Category Archives: Accomplishments

‘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.

NNHS Greengineers Build a Musical Tree

The NNHS Greengineers recently completed a two-year project in innovation and environmental design:  The Music Tree — a 13-foot sculpture of foam, cloth, and paint installed on the school’s “Main Street.”  It’s powered by a bicycle and plays music, charges students’ cell phones, and serves as a gathering point.  The Music Tree was inspired by El Arbol, a similar project by Rock the Bike, and the Greengineers hope that the project will inspire the use of alternative energy sources.  The team recently exhibited the Music Tree at the Massachusetts STEM Summit.  Other current Greengineering projects include a playground swing that pumps water, a biodiesel refinery, and an aquaponics center. Greengineers-MusicalTree

NSHS Math Team Placed #1 in New England Championships

This news is a little late but still important:  Newton South HS’s Math Team came in first place among large high schools competing in the New England Association of Mathematics League competition last May.  Congratulations to Zhe Wu, David Cao, Margalit Glasgow, Daniel Shaar, Evan Zeng, Jason Ma, and Andrew Shaughnessy.

Newton North HS’s team also placed well — 6th of 21 large high schools competing in the region.  Congratulations to Anna Ellison, Kavish Gandhi, Ying Gao, and Julia Feinstein.

Separately, the two teams — the Newton South Sines and the Newton North Tigers — are members of the Greater Boston Mathematics League, in which they placed second and third overall across five meets last year.

MassBay Receives $525K STEM Grant from U.S. Dept. of Labor

This week Representative Joe Kennedy III announced that MassBay Community College and Bristol Community College each will receive $525,000 in grants from the U.S. Department of Labor for additional instructors and equipment to accelerate students’ achievement and attainment of STEM degrees and certifications that match skills needed in the Massachusetts economy.  These grants will be provided through Complete College America’s Guided Pathways to Success initiative.

Bowen After-School Program Wins STEM Grant

The Bowen After School Care Program in Newton is one of 30 after-school programs in Massachusetts to win an Engineering Adventures grant from the Museum of Science’s Engineering is Elementary program, funded by the Boston philanthropy network SheGivesBoston.  Engineering Adventures involves students in six STEM design challenges that complement in-classroom learning.

NNHS Science Team Places Second in Nationwide TEAMS Competition

By winning second place in the State TEAMS competition last spring, the Newton North HS Science Team earned the right to be one of two teams representing Massachusetts at the national TEAMS competition in Washington, DC at the end of June.  At that national event, eight NNHS students at the Grade 9/10 level competed in written, verbal, and problem-solving challenges focused on this year’s theme, Engineering Tomorrow’s Cities.  In nationwide ranking, the NNHS team placed 2nd overall, 1st in the written competition, and 3rd in problem-solving.  Congratulations to David Reiss-Mello (captain), Derek Baker, Bowen He, Amy Huang, Katherine Gao, Shuming (Andrew) Sun, Nicholas Zhang, and Lucy Zheng!