Mass. Science Olympiad Results: Newton North 2nd, Newton South 3rd

Congratulations to the Science Teams of Newton North HS and Newton South HS for placing 2nd and 3rd respectively among 51 high school teams in the preliminary results of this year’s Massachusetts Science Olympiad held at Framingham State University. Each team competed in 25 events throughout the all-day event.Acton-Boxborough placed first, as it has since 2009, when Newton North last came out on top.

LigerBots Compete and Receive Awards at North Shore Event

The Newton LigerBots participated in their first 2018 district competition this weekend, the North Shore District Event at Reading Memorial HS.  During the opening ceremonies, the team’s award-winning Safety Award Animation was shown, and on the second day of competition team CTO Cam played the national anthem on his trumpet. The LigerBots participated in competitions for FIRST awards as well as the FIRST Power Up competition. At the end of regular competition matches, the team was ranked 10th.  The LigerBots were selected by the Bionics from Billerica to be on Alliance 6, joined by Terminal Velocity from Burlington. The LigerBots also scored a record-setting high score of 861 for this game.

The LigerBots were recognized with several awards:

  • The team received recognition for winning the 2018 FIRST Safety Animation Award, sponsored by UL, for the team’s Safety Animation video, which will be played at 160 FRC competitions worldwide this year.
  • Team mentor Igor Tepermeister was named a Woody Flowers Nominee at this competition, advancing to the next level of competition. This award recognizes an outstanding individual motivator for excellence in communicating and challenging students to communicate clearly and succinctly.
  • The team received the Imagery Award, given in honor of Jack Kamen, Dean’s father, for his dedication to art and illustration and his devotion to FIRST. This award celebrates attractiveness in engineering and outstanding visual aesthetic integration of machine and team appearance. The judges said, “This award rewards [the LigerBots’] ability to do hard work, great design, and agility. Their planning is professional, and their presence is essential. For these reasons and their elegant bots, the Imagery Award goes to Team 2877, the LigerBots.”

The LigerBots’ next competition will be at the Greater Boston District Event on April 7-8 at Revere HS (101 School St., Revere), and the events on the final day are free, open to the public, and a blast to see.

Newton Free Library: Urban Search and Rescue Robotics Challenge, Mar. 22

The Newton Free Library will host the Urban Search and Rescue Robotics Challenge on Thursday, March 22, 4-8PM. It’s a robotics challenge for Grades 11-12 presented by the Massachusetts Army National Guard and is based on real-life scenarios involving search-and-rescue robots. The event challenges competitors to engineer a robot that can navigate a unique obstacle course to locate and remove an object within a specified time, using heavy-duty, aircraft-grade aluminum elements, powerful drive motors, and wireless cameras. Online registration is required.

Register Now for “e” Inc. Summer Science Discovery Program

Registration is now open for ages 6-12 for “e” Inc.’s Summer Science Discovery Program running 9AM-3PM at their Discovery and Action Center (114 16th Street, Charlestown) for these weeks:

  • Dinosaur Week, August 20-24
  • Earth: The Final Frontier, August 27-31

Become a TEALS Volunteer to Teach High-School Computer Science

Supported by Microsoft Philanthropies, Technology Education And Literacy in Schools (TEALS) recruits, trains, and places volunteer teaching assistants in high-school classrooms to support partner schools and teachers in offering computer-science courses on a sustainable basis. Several schools in the local area participate: Boston Latin, Boston Community Leadership, Boston International, Brookline, Burlington, Cambridge, Excel Academy East Boston, KIPP Academy Lynn, Revere, Waltham, Watertown, Woburn. Applications are now open for new volunteers for the 2018-19 school year. For more information, read the Volunteer Guide and the FAQ, and view a video of an introductory info session.

NSHS Rising Sophomores: Applications Open for daVinci Program

Applications are open until March 18 for rising sophomore students at Newton South HS to be considered for daVinci, the school’s interdisciplinary STEAM program, in the 2018-19 school year. Here’s a NSHS Denebola article about the program.

More Pi Day Events for Mar. 14

Besides the Museum of Science’s Pi Party on Boston’s City Hall Plaza, Boston will celebrate March 14 (3.14) with these other events:

Cabot Elementary Celebrates 18th Annual Invention Invasion!

Last Friday evening, students — as teams and individuals — displayed their inventions and results of scientific inquiry at Cabot Elementary School’s 18th annual Invention Invasion — an event sponsored by the Cabot PTO and faculty. This year, the event also featured Night Skies’ Starlab inflatable planetarium for shows every 20 minutes. 

Register for Clark University’s Spring Splash, Grades 5-12, Apr. 8

Clark University’s Spring Splash — a one-day program offering 28 classes for students in Grades 5-12 — will be held April 8, 10AM-5PM on the Clark campus (950 Main St., Worcester).  Students should register by March 30 but as soon as possible because classes fill up.  The day is free, with lunch included.  For more information, email  The classes are taught by Clark students and include these STEM topics:

  • STEM Majors 101
  • Intermittent Fasting: The Ultimate Fat-Burning Lifestyle!
  • It’s a Liquid… it’s a Solid… It’s Oobleck!
  • All About Tigers
  • Astronomy – The Stars Above
  • Cool Chemistry Stuff

NNHS Ecology Trip to Nicaragua

For the second year in a row, Newton North HS students visited Nicaragua over February vacation to study tropical ecology and sustainable living through the NNHS Global Education Program’s Nicaragua Ecology Trip.  Led by North North HS biology teacher Anndy Dannenberg and Brandeis University ecologist Dr. Eric Olson, the group of 11 students spent two nights on an organic farm (where even human waste is expertly composted), visited an ecolodge (that uses photovoltaics and wind for power and captures rainwater for irrigation and clothes washing), and then spent several days in “community tourism,” boarding with four host families in a small coastal fishing village. The group sighted all three species of monkeys found in Nicaragua, including the elusive spider monkey. A key focus of the trip was studying spiders, to the dismay of some arachnophobes in the group. Other topics of study included:

  • How to recognize and survey for jumping spiders (family Salticidae)?
  • How do hummingbird and “buzz” pollination syndromes work?
  • What allows mangrove trees to thrive in low-oxygen salty mud?
  • How can we access the forest canopy using a mix of caving and rock climbing techniques?
  • How can a non-native invasive tree become an employment opportunity for underemployed fishermen?
  • How many meals of rice and beans can be eaten before one longs for dietary diversity?