Category Archives: Events

LigerBots Host FIRST LEGO League Newton Qualifier

Yesterday, the Newton LigerBots high-school robotics team hosted the Newton Qualifier competition for 24 FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams, including these 7 teams from Newton (in this photo, left to right):  Day Dragons, Vikings, Roaming Rovers, Outlaws of Newton, Tacocats,  Atomic Bots, and Newtronics.  Each team built and programmed a LEGO Mindstorms robot to accomplish 18 separate missions in the competition.  Each team also completed a research project related to this year’s theme, Hydro Dynamics, and presented results to a team of adult judges. Finally, each team was interviewed and scored on how well they exhibited FLL’s Core Values.

Newton teams won the following FLL awards:  The Day Dragons won the Champion’s Award. The Newtronics won the Teamwork Award. The Roaming Rovers won the Software Programming Award. And the Tacocats won the Research Project Award. The Day Dragons, Roaming Rovers, and Newtronics each qualified to advance to the Eastern Massachusetts State Championship, which will be held at Newton North HS on December 16 (again hosted by the LigerBots). That event, too, will be free, open to the public, and a lot of fun, with more teams competing and more hands-on exhibits in the accompanying Maker Fair.

MIT Edgerton’s ‘Science on Saturday’ for Grades K-12, Dec. 2: Nuclear Science and Engineering

MIT’s Edgerton Center holds free Science on Saturday programs approximately monthly during the school year for elementary, middle, and high school students — as well as their parents and teachers.  Each is a fun, one-hour, interactive presentation beginning at 10AM in MIT’s Kresge Auditorium, 48 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge.  Kids under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Attendees also receive same-day admission to the MIT Museumat half-price. No pre-registration is necessary but seating is limited and first-come, first-seated.  The next program will be December 2: Nuclear Science and Engineering. For more information, contact Dr. Todd H. Rider, Mad Scientist in Residence, at

Register for Science on Saturday (Real-World Robotics) at MIT Lincoln Labs, Dec. 9

Registration is now open for two Saturday-morning sessions of Science on Saturdayon December 9 at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory (244 Wood Street in Lexington).   The topic will be Real-World Robotics presented by the Robotics Outreach at Lincoln Laboratory (ROLL) Employee Resource Group. All children (5-17 years) must be escorted by an adult, and every adult must be escorted by a child or children.  Children under 5 are not admitted.  Admission is free but each person attending must be registered.  Space is limited, so register online soon for either Session 1 (9AM to 10:30AM) or Session 2: 10:45AM to 12:15PM). Register an adult first, then a child, then others. Adults must bring government photo identification.  See other rules on the registration pages.

‘Hour of Code’ During Computer Science Education Week, Dec. 4-10

Hour of Code once again encourages introductory activities in computer programming for everyone during Computer Science Education Week.  Boston Tech Mom has an updated, comprehensive catalog of Hour of Code activities and opportunities.

Women in STEM Event at UMass Lowell, Grades 7-12, Dec. 9

FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Team 5962 will host a Women in STEM event for girls in Grades 7-12 on Saturday, December 9, 10AM-3PM, in the UMass Lowell Makerspace (Falmouth Bldg., Rm 102, 1 University Avenue, Lowell). At this event, students may participate in fun, hands-on activities led by female engineers. During lunch, there will be a discussion time for students to ask the engineers and members of the UMassLowell Society of Women Engineers (SWE) any questions they have. The event is free, and lunch is provided. Register here. No experience required!

Technovation: Intro Webinar – Nov. 14, Kick-Off – Dec. 9

The Technovation Challenge is  a worldwide, technology entrepreneurship competition in which each teams of five middle- or high-school girls (10-18 years old) identify problems in their local communities, build prototype mobile apps for them, develop business plans, and pitch the plans to potential investors.  Teams will meet for 3-4 hours weekly with mentors from the tech/business community, January-April, in preparation for regional and worldwide events in May and June.

