Category Archives: Accomplishments

LigerBots Qualify for World Championships — and Need YOUR $upport to Get There

LigerBots-at-WPI-2015At the FIRST New England Championships this week, the Newton LigerBots qualified in two different ways to advance to the World Championships in St. Louis, April 22-25.

This is a big deal — and this is where YOU come in.  The LigerBots need your financial support to proceed to the World Championships.  It takes significant funding to get the team — and its 6-foot-tall robot — to St. Louis for the competition.  The LigerBots are a city-wide team (LigerBots = Newton South LIons + Newton North tiGERs + roBOTs) that does so much for STEM in Newton.  In fact, that’s exactly why they have won the coveted Chairman’s Award at both District and Regional levels:  The Chairman’s Award honors the team that best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST, including promoting STEM in the community.  The LigerBots excel at this.  If you value STEM, please make a tax-deductible donation to help bring this team to the World Championships!

See these two short videos from this week’s New England Championships, showing why the LigerBots are winners:

Please honor their achievements with your contribution.

LigerBots Excel at Northeastern Competition

Ligerbots-neuThe LigerBots made it all the way to the finals in the FIRST District Competition at Northeastern University this weekend, placing second overall in a field of 40 teams.  Check out the photos of the event.  The team is now ranked #17 of 175 teams in the district and has qualified for the District Championship at Worcester Polytechnic Institute on April 9-11 — and you’re invited to come cheer them on!

Cabot Elementary Celebrates: Invention Invasion!

IMAG2202Last Friday evening, about 115 elementary-school students displayed their inventions and results of scientific inquiry at the 15th anniversary of Cabot Elementary School’s Invention Invasion — an event sponsored by the Cabot PTO and faculty. The student inventors were thrilled to be interviewed by enthusiastic undergraduates from Boston University’s Technology Innovation Scholars Program, who visited each display to learn how things worked, to ask where these ideas came from, and to marvel at the results.  In addition, the LigerBots demonstrated their previous-year’s award-winning robot, and the New England Section of the Optical Society of America demonstrated a giant kaleidoscope, light pens, heat-vision cameras, and prisms.  Click on the photo below for a closer view.
Cabot Elementary's Invention Invasion

Newton High Schools Excel in Mass. Science Olympiad

At the Massachusetts Science Olympiad competition yesterday, the Newton North HS Science Team placed 2nd and the Newton South HS Science Team placed 3rd in a field of 46 Massachusetts high schools.  Preliminary results for individual events (PDF) are now posted.  Congratulations to both teams!

Ligerbots Excel in their 1st FIRST Competition of the Season!

1-LigerBots-at-UMass-Dartmouth-001This weekend at UMass Dartmouth, the Newton LigerBots (Team #2877) turned in an excellent performance in their first district meet of the 2015 FIRST Robotics Competition season.

  • The team made it all the way to semifinals in this year’s “Recycle Rush” game, with their alliance finishing third in the tournament.
  • They also won the coveted District Chairman’s Award, which honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST.  This award celebrates the LigerBots’ efforts to spread interest in STEM in their community.  (Thank you, LigerBots!)  It also automatically qualifies the LigerBots to compete in the District Championship in April, for the chance to advance to the FIRST World Championships later this spring.
  • Three members of the team won nominations to advance in the district-wide competitions for individual awards:
    • Head coach Charles Hurwitz will now advance to the district championship level for the Woodie Flowers Award — given to the mentor who best leads, inspires, teaches, and empowers their team using excellent communication skills.
    • Max Tepermeister and Ilias Vamvakas will now advance to the district championship level for the Dean’s List Award — given to outstanding student leaders for their exemplary passion for and effectiveness at attaining FIRST ideals.

Currently, the LigerBots are ranked 44th of 175 teams in New England, with one qualifying tournament at Northeastern University to be played on March 27-28 and then the District Championship at Worcester Polytechnic Institute on April 9-11.  As always, these competitions are a blast for spectators, too.  Come down to Northeastern or WPI to cheer on the award-winning LigerBots!

‘Science From Scientists’ Wins Mass. @Scale Funding

Science From Scientists is a non-profit organization that brings “real, charismatic scientists” — vetted and trained for classroom work — into classrooms to run hands-on STEM lessons aligned with Common Core/ Next Generation Science standards.  This year, SfS is working with over 3,000 students in Grades 4-8 in 27 schools in Eastern Massachusetts — including Newton’s Oak Hill Middle School, which has participated since 2010.  SfS now has 49 additional schools on its waiting list.  Last week, the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education chose SfS as one of 3 recipients statewide to receive @Scale grants for expansion of successful STEM programs.  The Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council created the @Scale initiative in 2012 to identify and support STEM education programs that are proven to be scalable, effective, and able to secure private-sector funding.  SfS has been successful in attracting a broad range of supporters as well as generating excitement in classrooms about STEM.

NSHS Science Team Places #1 in Final WSSL Meet, #2 for WSSL Season

Newton North and Newton South Science Teams compete in the West Suburban Science League, which hosts five meets from October through February for 17 teams in the Metro-West Boston area.  This was a particularly good year for Newton South’s team, which sent 20 students and placed first in the final meet last Thursday — and for the entire season achieved a very close second place (just 5 points behind Acton-Boxborough’s 366 points).  At Thursday’s meet, the Newton South team placed 1st in both Mystery Solutions and Fermi Questions, 3rd in Mission Possible, and 5th in Evolution.  Congratulations to Captains (Ian Paul, Ellen Kwon, and Sasha Kuznetsov), Coaches (Dr. Jordan Kraus and Dr. Alan Crosby), and the entire team.

Upcoming competitions for the Science teams include the TEAMS competition on February 26, the Blue Lobster Bowl on February 28 at MIT, the Northeast Science Bowl on March 7 at UConn, the Massachusetts Science Olympiad on March 21 at Framingham State University, the MIT Club Science Trivia Challenge on April 22 at the Broad Institute, and the Massachusetts Envirothon on May 14 at Quabbin Resevoir.

Horace Mann Science Night!

More than 90 students displayed exhibits at Horace Mann Elementary School’s Science Night last Friday.  In addition, the New England Section of the Optical Society of America demonstrated a giant kaleidoscope, light pens, and prisms.  And FIRST Lego League introduced students and parents to their robotics programs and core values.  Yes, those very intent observers in white lab coats and colorful wigs are Horace Mann teachers.
Click on the photo to zoom in on a great evening.

NNHS and NSHS Science Teams at MIT Science Olympiad

Newton North and Newton South Science Teams were among more than 50 teams — including 17 teams nationally ranked — competing in the Science Olympiad Invitational at MIT on January 24.  Newton North came in 12th overall — and 1st in Astronomy, 4th in Geologic Mapping and Scrambler, 5th in Entomology, and 6th in Technical Problem Solving.  Newton South came in 31st overall — and 2nd in Chemistry Lab, 5th in Bungee Drop, and 6th in Anatomy and Physiology.  The tournament was an extremely competitive practice run before the State Olympiad on March 21 in Worcester.

NNHS/NSHS Math Teams at Harvard-MIT Math Tournament

Newton North and South HS Math Teams did well in the recent Harvard-MIT Mathematics Tournament among about 900 students competing on November 15 at Harvard:

  • Anna Ellison from Newton North tied for 2nd place in the Theme Round and 3rd place in the Individual Round.
  • Newton NORTH Tigers ranked 9th in the Team Round and 9th overall for the tournament.
  • Newton SOUTH Sines ranked 7th in the Guts Round.

The next Harvard-MIT Mathematics Tournament will be held on February 21 at MIT.