LigerBots Compete in ‘BattleCry’ and Get Ready for Beantown Blitz

This weekend the LigerBots participated in the two-day “Battlecry” post-season FIRST competition at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, ending the Qualifying Rounds ranked 8th of 59 teams with a 6-2-0 record. The team was also awarded the Distinguished Controls award, a Judge’s Award for inspired robot-operator interaction as demonstrated through interface and programming excellence.  The team plans to compete in one more post-season competition, Beantown Blitz, on June 24 at Revere High School.  It’s free and open to the public.

Newton South HS Science Dept. Open House, May 31

Newton South HS’s Science Department will hold its annual Open House on May 31, 3:30-6:30PM.  Current and future NSHS students and their parents — and the general public — are invited to come talk with science faculty and students to learn about their work.  Featured exhibits and activities include:

  • Open classrooms, with displays of student work, including:
    • Family Chemistry Poster projects
    • A.P. Biology projects
    • Honors & ACP Biology energy projects
    • Physics Meets Biology poster displays
  • DaVinci STEAM projects, including:
    • Engineering projects
    • Computer 3-D animation
    • Murals on canvas
    • Live music / music synthesizers
  • Presentations by the NSHS Science Team and the LigerBots Robotics Team
  • Fun With Chemistry demonstratons for kids, by A.P. Chemistry students
  • Technology & Engineering display
  • Sustainability/ garden display

Volunteers Needed for SHPE STEM Awareness Event, June 1

Adult volunteers are needed for an evening of STEM awareness/promotion on June 1, 4-6:30PM at the Menino Community Center (125 Brookway Road in Roslindale). The Boston chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) will hold its second annual STARS (Students Trained And Ready in STEM) event for students in Grades 6-12. Adult volunteers with STEM backgrounds are needed to make the event a success. They will be expected to attend one pre-event conference call for planning and then fully participate in STEM promotion activities and discussions during the event. Dinner is included. Read about last year’s event and then sign up here. For more information or to connect with SHPE, email, or

“e” Inc.’s Family Science Saturdays to Explore Weather & Climate

“e” Inc. is hosting Family Science Saturdays (10AM-4PM) at its Environment Science Discovery & Action Museum (114 16th Street, Room 1030, in the Charlestown Navy Yard, Charlestown) for families to enjoy Boston’s new weather and climate museum. The museum is designed for ages 7-12, but all are welcome. Admission is $3 per child and $10 per adult. See the museum’s site for more information and reservations.

Student Space Station Experiments: Inquire by June 15

The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education will hold another competition for student-designed microgravity experiments to be conducted on the International Space Station (ISS). This program has been featured in Scientific American. Students in Grades 5-16 are eligible to design and propose experiments, but communities sponsoring entries from Grades 5-12 should plan to engage as many as 300 students in the competition. Participating communities with approved entries will be provided a microgravity mini-laboratory to host one experiment, plus all launch services to reach the ISS in Spring 2018 and return for analysis. Communities must express interest by the (recently extended) deadline of June 15 and commit to a 9-week design/proposal phase, September 5 through November 3.  Winning experiments will be selected by December 14 for launch in the Spring.

Workshops in Space Exploration (WiSE), in Rockport in July

Science educators, students, and other enthusiasts are invited to attend one or both of these four-day Workshops in Space Exploration (WiSE) on the campus of Rockport (MA) Public Schools:

  • July 17, 18, 20, 21: Exploring the Solar System
  • July 24, 25, 27, 28: Exploring the Milky Way and Greater Cosmos

The cost is $300 per four-day workshop, with scholarships available to Massachusetts educators.  The workshop presenter, Bill Waller is a professional astronomer and educator dedicated to sharing the wonders of the cosmos with people of all ages and abilities. Contact Gini Nangle at the Rockport Community Schools ( or Dr. William H. Waller (

Teachers: Learn about Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams

The Lemelson-MIT Program within MIT’s School of Engineering administers the InvenTeams program for students in Grades 7-10 to learn about STEM through invention-based design. Newton has a successful history with InvenTeams. Lemelson-MIT now offers 8 free activity guides for teachers on its Resources page and will host a professional-development workshop for middle- and high-school teachers to learn more about the InvenTeams approach, July 24-26 at MIT. For more information, contact Gayle Golding at or 617-253-3410.

LigerBots Host Explanation of FIRST LEGO League Robotics, May 30

Students in Grades K-8 — and their parents — are invited to learn about FIRST Lego League (FLL) at FLL Info Night, hosted by the Newton LigerBots on May 30, 7-9PM in Newton North HS’s Film Lecture Hall.  At the event, students and parents can learn more about FLL and what roles students can play on FLL teams, such as being a researcher, coder, or engineer, and they can meet others who are interested in forming FLL teams.

The LigerBots — Newton’s FIRST Robotics team, spanning both high schools — offers this information session as a community service, in part because FLL is a great introduction to the engineering, teamwork, and project skills that make great future LigerBots. The LigerBots also support FLL by mentoring local FLL teams, hosting FLL competitions, and promoting the principles of FIRST.

Where Can You Find the LigerBots this May?

The Newton LigerBots FIRST Robotics team will be active, as usual, throughout May in competition and community service:

  • May 14:  Newton Festival of the Arts Outdoor Festival Weekend & KidsFEST, 10AM-5PM on the Newton Centre Green, across from Tango Mango.  Meet the team and their robot.
  • May 20:  “Battlecry” post-season competition at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.  It’s free, open to the public 10AM-7PM, and amazing.
  • May 24:  Planting flags on veterans’ graves at Newton Cemetery, 6-7PM, in preparation for Memorial Day.
  • May 28:  Newton Memorial Day Parade, 2-4PM, marching with their robot.
  • May 30:  FLL Info Night, 7-9PM in Newton North HS’s Film Lecture Hall.
  • May 31:  Newton South HS Science Department Open House, 3:40-6:30PM, to demonstrate their robot and recruit new team members.

11th Annual YouthCAN Summit on Climate and Sustainability, May 13

Youth and adults from across New England are invited to attend the 11th Annual Youth Summit on Global Climate Change at MIT’s EG&G Education Center (Building 34) on May 13, from 9AM to 3PM.  It’s free and sponsored by Boston Latin School’s Youth Climate Action Network (YouthCAN) and the Radius initiative of MIT’s Technology and Culture Forum.  The theme this year is Youth Activism and Social Justice.  The summit includes a keynote, workshops, exhibits, free breakfast and lunch, and prizes. Space is limited. For more information, contact Cate Arnold at  Register online, specifying your choice of these workshops:

  • Climate Impacts on Boston Harbor Islands & Less Resourced Coastal Regions
  • How Youth Activists Can Get Involved in Food Justice
  • Excited About EcoEntrepreneurship!
  • The Shark: A Species We Could Not Live Without
  • Getting to a Smarter Grid
  • 100% Renewable Energy: Why We Need It & How We Get It
  • Climate, Racism + Capitalism (full)
  • The State Legislature: Protecting Water & Natural Resources
  • Futuristic Energy and Climate Change
  • Forestry and Climate Change: Maple Syrup, Storm Surge, and Forest Carbon