The MassTLC Education Foundation will host a webinar on November 14, 12:30-1PM, to introduce parents, students, and potential mentors to the competition.  If you are not available at that time, register to get access to a recording of the webinar. And everyone — students, parents, mentors, and anyone else interested — is invited to register for the in-person Technovation Kick-Off event (register here) on December 9, 1:30-5:30PM at LogMeIn (333 Summer Street, Boston). Teams can register for the competition anytime before March 7. and may attend MIT’s free App Inventor workshop, January 27, 9:30AM-Noon (register here). Adults can sign up to be a mentor/coach. For more information, email

20th MIT ‘Friday After Thanksgiving’ Chain Reaction, Nov. 24

Each year, on the Friday After Thanksgiving, the MIT Museum hosts a hugely collaborative Chain Reaction in which simple or complex contraptions built by participating teams are joined into one massive Rube-Goldberg-esque chain reaction viewed by over 1500 attendees.  (See video from 2017.)  This year, the 20th annual F.A.T. Chain Reaction will be on November 24, 1-4PM, and will be based on the theme “Twice As” (as in “2X, for the 20th anniversary).  The public can view contraptions and talk with teams 1PM-3PM, and the chain reaction will start at 3:30PM.  Buy tickets online or in person on November 24 at the MIT Museum (starting at 10AM) or Rockwell Cage (starting at 1PM).  There’s still time to register a team to participate by building a link in the chain.

Register Now for STEM Pathways mini-Jamboree, Feb. 17

STEM Pathways — a Boston University/MIT outreach program for synthetic biology — will host its annual mini-Jamboree on Saturday, February 17 , 9:30AM-4PM on the BU campus, to expose high school and undergraduate students — particularly those from underrepresented communities — to synthetic biology, international competition, and recruiters for next season’s Boston University & MIT iGEM teams. Registration is free, required, and open now. High-school students must be accompanied by an adult (parent, teacher, chaperone). Read about the 2017 mini-Jamboree.

LigerBots to Host FLL Regional Qualifying Tournament at NNHS, Nov. 18

The LigerBots will again host the Newton Qualifier, a FIRST LEGO League robotics competition for 300 Massachusetts students in Grades 4-8 on Saturday, November 18, 9AM-3PM, at Newton North HS. It’s free and open to the public. The theme of this year’s competition is Hydro Dynamics (see video). Teams will compete using LEGO robots they have designed, built, and programmed to perform complex tasks. The public may also view the teams’ displays of their solutions to real-world problems related to the water-based theme. There will also be a maker fair with hands-on STEM activities for kids and a “RoboPalooza” exhibit of robots from First Robotics Competitions and FIRST Tech Challenges.

STEM Talks at TEDx@BeaconStreet at JFK Library, Nov. 18

There will  be several STEM-related speakers participating in the TEDx@BeaconStreet event at the John F. Kennedy Library on November 18, 8AM-9PM. In-person seating is currently full for each block, but you can register here and then get on the waitlist. If you don’t clear the waitlist, you’ll still be able to view the simulcast, either onsite or online.

  • Gina Ford, Principal Sasaki Associates
  • Jim Heppelmann, President and CEO, PTC
  • Hiroshi Ishii, Associate Director MIT Media Lab
  • Satchidananda Panda, Professor Regulatory Biology Laboratory at Salk
  • Valerie Mosley, Chairwoman and CEO, Valmo Ventures Bio
  • Cady Coleman, NASA Astronaut, NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist
  • Justin Werfel, Senior Research Scientist, Wyss Institute at MIT
  • John Ryan, Co-Founder, Banyan Infrastructure
  • Lindiwe Matlali, Founder and CEO of Africa Teen Geeks
  • Olle Ljungqvist, Professor of Surgery at Örebro University Hospital
  • Bernard Harris, Former NASA Astronaut
  • Tal Achituv, MIT Media Lab, Center for Civic Media
  • Kathy Kleiman, Founder of ENIAC Programmers Project
  • Tal Zaks, Chief Medical Officer, Moderna Therapeutics
  • Fiorenzo Omenetto, Associate Dean for Research & SoE Tufts University
  • Mina Khan, Software Engineer at Google
  • Osman Kibar, CEO at Samumed