The Newton North High School InvenTeam is one out of four teams chosen to present at the Lemelson-MIT Program’s 2013 EurekaFest. The public is invited to the presentations by 2013 InvenTeams and Lemelson-MIT Collegiate Student Prize Winners in the Kirsch Auditorium MIT Stata Center (32 Vassar Street, Cambridge) on Thursday, June 20 2PM-4PM. The 2013 InvenTeams will exhibit their invention prototypes at the InvenTeams Showcase on Friday, June 21 5PM-7:30PM in the Stata Center.
The Newton North HS Science Team has had a stellar year of competitions and has qualified for two national competitions: one in Florida at the end of June and one in Bozeman, Montana, in August. The team is now preparing to compete and seeking to raise approximately $10,000 to offset the expenses for these trips. Newton community members can help in two ways.
- Donations can be sent to the NNHS Science Team c/o Amy Winston,
Department Head for Science, NNHS, 457 Walnut Street, Newton, MA 02460.
(Checks can be made out to the “City of Newton” with “NNHS Science Team” in the memo line.)
- Corporate sponsors are being recruited and will be acknowledged on the team’s banners and t-shirts for these competitions as well as through local media after the competitions. Companies and organizations interested in being sponsors should contact Ms. Winston at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The NNHS Envirothon team finished first in a statewide competition last month, coming in first place in all ecostations (Soils, Wildlife, Water, and Forestry) and second place in its Current Issue presentation on the condition of Newton’s ailing urban forest and street trees. In all, the NNHS Science Team participated in seven competitions this year and placed in the top ten in each.
Newton’s high-school science teams continue to excel. Last Saturday, Newton North placed 2nd and Newton South placed 3rd overall in the Massachusetts State Science Olympiad at Framingham State University, competing with more than 40 school teams across the state.
Newton North’s 20-member Science Team placed an average of 6th in all 21 of its events, medaling 1st in studying events for Materials Science, Rocks and Minerals, and Forestry. The team also placed in the top 5 in all of the Olympiad building events: Maglev, Gravity Vehicle, Boomilever, and Robot Arm. In its Trial Events, it also placed well, setting a good standard for future years. North Science teacher Tatyana Osipenko, the team advisor, proctored the Experimental Design event, in which Newton North came in 13th. The team plans to participate in MIT Trivia and the MA Envirothon, and it will organize the Science Initiatives Competition in the upcoming weeks.
Newton South‘s team, with more than 40 active members, averaged between 6th and 7th place, claiming Top Three in 10 out of 21 total events. The members received gold medals for Maglev and Robotic Arm, silver medals in Forensics, Thermodynamics, Rocks and Minerals, and Water Quality, and also received bronze medals in Material Science, Physics Lab, and Technical Problem Solving Material Science. In 8 additional events, the team ranked within the Top 10. South Science teacher Dr. Jordan Kraus, the team advisor, organized the event Anatomy and Physiology, in which Newton South placed 2nd. South’s trial team, consisting of young and growing members of the team, placed 3rd in the event Endangered and Exotic Animals.
Blue Lobster Bowl: On March 3, Newton North sent three teams to the Blue Lobster Bowl, Massachusetts’ regional marine sciences quiz bowl at MIT. The full-day competition covers chemistry, biology, engineering, history, ecology, climate change, and weather. North’s A team placed 3rd of 16 teams, and its B team placed 7th. The C team entered in a non-official bracket and placed 2nd. Newton South’s team placed 8th.
West Suburban Science League: Newton South’s Science Team placed first in the West Suburban Science League. At one of the five West Suburban meets, the team tied its best single-meet score, with three first-place events and one second. Newton North placed 4th with 302 points, its best score since 2007.
National Science Bowl: Newton South’s team recently traveled to Connecticut and placed 5th of thirty-two at the regional event of the general science competition, the National Science Bowl. Newton North’s team tied for 9th place.
Both the North HS and South HS Math Teams have qualified for the upcoming competition of the Massachusetts Association of Mathematics Leagues. This required consistently high performance in the five monthly Greater Boston Mathematics League meets. The North Math Team is currently ranked second in the Greater Boston Math League, and its A team won the last meet, in Canton.
