Each year the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences offers a family-oriented Holiday Lecture — an engaging and fun forum for ages 7 and up, modeled after the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures of 100 years ago in London. This year’s Holiday Lecture — A Grain of Salt: Isn’t It Ionic? — will be held 10AM-11AM on Saturday, December 5 in Lecture Hall B of Harvard’s Science Center (map). It’s free and open to the public. Pre-register online now for guaranteed seating. See videos of previous years’ lectures here.
The Newton Free Library has a wide range of STEM events in December. For more information and registration information, see the Library’s calendar of events. (This list does not include the following ongoing series of weekly classes: Girls Who Code – Mondays, Girls Who Code – Fridays, Russian Math.)
Each month, BostonTechMom‘s blog provides a chronological list of STEM events in the Boston area. Check out the list for December.
Hour of Code is a global movement by Code.org to get everyone learning the basics of computer programming. The organization facilitates one-hour introductions to computer science and offers tutorials to enable anyone to start coding. The aim is to get tens of millions of people worldwide to devote an hour to learning how to code during the week of December 7-13, which coincides with Computer Science Education Week. Anyone can sign up to create and run an Hour of Code event, in school or outside of school. In Newton, school events have been set up at Angier, Burr, CATS Academy, Chestnut Hill School, Countryside, Horace Mann, Oak Hill, Peirce, Memorial-Spaulding, Mount Alvernia HS, Newton Country Day, Newton North HS, Solomon Schechter, Williams, and Zervas. The free, online educational resource, Khan Academy — a free, online educational resource — offers multi-hour, self-paced tutorials and has created one-hour versions for Hour of Code.
Twice a year, Olin College of Engineering in Needham hosts a free, end-of-semester exposition of student work. The public is very much encouraged to attend. The Fall 2015 Exposition on December 21 runs 10AM-3:30PM with poster sessions, presentations, performances, and lunch. The list of presentations and performances will be available on the expo site the week before the event, but you can see last spring’s list here. Register by December 18. For information, email email@example.com.
Yesterday at Newton North HS, the Newton LigerBots hosted a qualifying tournament for 28 FIRST Lego League (FLL) teams, including five FLL teams from Newton: The Angiernauts, the Innovators, the Newtronics, the Snowy Owls, and the Tacocats. The event included robot games, the teams’ presentations of their research projects on this year’s FLL theme (Trash Trek), and a mini-Maker’s Faire featuring Einstein’s Workshop, iRobot, the Newton North HS Greengineers, the Russian School of Math, Rise Robotics, Robosail, JumpSmart, (a new STEM venture by students from Babson and Olin Colleges), a 3D printer demonstration, and others. Outside, there was a working demonstration and explanation of blacksmithing by Prospect Hill Forge. Congratulations to all participants, but especially to the LigerBots for their community contribution of careful planning, promotion, and execution of a successful event.
As part of their support of younger robotics teams, the Newton LigerBots are hosting a FIRST Lego League (FLL) qualifying tournament at Newton North HS on Saturday, November 21, 9AM-2PM. The event is free, open to the public, and an exciting family event for spectators. Come see the robot games and the teams’ presentations of their research projects. There will also be a mini-Maker’s Faire.
FIRST is an international nonprofit youth organization aiming to create a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders. Participation in FLL enhances students’ independence and personal growth while highlighting skills needed for teamwork and leadership.
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 videos from 2013 and 2014.) This year, the 18th annual F.A.T. Chain Reaction will be on November 27, 1-4PM, and will be based on the theme “18th Century.” The public can view contraptions and talk with teams 1PM-3PM, and the chain reaction will start at 3:30PM. Buy tickets here. There’s still time to register a team to participate by building a link in the chain.
Registration is now open for two Saturday-morning sessions of Science on Saturday, on December 12 at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory (244 Wood Street in Lexington). The topic will be Robotics, presented by members of Robotics Outreach at Lincoln Laboratory (ROLL). 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). Adults must bring government photo identification. See other rules on the registration pages.
Yesterday about 100 middle- and high-school girls gathered at the Newton Free Library for inspiring, informative conversations with 16 mentors — women scientists and engineers in a variety of STEM fields and careers — in Newton’s first Envision the Future program. One mentor said of the student attendees, “If the students I met today are the next generation of STEM, I’m confident we’re in very good hands.” Many thanks to these mentors for their dedication and their ability to connect and inspire.
In between conversations, the attendees viewed a documentary, Big Dream, which tells the stories of seven young women as they face challenges pursuing STEM careers.
This event was sponsored by the John M. Barry Boys & Girls Club, the Newton Free Library, and NewtonSTEM. Thanks to Cabot’s for ice cream, Fresh City for drinks, Crimson Petal for flowers, Microsoft and Iron Way Films for the film, and the LigerBots for volunteer help and inspiring conversation.