Category Archives: Opportunities

NewtonHACKS: Hackathon for Beginner Programmers, Grades 6-12, Aug. 29

NewtonHACKS — an organization run by Newton high-school students — will host a free, online hackathon on August 29 for beginner programmers entering Grades 6-12. It’s an all-day event where participants get to collaborate and code to create projects, and this one is for beginners. The high-school student organizers plan to host a series of webinars before the event to help brand-new coders gain some experience. Interested students may register individually or in teams of 2 to 3. NewtonHACKS was started in part to promote gender equality in the tech industry, and it’s sponsored by Johnny’s Luncheonette and Millifluidica. For more information, see the FAQs or email

EcoTarium Re-Opening June 4 with New Guidelines

The Ecotarium in Worcester will re-open on June 4 under new COVID-19 guidelines for staff and visitors, in compliance with Governor Baker’s “Safer At Home” advisory. In short: People with COVID-19 symptoms will not be admitted. Only some parts of the museum grounds will be open. Tickets must be purchased in advance and for particular arrival times. Masks must be worn. Except for a family or group arriving together, all must stay more at least 6 feet apart.

MSEN Discounts for Aspire: Virtual Robotics Summer Camps

Camp: ASPIRE offers online robotics summer camps run by UB Tech from June 15 through August 28, five days a week, four hours a day, for ages 8+. The Metrowest STEM Education Network offers these discount codes for the camps:

Beginner Camps (use code METROSTEMBEG):

Intermediate Camps (use code METROSTEMINT):

Ligerbots: ‘Awesome Mentor Project’ is Expanding, Seeks HS & Elementary Students

The Ligerbots’ new Awesome Mentor Project — linking elementary students with high-school mentors during #StayAtHome — has grown to nearly 80 pairs of mentors and students in a short time. The Ligerbots hope that more students of both age groups will join in this free service to help continue younger students’ education during this time. Mentor and mentee pairs meet online weekly to explore a wide variety of subjects, from programming to the arts to grammar and English. In addition to teaching, mentors and mentors can play games, be reading buddies, and do crafts.

High school students interested in mentoring should fill out this form.

Parents interested in signing up their elementary-school children should fill out this form.

For more information, email

Stay tuned for information about how the LigerBots are thinking about adapting their Awesome Mentor Project to be a summer program once school ends.

Complete the EiE/Museum of Science Survey, then Get Access to EiE’s Digital Storybooks for Elementary Students til June 30

The Engineering is Elementary team of curriculum developers at the Museum of Science is conducting a brief survey of educators and families to help EiE and MOS offer high quality STEM resources and experiences during these challenging times. Those who complete the survey will gain free access to EiE’s 20 digital storybooks until June 30. These interactive storybooks feature kids around the world using engineering to solve problems. Also included is a mini design challenge.

MIT Center for Advanced Virtuality: Survey of Educators and Youth

The MIT Center for Advanced Virtuality is conducting an online survey of educators (PreK-12) and youth (ages 10-18) for research by Danielle Olson, a Ph.D.  candidate in MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).  Participants will receive a $10 Amazon gift card for playing a short online game and then completing a 30-45-minute survey. Responses will be kept anonymous and confidential. If interested, email Danielle at While an undergraduate at MIT, Danielle founded Gique, an educational non-profit to inspire and educate youth in STEAM.

STEM Opportunities on #GivingTuesday

On #GivingTuesday last week, several STEM-related causes sought donations, including these, for which the opportunity remains open to support their work:

TechGirlz: Free Online Tech Workshops for Middle-School Girls

TechGirlz is a non-profit program founded to inspire middle-school girls to explore technology to empower future careers. Affiliated with the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), it runs free online workshops and (restrictions permitting) camps and the Girls in Tech Summit, all open to girls in Grades 6-8. For example, it will offer an online workshop, Introduction to JavaScript, on May 16, 1PM-3:30PM.

Rainstorm: Virtual Splash! Two-Day Programs for HS Students

Because the Splash! programs usually offered by various colleges and universities have been canceled during the shutdown, the sponsor of Splash! is offering Rainstorm — a free, two-day program of online courses for high-school students taught by undergraduates over the May 30-31 weekend, noon-5PM each day. Registration is open until May 13, and classes will be filled on a lottery basis if there is not room for all. For more information, email STEM-related courses in the catalog include:

  • It’s Just Rocket Science
  • Glass is Cool: Innovation, Manufacturing and Recycle
  • Code like a pro – Java and BDD
  • Why is Oxygen So Special?
  • Identifying Good Research
  • Computers and Ethics

LigerBots Seek Additional High-School Mentors for Elementary Students

Last week, the Newton LigerBots high-school robotics team launched its “Awesome Mentorship Project 2877” to match high-school student mentors with elementary students by common interests for weekly online mentoring sessions. Based on the great reception seen in the interest forms sent in by parents of elementary students, the LigerBots see high demand for this program and seek additional high-school student mentors for it. High-school students are invited to apply via this form. All mentors are vetted and trained by the LigerBots. Each mentor-student pair will spend an hour each week over a video call doing science experiments, tutoring in school subjects, or simply drawing and chatting — whatever the elementary student needs. Another example of the LigerBots serving the Newton community! #MoreThanRobots