Middle-School Girls: Apply by April 6 for Envision the Future, July 20-24

As announced last week, the John M. Barry Boys & Girls Club of Newton is participating in the Envision the Future program with the support of NewtonSTEM, the Newton Free Library, Newton Community Education, and the Southeastern STEM Network.  The first step is to send three Newton middle-school girls as ambassadors to Envision the Future‘s one-week summer STEM program at Bridgewater State University, July 20-24.  On their return, these student ambassadors will be called on to spread the word — through presentations, articles, etc. — about what they learn from the program.  The sponsoring organizations will replicate one or more of the program’s STEM-promoting practices in Newton next year.

Interested middle-school girls should apply online by 9AM on April 6 and also have a parent/guardian sign and submit the Parent/Guardian Approval Form (PDF) by that deadline.  Continue reading

Newton High Schools Excel in Mass. Science Olympiad

At the Massachusetts Science Olympiad competition yesterday, the Newton North HS Science Team placed 2nd and the Newton South HS Science Team placed 3rd in a field of 46 Massachusetts high schools.  Preliminary results for individual events (PDF) are now posted.  Congratulations to both teams!

Registration Opens Mar. 23 for Clark University’s Spring Splash, April 25

Clark University’s 2015 Spring Splash program will be held on Saturday, April 25 from 10AM to 5PM on Clark’s campus (Jonas Clark Building, 950 Main St., Worcester).  Splash is a free, one-day, annual event for students in Grades 5 through 12 to explore a wide range of subjects taught by Clark students and faculty.  Classes include introductions to advanced academic topics and hands-on experiments.  Lunch is included.  Registration is open on a first-come, first-served basis until April 17.  Students should open their own account and register for courses, then print out and bring to the event a liability waiver (PDF) signed by a parent.  For further information, email clarkuesp@gmail.com.  The course catalog includes these Science courses: Continue reading

See the LigerBots Compete at Northeastern, Mar. 27-28

The Newton LigerBots (Team #2877) will compete in the FIRST District Competition at Northeastern University’s Matthews Arena (238-262 St. Botolph Street, Boston) March 27 (8AM-8PM) and March 28 (8AM-6:30PM).  Cheer them on!  There’s lots to see.  Results will be posted here.

Cambridge Science Festival, April 17-26: Register Now for Some Events

The Cambridge Science Festival is the national leader in its field, with over 100 activities and events spanning 10 days, April 17-26.  You can filter this year’s online schedule of events by age (family/teens/adults) and type (activities, workshops, performances, talks, other) or by date.  Register now for those events that require pre-registration or tickets.  Some events are for educators.  The Science Carnival on Saturday, April 18, 12-4PM, has five themes:  Earth & Space, Micro-Zone, No Limits, Game Corner, and Robot Zoo!  It’s too much to keep in your head.  Download the Guidebook app and search for “Cambridge Science Festival 2015″ to get your mobile guide to events.

Middle-School Teachers: Bring 2 Students to Tour MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center, Apr. 16

The MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center invites middle-school teachers to bring two outstanding students for the Center’s annual Outreach Day, April 16.  The event will discuss plasmas, harnessing fusion energy, large magnets, and sources of intense microwave and millimeter-wave power.  Students will observe plasmas in a glow discharge tube, perform hands-on demonstrations with superconductivity, and see MIT’s tokamak, the Alcator C-MOD.  The program begins at 9AM and goes to 3PM, when there will be an optional information session and tour of MIT.  Bring a lunch.  Registration is first-come, first-served and closes April 1.  For further information, email Paul Rivenberg at rivenberg@psfc.mit.edu.

Elementary Teachers: Learn About ‘STOP for Science’ — April 1

Framingham State University’s Christa McAuliffe Center (100 State St., Framingham) will host a professional-development workshop (4:30-6PM on April 1) for elementary-school teachers to learn about “STOP for Science,” a program of materials and exhibits to increase students’ interest in science.  Themes include:  When stars go BOOM; Somewhere over the Rainbow; How Tall is Tall?; Choke Up on that Bat!; That’s Fast!  Cost is $10.  Registration is required.

MassBay’s Summer STEM Programs for High-School Students

MassBay Community College in Wellesley will offer its Summer Bridge STEM program, July 6-17 from 9AM to 3:30PM.  Students will choose either a) one of two for-credit courses (3D CAD Technology or Digital Imaging) or b) a series of four 2.5-day, noncredit workshops (Artbotics, Coding with Scratch, Raspberry Pi, Mobile Apps with App Inventor).  Register online.  The $100 fee is due at registration.  For more information, call 781-239-2586 or email ssreedhar@massbay.edu.

Ligerbots Excel in their 1st FIRST Competition of the Season!

1-LigerBots-at-UMass-Dartmouth-001This weekend at UMass Dartmouth, the Newton LigerBots (Team #2877) turned in an excellent performance in their first district meet of the 2015 FIRST Robotics Competition season.

  • The team made it all the way to semifinals in this year’s “Recycle Rush” game, with their alliance finishing third in the tournament.
  • They also won the coveted District Chairman’s Award, which honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST.  This award celebrates the LigerBots’ efforts to spread interest in STEM in their community.  (Thank you, LigerBots!)  It also automatically qualifies the LigerBots to compete in the District Championship in April, for the chance to advance to the FIRST World Championships later this spring.
  • Three members of the team won nominations to advance in the district-wide competitions for individual awards:
    • Head coach Charles Hurwitz will now advance to the district championship level for the Woodie Flowers Award — given to the mentor who best leads, inspires, teaches, and empowers their team using excellent communication skills.
    • Max Tepermeister and Ilias Vamvakas will now advance to the district championship level for the Dean’s List Award — given to outstanding student leaders for their exemplary passion for and effectiveness at attaining FIRST ideals.

Currently, the LigerBots are ranked 44th of 175 teams in New England, with one qualifying tournament at Northeastern University to be played on March 27-28 and then the District Championship at Worcester Polytechnic Institute on April 9-11.  As always, these competitions are a blast for spectators, too.  Come down to Northeastern or WPI to cheer on the award-winning LigerBots!

Newton to Send 3 Middle-School Girls to ‘Envision the Future’ — July 20-24

Envision the Future is a one-week residential summer STEM program for girls ages 11-13.  It’s designed to foster interest in STEM fields — and to serve as a model of effective practices for doing so, through replication of its activities in supporting communities the following year.  The program includes challenging STEM activities, career exploration with STEM professionals, meeting women role models, and connecting with other girls with similar interests.

Envision the Future will take place with a total of 48 participants at Bridgewater State University, July 20-24, under the auspices of the Southeastern Massachusetts STEM Network.  Participation is by invitation.  Newton has been invited to create a network of local STEM-interested organizations to:

  • Send three middle-school girls as participants in the program and then
  • Replicate one or more of the program’s STEM-promoting practices in Newton next year.

Continue reading