  The first phase of registration is now open, in which students will have at least until November 1 to specify their preferences for classes.  Classes will then be filled by lottery, treating equally all those who register anytime in the first phase of registration.  Lottery results will be available November 8.  Some classes may be available for those registering later, in a subsequent phase of registration.  See the Student Guide page and also the More Info page.  There’s also a Parent’s Program with campus tours and discussion of issues of interest to parents.

New Computer Science Clubs at Newton Free Library in November

Register for new, free computer-science clubs for kids and teens at the Newton Free Library in its second-floor computer center:

Scratch Club:  A new monthly club for Grades 3-6 will start meeting on Thursday, November 6, 6:30-7:30PM in the second floor Computer Center.  In one-hour sessions, kids will explore and work with Scratch, a free programming language designed at MIT for creating games, animation and stories.  Online registration is required and opens October 23.  For more information, call 617-796-1370.

Girls Who Code Club:  GWC is a national non-profit organization aiming to inspire, educate, and equip girls with the computing skills.  In Newton, GWC is open to girls in Grades 9-12 and will meet 4-6PM on Fridays throughout the school year (in November:  7, 14, 21, 28).   Participants will learn about concepts and techniquese of artificial intelligence, graphics, game design, cryptography, and mobile development.  Online registration is required.  For information, scroll down on this page to Girls Who Code, or email teens@newtonfreelibrary.net or call 617-796-1360.

STEM Fun for Kids at Newton Free Library

The Newton Free Library will offer these free STEM programs in November:

Magnet Fun:  Kids ages 3-5, accompanied by adults, are invited to drop in on Thursday, November 13, 2:30-3:30PM in Druker Auditorium to experiment and play with magnets.

Making Things in 3D:  Design to Print:  Students in Grades 6-12 will learn how to design 3D objects using free computer-aided-design software and then print them on the library’s new 3D printer.  Monday, November 24, 4-5:30PM in the second-floor Computer Center.  Space is limited.  Registration is required and opens on November 3.

Mass. State Parks’ Nature Training for Early Childhood Educators, Nov. 8

Massachusetts State Parks will host a workshop for Early Childhood Educators on Saturday, November 8, 9AM-noon at Quabbin Reservoir Training Center.  It will focus on curriculum to engage youngsters ages 3-6 in the natural world with hands-on experiences that build on what’s already familiar and comfortable to them.  A $15 fee includes the Early Childhood Curriculum Guide, music CD, and supporting materials.   For more information or to register by November 1, contact Gini Traub at Gini.Traub@state.ma.us or 413-584-6788.

WGBH’s STEM Video Challenge for Mass. Teachers

WGBH is conducting a STEM Teacher Video Challenge for Massachusetts teachers seeking creative solutions for teaching STEM.  It’s “an online film school just for STEM teachers,” with training videos on YouTube and live, hosted hangouts on Google and culminating in a film-making competition.  Teachers should watch the introductory video, join in the online training, produce a video (1-5 minutes), and submit it by February 1.  Winners will receive camera equipment for their classrooms, and their videos will be shared nationally by WGBH and PBS Learning Media.  All participants will receive Google Play app cards.  Sponsored by the Google Community Grants Fund of Tides Foundation.

“AMP It Up” Challenge Engages Students in Advanced Manufacturing

The AMP it up! Challenge invites students to research an advanced manufacturing innovation in Massachusetts and then present it in a 3-minute video to explain how it’s made, why it matters, and what it means to the student.  One middle school and one high school in each of five regions in the state will each win $2,500 in grant funding, and a grand prize of $5,000 will also be awarded.  Manufacturers are encouraged to sign up now to support the challenge by talking with students and offering factory tours.  Schools should sign up before December 31 to participage and may be represented by individual students, classes, groups, or clubs.  Students will begin researching in January and submit their videos by April 15.

Reminders: STEM Events in the Next 7 Days

Sat, Oct 25
♦ NOAA Professional Development Workshop at New England Aquarium: Ocean Exploration -- 8:00 am
♦ Science Quest Day at UMass Amherst -- 9:00 am
♦ Robotics and Science Workshop for Teachers -- 9:00 am
♦ ThinkFest at North Andover Middle School -- 10:00 am
Mon, Oct 27
♦ Science Club for Girls: 20th Anniversary and Catalyst Awards Night -- 6:00 pm
♦ Women in Tech: A Story Slam -- 7:00 pm
Wed, Oct 29
♦ Deadline to apply for grant for eCYBERMISSION: Online STEM Competition for Grades
♦ Ligerbots Open Meeting for Interested Parents, Potential Mentors, New Students -- 7:00 pm

NSHS Math Team Placed #1 in New England Championships

This news is a little late but still important:  Newton South HS’s Math Team came in first place among large high schools competing in the New England Association of Mathematics League competition last May.  Congratulations to Zhe Wu, David Cao, Margalit Glasgow, Daniel Shaar, Evan Zeng, Jason Ma, and Andrew Shaughnessy.

Newton North HS’s team also placed well — 6th of 21 large high schools competing in the region.  Congratulations to Anna Ellison, Kavish Gandhi, Ying Gao, and Julia Feinstein.

Separately, the two teams — the Newton South Sines and the Newton North Tigers — are members of the Greater Boston Mathematics League, in which they placed second and third overall across five meets last year.