The Ligerbots Arrive at FRC World Champships

The Newton Ligerbots, represented by 23 students and 14 coaches/mentors/parents, have arrived in St. Louis with their robot for the FRC World Championships.  Thanks to corporate sponsors and all others who donated funds to make this possible.  Sure enough, the team has been assigned to the Newton Division (not Archimedes, Curie, Einstein, or Galileo).  According to the schedule, matches will run from Thursday at 9AM to Saturday afternoon.  Events will be live-streamed at http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/robotics/first/st-louis-2014/.  See online for match results, team standings, and awards.  Besides the competitions, the students and adults may attend the FIRST Championship Conferences presented by teams, coaches, mentors, and sponsors on an amazing range of topics.  Good luck to the Ligerbots and best wishes for inspiration, perseverance, collaboration, and Gracious Professionalism!

Innovation Institute: One-Week Summer Mini-Courses, Grades K-8+

This summer the Innovation Institute in Newtonville is offering a range of one-week mini-courses, 9AM-noon, between June 9 and August 15 for kindergarten through Grade 8 and beyond.  See the schedule for these courses and register online.

  • Biology in Our Backyard: Investigating Plants and Animals within an Urban Landscape (K-2)
  • Architects of the Future: Using Recycled Materials to Create a ‘Greener’ City (K-2)
  • Alternative Energies Explorations I: The Science and Design of Solar Vehicles or Net-Zero Homes (2-3)
  • Luminescence and Fluorescence: Investigations in the Natural and Built Worlds (3-5)
  • Under the Microscope: Exploring Microorganisms (3-5)
  • Sustainable Fashion: Designing Wearables with Zero Waste (5-8)
  • Investigating Chemical Reactions: Making Mixtures & Molecules with LEGO (4-6)
  • Alternative Energies II: The Science and Design of Hydrogen Vehicles (6-8)
  • Molecular Biology: A Hands-On Approach (6-8)
  • Hands-On 3D Printing: Experiencing the Third Dimension (6-8+)

Two STEM Summer Programs at MassBay Community College, July 7-18

MassBay Community College in Wellesley is offering two summer STEM programs, July 7-18:

  • STEM Summer program, for students entering Grades 7 and 8, costs $300 and includes classes and projects in math, biology, physics, and computers.  Register online or contact Kristen Sutherland (ksutherland@massbay.edu, 781-239-2702) for more information.
  • STEM Summer Bridge, for high-school students, costs $100 and consists of either one course (for rising juniors or seniors:  3D technology or cyber security) or four workshops (for all high-school students:  artbotics, coding with Raspberry Pi, storytelling with Scratch, and mobile apps with App Inventor).  Register online or for more information call 781-239-2586 or email massbaySummerbridge@gmail.com.

Kapparate Summer Computer Camp in Lexington

Kapparate Computer Camps in Lexington offers computer-science summer camps for two age groups:

  • Elementary students (age 9-11):  Creating your own website, making audio/video, and game modding.  No computer experience required.
  • Middle/high school students (age 12+):  In the first half of the camp, students learn computer science and programming through projects involving music, video, encryption, games and math.  In the second half , they do a project individually or in groups and make a presentation on the last day of the camp.

For more information, email  inquiry@KTByte.com or call 818-748-8848.

Engineering and Logic Summer Camp: Open House, April 26

The Studio of Engaging Math in Brighton will hold an open house on April 26, 10:30AM – 2:00PM, for its Engineering and Logic Summer Camp, which offers five one-week summer sessions for kids 6 through 12 years old.  Camp days are 9AM-3PM and include museum field trips and activities such as engineering challenges, science experiments, strategy games, puzzles, origami — and for older students, 3D modeling software and introduction to programming.

MetroWest STEM Education Network Meeting, May 2

The MetroWest STEM Education Network’s quarterly meeting will be held May 2, 8:30AM at Framingham Public Schools, 454 Water Street, Framingham.  Topics include Marlborough’s Youth Career Connect grant, Framingham’s STEAM initiative, a recap of Wellesley’s STEM Expo, and updates on MetroWest STEM’s survey, academy pilot, and STEM magazine issue.

Save the Date: 2014 Mass. STEM Summit: Oct. 22

This year’s Massachusetts STEM Summit will be held October 22, 7:30AM-5PM, at the DCU Center, 50 Foster Street in Worcester.  For more information, contact Dana Bienkowski (StemSummitInfo@donahue.umassp.edu). To become a sponsor, contact J. Lynn Griesemer (lgriesemer@donahue.umassp.edu; 413-545-0001).

Support Newton Ligerbots at FRC Worldwide Championships!

The Newton Ligerbots have just learned that they have qualified for, and received a coveted invitation to, the top high-school robotics competition worldwide — the FRC World Championships in St. Louis, April 23-26.  This culminates their award-winning season of engaging, fun competitions that celebrate excellence in design, collaboration, and STEM while building leadership, self-confidence, and communication skills.  This team — spanning both high schools — needs your financial support to make the trip.

Can you, as a loyal, committed NewtonSTEM reader, provide some financial support to help the Ligerbots attend this worldwide event?  The team registration fee alone is $5000.  Travel costs for students and adult coaches/chaperones will be about $15,000 for a bus plus $9000 for rooms.  The team has already secured grants totaling almost $12,350 from NDEP, PTC, Textron, FedEx, and Newton Public Schools, specifically for this competition.  Ligerbot students’ families are ready to pay substantial amounts to make this happen.  But there’s a gap because not all families can afford the cost.

You can make a tax-deductible contribution to the Ligerbots’ success — in any amount, large or small — through the Newton Schools Foundation:

  • Online:  Click the “Donate” button at ligerbots.org/support to use PayPal or credit card;
  • By check:  Send it to “Newton Schools Foundation”, 246 Dudley Rd., Newton, MA 02459 (with “Ligerbots Championship” in the memo line); or
  • By phone:  Call the Newton Schools Foundation office at 617-559-6120 with your credit card and say your donation is for the Ligerbots Championship.

Thank you, NewtonSTEM readers, for your concrete support of STEM education excellence!

Cambridge Science Festival, April 18-28

The Cambridge Science Festival is the national leader in its field, with over 100 activities and events spanning 10 days, April 18-28.  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.  Some events require pre-registration or tickets.  Some are for educators.  The Science Carnival on Saturday, April 19, 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 2014″ to get your mobile guide to events.

MIT AeroAstro Open House, April 23

To celebrate its 100th anniversary, MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astrophysics is hosting its AeroAstro Open House on April 23, 10AM-2PM.  It’s free and open to all ages.  Visit the Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel (it’s named for them; it’s not one that they used!).  Tour the Gas Turbine Lab and the Interactive Robotics Lab.  Build a parachute to protect an egg in a drop of two stories.  Learn about materials science, rocketry, environmental effects of aviation, unmanned aerial vehicles, and more.  Everything takes place in Building 33 (map) and surrounding Buildings 17, 31, 34, and 41 on the MIT campus. For information, email aa100@mit.edu.