So Many STEM Activities at Newton Boys & Girls Club

Open House:  The Newton Boys & Girls Club invites all current, former, and prospective families to an Open House at the Club (675 Watertown Street) on Monday, September 24 from 5PM to 7PM. All are invited to see what fun, educational, and developmental opportunities are offered at the Club — including several STEM offerings.

Club Seeks to Hire Part-time 3D Printing Instructor:  The Boys & Girls Club has joined the latest DIY craze — 3D printing! The Club is looking for a paid ($20 per hour) facilitator/instructor to teach kids the basics of using the TinkerCAD program with its brand new MakerBot 3D printer. The Club seeks someone who is passionate about fostering skills with youth in our community, using the Club’s printer and space and the instructor’s own programming. The course will be one hour per week on Fridays, 4PM-5PM, from now through May. Men and women are encouraged to apply. To apply or get more information, email the Club’s new Education Director, Cassie Soller, at

Russian School of Math at Boys and Girls Club:  The award-winning Russian School of Mathematics is again offering a full-year math program at the Boys and Girls Club for Club members in Grades 2-4. This program is free for Club members and is designed help students develop the skills and confidence they need to become strong in mathematics. The class will run on Thursdays, 4PM-5PM, for the school year, starting September 27.  It will be based on the RSM curriculum aiming to build up skills, develop critical and logical thinking, and involve alternative approaches such as hands-on activities, puzzles, and projects to engage students. Students must be Club members and must register for the entire school year. (Club membership is $125 per family per year.)

Science Adventures:  The Club is offering the Science Adventures program to members in Grades 2-6.  It will run on Mondays, 4-5PM, starting September 24. Register here.

Mighty Mechanix:  Stay tuned for this upcoming program for middle-school students using LEGO WeDO and Mindstorm EV3 robots.

Worcester’s EcoTarium: Half-Price in September

All admission fees and planetarium shows at Worcester’s EcoTarium are half-price in September. Exhibits include The Arctic Next Door:  Mount WashingtonNature Explore® Outdoor Exhibit, City Science: The Science You Live, and others. Planetarium shows change daily.

Framingham State University: Moon Landing in Context

From now through 2019, Framingham State University will host a wide-ranging series of events — free and open to the public — exploring the historical and cultural background and impact of the Moon Landing.

Framingham State University: Free Planetarium Shows

The Christa McAuliffe Center at Framingham State University opens its planetarium for free public presentations on the third Friday of each month (except April), and will offer new topics each month within one of three series:  Family Night, Late Nite Skies, and Stellar Nursery. Space is limited, and for guaranteed seating you must pre-registerr and arrive 15 minutes before show time (directions and parking). Registration links will be available here one week before each show.

Family Night for families with children ages 6+

Late Nite Skies for adults and teens 14+

  • November 16: 7PM.  Undiscovered Worlds

Stellar Nursery for children 5 years and younger, with their caregivers

  • (to be announced)

Newton Public Schools: Systemwide Goals in STEM

The Newton Public Schools recently adopted the following STEM-related goals among its Systemwide Goals for the 2018-19 school year:

Elementary Schools

  • Implement Investigations 3 in grades K, 1, 2, and 5.
  • Roll out new science units in grade 3 to align with MA Science and
    Technology Engineering (STE) Frameworks and Next Generation
    Science Standards (NGSS).
  • Develop and revise science and engineering units in grade 4 to align
    with new standards.

Middle Schools

  • Implement Illustrative Math curriculum in all middle school grades.
  • Plan for improved research writing across disciplines in accordance
    with the MA DESE Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies,
    Science, and Technical Subjects in collaboration with library teachers.
  • Develop a plan for improving students’ literacy skills across disciplines
    in accordance with the MA DESE Standards for Literacy in
    History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects.
  • Begin developing short performance assessment and embedded
    assessments in new science curriculum to measure student progress.
  • Evaluate the use of anchoring phenomenon to engage students in
    critical and creative thinking in STE.
  • Continue the Calculus Project.

High Schools

  • Support Calculus Project students in grades 9-11, monitor course
    placement and achievement in both high school cohorts.

Register Now for Newton Community Ed’s STEM Classes

Registration is open — and classes are starting soon — for Newton Community Education‘s fall STEM courses for kids of all ages. Click on the links below for more information or to register, or call 617-559-6999.

Bay State Learning Center Seeks Volunteers

Bay State Learning Center (45 Bullard Street in Dedham) is seeking several volunteers — and may be able to pay an hourly fee for the right candidates in some positions. For more information about the following opportunities, or to apply fill out this form or  email

For BLSC’s Makerspace: A volunteer or contractor to help run the Makerspace, working 10-20 hours a week with teens.

Sciences:  A volunteer for at least one eight-week term to help a small group of teens learn middle- and high-school sciences, especially Biology, Environmental science, Physics/Astronomy and Geology.

Game Design Development:  A volunteer to work once or twice a week for at least an eight-week term with a small group of teens on game design and development.

Psychology:  A volunteer who can work for at least one eight-week term with a small group of teens to learn introductory Psychology.

Maria Mitchell Women in Science Symposium, Oct. 5-6

The Maria Mitchell Women in Science Symposium will be held October 5-6 at Babson College to serve as a source of inspiration and support for encouraging and keeping girls in STEM and supporting women in STEM at the beginning, middle, and late career stages. The cost is $335, and limited scholarships may be available. Registrations are appreciated by September 20.

Autumnal Equinox Sky-Watching at UMass Amherst Sunwheel, Sept. 22

The UMass Amherst Department of Astronomy invites the public to witness sunrise (6:30AM) and/or sunset (6PM) among the standing stones of the UMass Amherst Sunwheel on the autumnal equinox, September 22. (The exact minute of the autumnal equinox will be 9:54PM EDT.)  Observers standing at the center of the Sunwheel will see the sun rise and set over stones placed to mark the equinoxes. If the skies are clear, telescopes will be available for observations of the sun and other objects. 

Sunwheel is located south of McGuirk Alumni Stadium, just off Rocky Hill Road about one-quarter mile west of University Drive (map). Be prepared for wet footing and bring mosquito repellent. Heavy rain cancels the event. Donations will be welcome for supporting additional site work and future events.

Newton Free Library STEAM Expo and New Makerspace, Sept. 15

The Newton Free Library will hold its 5th annual STEAM Expo for all ages on Saturday, September 15, 12-3PM, including the soft launch of the Library’s new Makerspace. (You can join the Makers-at-the-Library Meetup to stay up to date.) Last year, over 1,500 attended the Expo, and this year it’s expected to be even bigger. This STEM + Arts Expo is a gathering of tech enthusiasts, traditional crafters, artists, musicians, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, museums, engineers, and students. For more information, contact Sara Levine at