LigerBots to Host FIRST LEGO League Eastern Mass. Championship, Dec. 14

The LigerBots, Newton’s competitive high school robotics team, will host the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Eastern Massachusetts State Championship and a STEAM Expo on December 14, 9AM-2PM, at Newton North High School. The competition will feature 48 FLL teams in Grades 4-8 from across eastern Massachusetts that have qualified for the event through their performance in earlier competitions. Teams compete in robot matches and research presentations based on this year’s FLL theme, City Shaper (see video and game guide). The public is invited to watch and participate in hands-on activities and exhibits in the accompanying STEAM Expo featuring Students for a Greener World, Johnson String Instrument, Society for Women Engineers, 501st, as well as the LigerBots. The event is free, open to the public, and fun for all.

Hour of Code, Dec. 9-15

Find time this week (December 9-15) for Hour of Code! Congratulations to these Newton organizations that have organized events:

  • Eduporium
  • Memorial Spaulding
  • Mount Alvernia Academy
  • Newton North HS
  • Newton Free Library
  • Oak Hill Middle School
  • Williams Elementary School

New Series at Innovation Institute: Living in the Lab, Grades 2-12

The Innovation Institute (TI2)  in Newtonville has created a new series of laboratory sessions, Living in the Lab, for students in Grades 2-12 to learn about what different types of scientists and engineers actually do. Grade-specific sessions emphasize protocol and techniques to give students in each age group age-appropriate hands-on experience of life in a laboratory. Younger students start with the most basic questions: What is a scientist? or What is an engineer? Instruction is by research scientists and engineers who serve also as role models. The objective is to demystify these career paths for students who do not have informal exposure to them and inspire all students to explore becoming scientists or engineers.

Over four to six weeks, students spend most of their time in one of TI2 four laboratories focused on one of several fields: microscopy, chemistry, anatomy, molecular biology, genetic engineering, mechanical and electrical engineering. Each of these lab fields has its own grade levels and schedule; see summary course descriptions and schedule and enrollment links for each. Enroll by December 31.

FSU Planetarium Family Night Film: Holiday Skies, Dec. 13

The Christa McAuliffe Center at Framingham State University opens its planetarium for free public presentations each month (except April), with new topics each month within one of three series:  Family Night, Late Nite Skies, and Stellar Nursery. This month’s Family Night film, Holiday Skies, will be shown on December 13 at 5:30PM and 6:30PM for families with children 6 years or older. Register now at those links because space is limited, and for guaranteed seating you must pre-register and arrive 15 minutes before show time (directions and parking). A suggested donation of $5 per guest is requested. For more information, email

BioBuilder’s New ‘Kids Who Clone’ Workshop for Ages 10-16: Golden Bread PCR, Dec. 15

BioBuilder Learning Lab will offer a new Kids Who Clone workshop, Golden Bread PCR, on December 15, 1PM-4PM, at LearningLab (700 Main Street, Cambridge) for students in ages 10-16. There is a $35 cost per student and no charge for chaperones attending with them. Register students here and register chaperones here. For more information, email Kelley Klor at

Empow Studios: Winter Schedule of Clubs and Classes

Empow Studios has released its schedule of clubs and classes for its winter season, for both weekends and after-school during the week, in its Newton and Lexington locations. You can sign up individually for any session of any of the clubs, or sign up for regularly scheduled classes.

Nominations for STEM Teacher of the Year Open Until Jan. 20

The Patriots Hall of Fame will accept nominations until January 20 for its Massachusetts STEM Teacher of the Year award, presented by Raytheon. Anyone may nominate any certified K-12 classroom STEM teacher active full-time in a Massachusetts public or private school, and teachers may nominate themselves. The winner will receive $5,000 for the teacher’s school, tickets and pre-game field passes for a Patriots home game, and an invitation to serve one year on the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council.

iCode Holiday Camp, Dec. 23, 24, 26, 27, 30

iCode of Wellesley will offer half-day and full-day camps during December school vacation:  December 23, 24, 26, 27, and 30. Camps include Robotics, Digital Arts & Media, Game Design, VR, Science Experiments, Electronics, Drones & Girls-Only. Pre-register here. For more information, email or call 781-291-3131.

Sign Up for Harvard SEAS Free Holiday Lecture for Families, Dec. 7

Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences hosts an annual Holiday Lecture for families, free and open to the public (recommended for ages 7+).  This year’s lecture, on Saturday, December 7, will be an interactive presentation, The Science of Ice Cream: It’s Legen-Dairy, in Science Center Lecture Hall B, 1 Oxford Street, Cambridge. Learn about the physics, chemistry, and biology of how ice cream is made. Register for either the 10AM or 1PM show to guarantee seating.

CEEO Engineering for Explorers Workshop, Grades 3-5, Dec. 7

Tuft’s Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO) will hold an Engineering for Explorers Workshop on December 7, 1PM-4PM, for Grades 3-5. The workshop will focus on designing, building, and testing boats and winter-time structures for explorers. It will take place at CEEO (200 Boston Avenue, Suite G810, in Medford). The cost is $10, which is a discounted rate as it will be led by first-time instructors, mentored by experienced CEEO staff. Registration is first-come, first-served.