LigerBots to Host FLL Regional Qualifying Tournament at NNHS, Nov. 23

The LigerBots will again host the Newton Qualifier, a FIRST LEGO League robotics competition for 400 Massachusetts students in Grades 4-8 on Saturday, November 23, 8AM-4PM, at Newton North HS. It’s free and open to the public. The theme of this year’s competition is City Shaper (see video). Thirty-six teams will compete using LEGO robots they have designed, built, and programmed to perform complex tasks. The public may also view the teams’ displays of their solutions to real-world problems related to the urban-design theme. There will also be hands-on STEM activities for kids, and the LigerBots’ First Robotics Competition robot will be on display.

“e” Inc. Activity Night: The Power of Flight, Nov. 21

“e” inc. — Boston’s environment science learning and action center — hosts Activity Nights for ages 5-7 on the third Thursday of each month, 6PM-7:30PM. On November 21, the theme will be The Power of Flight. It’s located 114 16th Street, Room 1030 in the Charlestown Navy Yard.

Coding Butterfly’s Free Micro:Bit Coding Workshops, Saturdays

Coding Butterfly (132 Charles Street) will host free workshops on Saturdays (November 23, December 7 and December 14), 11:45AM-12:45PM, for students ages 8-12 to learn how to tinker with Micro:Bit computers, which can be programmed using coding blocks to program sensors, lights, and make simple games. The content will be the same each week, so register for one.

Empow Labs to Host Open Houses, Nov. 20 & Dec. 7

Empow Studios will host free open houses for the new Empow Labs XR Digital Makerspace (180 Needham Street) for ages 15+, including students, educators, and professionals in the field. Sign up for one of four half-hour time slots on either November 20 (4:30-6:30PM) or December 7 (10AM-Noon). There will be free AR/VR activities using a variety of equipment.

Mass. Science & Engineering Fair: Open for Registration

Each year, the Massachusetts State Science and Engineering Fair showcases more than 300 of the “best of the best” high-school science fair research and design projects from across the state, awarding $500,000 in scholarships and prizes. The public showcase will be held at MIT on May 1 &2. Students in Grades 9-12 in Massachusetts may qualify to participate through high placement in either one of the six regional science fairs or their own school science fairs. They must first create a personal account and student profile and receive approval for their research plans.

Fenway HS Seeks Volunteer Judges for Senior Science Fair, Dec. 6

Fenway High School‘s annual Senior Science Fair will be held on Friday, December 6, 8:30-11:30AM at Boston’s Museum of Science. The school seeks adult volunteers to be judges. You do not need to be a scientist to be a judge; you need an open mind, a positive attitude, and ability to provide candid feedback and thoughtful encouragement. The school will provide a , sample questions, a rubric, and orientation for judges (at 8:30AM). If you’re interested in participating, even if not for the full time, email Joseph Cheung at jcheung@fenwayhs.org. Museum parking will be validated, and you can explore the museum afterwards.

Boston Tech Mom’s 2020 Guide to STEM Programs

As postlogue to her Boston STEM Fair, Boston Tech Mom has published her 2020 Guide to STEM Programs in Massachusetts.

Transit of Mercury, Nov. 11

A transit of Mercury — when the planet passes directly in front of the Sun from the viewpoint of the Earth — occurs about 13 times a century. The next one will be Monday, November 11, 7:36AM-1:04PM Eastern time on the East Coast of the U.S. The one after that will be in 2032 but not visible in the U.S. The next one visible here will be in 2049. If you want to take advantage of the one on Monday, you’ll need a telescope (because Mercury appears so small) with appropriate filters (because it’s transiting the Sun). Here are opportunities to view the event safely:

N. E. Aquarium: Deep Sea Corals and Their Climate Secrets, Nov. 14

The New England Aquarium’s free public lecture series will host Deep Sea Corals and Their Climate Secrets on November 14, 7PM-8PM in the aquarium’s IMAX theater. Laura F. Robinson, Professor of Geochemistry at the University of Bristol, will discuss chemical analysis of coral skeletons to examine how oceans have changed over tens of thousands of years. Cash bar available 6PM-7PM. Register here.

FSU Planetarium Film: Supernova: A Matter of Life and Death, Nov. 15

The Christa McAuliffe Center at Framingham State University opens its planetarium for free public presentations on the third Friday of each month (except April), with topics each month within one of three series:  Family Night, Late Nite Skies, and Stellar Nursery. On November 15, 7-8:30PM, the Late Nite Skies series will present for ages 14+ the planetarium show, Supernova: A Matter of Life and Death. A donation of $5 is suggested. Space is limited, and for guaranteed seating you must pre-register and arrive 15 minutes before show time (directions and parking).