In the Moody’s Mega Math Challenge, teams of high-school students work intensely for one day (7AM-9PM) to solve an open-ended, real-world problem using applied mathematical modeling. Each high school may register up to two teams, each consisting of 3 to 5 Junior/Senior students and one teacher-coach. Registration closes February 20, and the challenge may be undertaken on February 28 or March 1. Students who register will have year-long access to Wolfram Research’s Mathematica and Alpha Pro, and they are encouraged to download the handbook, Math Modeling: Getting Started and Getting Solutions. The contest is sponsored by The Moody’s Foundation and organized by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.
On Saturday, December 6, Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences will offer its free holiday lecture, DNA: A Detective Story, in two sessions: 10-11AM and 1-2PM. Professor Howard Stone of Princeton will speak about how scientists cracked the code of DNA, and kids will demonstrate the chemistry of DNA and how it replicates itself. Audience participation is a big part of the show, and every kid gets a T-shirt. It’s free and open to the public. Register online to guarantee seating. Location: Harvard Science Center’s Lecture Hall B, 1 Oxford Street in Cambridge.
The Cambridge Science Festival will offer Einstein in the Classroom to mark the 100th anniversary of the publication of the Theory of General Relativity. The program will bring college physics students and professors into Grade 7-12 classrooms for engaging activities about Einstein’s work, in two sessions in February and March. Topics to be to covered include relativity, spacetime curvature, the life cycles of stars, the relative sizes of the objects that occupy the observable universe. There will be an information session — for anyone interested in volunteering or learning more about the program — on Tuesday, December 9 at 5:30 at the MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge. For information, contact Peg Legendre, K-12 coordinator for Cambridge Science Festival and Science on the Street, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Northern New England Middle School Science Bowl is a fast-paced, Jeopardy-style tournament in which school-based teams of 4 or 5 middle-school students answer questions in all areas of science and math. This year it will be held March 7 at the Derryfield School in Manchester, NH. The winning team qualifies for an all-expenses-paid trip to compete in the National Science Bowl in Washington, DC, April 30-May 4. Registration for the regional competition is open, first-come/first-served, and limited to 16 teams. Coaches should consult rules, sample questions, etc. The competition is sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Office of Science. For more information, contact Jennifer Betournay, Regional Coordinator, at email@example.com.
Northeastern University’s Center for STEM Education will host its Fall 2014 Building Bridges program on Friday, December 5, 9AM-3PM, for high school students interested in engineering. Twice a year, high school students can gather for a full day of interactive engineering activities led by NEU faculty and students. It’s an opportunity to understand various engineering disciplines, to learn about NEU’s College of Engineering and its research programs, and to gain an overview of potential career paths and education options. Breakfast and lunch are included. The cost is $15 and financial support is available. Register online. The event takes place at NEU’s Curry Student Center (Rooms 318, 320, and 322). Activities may include:
- Design and Test a Bridge
- Implantable Biomedical Devices
- Design and Build and Electronic Night Light
- Synthesize Slime
- Streamline a Sports Utility Vehicle
- Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing
- Computer Chip Design and Fabrication
- Simulate an Earthquake
The Massachusetts Academy of Math & Science at WPI will host a morning of workshops on Saturday, December 6, 7:30AM-12:30PM for all teachers interested in these topics:
- Enhancing Feedback on Homework and Classwork with ASSISTments
- Science and Engineering Projects for a Project-Based Learning Classroom
- Promoting Literacy in Science
- Integrating IPad Technology in the Classroom
- Building and Editing Content in ASSISTments
- Smart Board: Moving Beyond Display
The cost is $10. Register by December 2 by emailing Jackie Bonneau (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Shari Weaver (email@example.com). Walk-ins will also be welcome.
Registration is now open for the next monthly Saturday-morning session Science on Saturday, on December 6 at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory (244 Wood Street in Lexington). Jude Kelley of Lincoln Laboratory will discuss Electricity, Ions, and Chemistry. Students will see demonstrations of how ions produce wild colors and interesting effects with electricity. All children must be escorted by an adult, and every adult must be escorted by a child or children. 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 much bring government photo identification. See other rules on the registration pages.
MIT’s Edgerton Center holds free Science on Saturday program about monthly for elementary, middle, and high school students — as well as their parents and teachers. On December 6, the program will be focused on underwater robotics (PDF), presented by the Edgerton Center’s Marine Robotics Team. Kids under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. The program includes a one-hour presentation at 10AM followed by hands-on activities at 11AM. No pre-registration is necessary but seating is limited and first-come, first-seated. It’s held in MIT’s Kresge Auditorium, 48 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge.
Hour of Code is a grassroots, teacher-driven, worldwide campaign to demystify computer science and offer a one-hour introduction to programming to tens of millions of students of all ages. It’s organized by Code.org and an array of high-powered partners, and it’s designed to coincide with Computer Science Education Week (December 8-14). Among the 27,112 classrooms worldwide that have already signed up to host events this year are classes in the following Newton schools: Bigelow, Lincoln-Eliot, Mason-Rice, Memorial-Spaulding, Newton North, Solomon Schechter, Underwood, Ward, and Williams. Any teacher or club leader can sign up to run an Hour of Code event using resources that include planning guides, videos, and self-guided tutorials for students. Classrooms can win prizes that include video-chats with tech celebrities and grants for laptops, programmable robots, or other technology. The Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council’s Education Foundation is partnering with Code.org to recruit industry volunteers to participate in Hour of Code in response to teachers’ requests.
WTS Boston will host a Volpe Center Simulator Tour and transportation career mentoring event for girls aged 13-18 on Tuesday, November 18, from 2:30PM to 5:30PM at the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (55 Broadway, Cambridge). This event is part of the Transportation YOU outreach program — a joint initiative of Women’s Transportation Seminar International and the U.S. Department of Transportation to inspire girls’ interest in transportation careers, provide mentorship, and encourage the taking of STEM courses as stepping stones to careers in transportation. This event will include a hands-on tour of car, plane, and locomotive simulators followed by a speed-mentoring activity in which transportation professionals will speak to students about their experiences in the transportation industry and how they got to where they are today. Participation is free, but spots are limited, so register ASAP (no later than November 13) by emailing Alison.Love@stvinc.com.