At the Harvard-MIT November Tournament, a state-wide competition, North’s team placed 6th and South’s team placed 10th. South’s team placed 2nd in a high-stakes speed round at the end of the tournament.
Several members of both the North and South teams did well in the American Mathematics Competitions and will go on to compete at the state level.
Come see the Ligerbots — Newton’s FIRST robotics team — compete against 41 other teams from around the world in the FIRST Regional Tournament hosted by Worcester Polytechnic Institute, on March 7-9. FIRST is a program designed to inspire high school students to pursue higher education and careers in STEM. In this tournament, over 40 teams will compete from all over the world. Each team has 6 weeks to build a robot to compete in the same game.
Leanora McVittie, Ligerbots CEO, reports: Continue reading
The science teams of Newton South HS and Newton North HS are large (more than 30 students each), open to all interested students, mostly student-run, and very successful in a wide range of events. In last year’s State Science Olympiad, they came in second and third place statewide, respectively. The teams support students to develop scientific inquiry skills, to increase their content knowledge, and most critically to work together collaboratively as a team.
The students pay fees and conduct fundraisers to cover the costs of competition registrations, books, tools, and materials. They also pay a $125/person club fee to NPS. The two teams are seeking local sponsors — businesses or individuals — to help with the $1700 annual cost of bus transportation to competitions. The teams share buses, which are not paid by NPS.
If you would like to help keep these teams strong, please make a contribution by sending a check (made out to “City of Newton” with “Science Team Bus” in the memo) to:
Amy D. Picard Winston
Science and Technology/Engineering Dept. Head
Newton North HS, 457 Walnut St., Newton, MA 02460
If you have questions or ideas for recruiting sponsors, please contact her at email@example.com or 617-559-6380. To contact the teams:
NNHS: nnhs-science.wikidot.com or www.facebook.com/NNHSsciteam
This year, Newton North is one of 16 high schools nationwide to be selected as an InvenTeam. InvenTeam, funded by the Lemelson Foundation and administered by MIT’s School of Engineering, celebrates outstanding innovators and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention.
Challenged to apply its STEM skills to solve a real-world problem, the Newton North team developed a proposal to invent a Pedestrian Alert System. The World Health Organization, naming 2011-2020 the Decade of Action for Road Safety, notes that road traffic injuries are one of the top 3 leading causes of death for ages 5-44. In 2004, road traffic injuries resulted in more than 1.27 million deaths—almost equal to the number of deaths caused by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined. The Newton North team found that Ethiopia has among the highest road traffic fatalities per vehicle.
In October, the Newton North team won an InvenTeam grant of $10,000 for its proposal to invent a Pedestrian Alert System to warn drivers of crossing pedestrians, with the ultimate aim to help pedestrians in developing countries safely cross dangerous roads. The grant can be used only to purchase materials for experimenting and prototyping. The actual fabrication must be funded by the team. (You can donate online to help the team meet its goal.) In June, the team will present a working prototype at the MIT EurekaFest. See this brief video of the team presenting to its project mentors.
The Newton North InvenTeam is nearing the final phase of the project — building a working prototype. Updates of the team’s recent activities and milestones can be found at nnhsinventeam.com.
The DIGITS Project for opening middle-school minds to STEM released its 2012 annual report covering the last school year, highlighting these accomplishments:
- Reached 14,004 students — 20% of the state’s Sixth graders
- Involved 154 volunteers from 51 companies/organizations
- Achieved significant increases in interest in math, knowledge of STEM careers, and retention of a key message about math (as measured 3-4 months later)
- Expanded statewide, with pilots in Berkshire County and Springfield Public Schools
- Increased recognition and partnerships due to endorsement by the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council’s @Scale program
In Newton, four volunteers from IBM, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, and Millennium Pharmaceuticals presented to about 380 students at two middle schools, Oak Hill and Bigelow. After the first of the year, DIGITS will begin signing up middle schools for the coming spring sessions.
Norma Sullivan, 6th grade math/science teacher at Oak Hill MS, believes kids need to get the STEM bug by the end of middle school — ideally by the end of 6th grade. She’s doing her part. Besides her LIFT2 professional learning program and summer internship and her classes’ early participation in the DIGITS program, she is engaging her students to explore STEM careers with these ideas: Continue reading