The RSM Foundation, a non-profit promoting K-12 STEM activities and affiliated with the Russian School of Math, is sponsoring its second International Math Contest for students in Grades 3-8. The first round, which opens on February 6, is a 30-minute Online Challenge consisting of fun and challenging problems based on international math curricula. Top scorers in the first round will be invited to the final round on April 9 for a Math Olympiad of non-routine math problems that promote and reward deeper thinking, math ingenuity, and creativity. Registration is free, and there is an optional performance report (see sample) available for $10 ($20 after January 22). Visit rsmfoundation.org to view last year’s problems or sign up for practice problems. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
WGBH seeks fifty K-12 earth-science teachers as advisors next year for its collaboration with NASA to create free digital media tools in its Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms initiative. Apply by February 8. For more information contact email@example.com.
Educators of K-12 students — both in and out of school — are invited to a free professional development workshop about Project WILD, an award-winning, interdisciplinary conservation and environmental education program sponsored by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife. The workshop will be held February 11, 9AM-3:30PM, at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (183 West Main Street in Westborough). It’s designed for school teachers, scout leaders, camp counselors, nature center/museum staff, home educators, after-school programs, etc. Bring lunch and clothes suitable for indoor and outdoor activities. Register by February 1 by contacting Pam Landry (firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-389-6310) or Barbara Shumaker (email@example.com).
Let’s Build is a family volunteering initiative bringing engineering into Needham’s elementary schools by training family and community volunteers to support classroom design challenges. Its major fundraiser, the Let’s Build Engineering Extravaganza, will be held February 4 (snow date February 11), 10AM-2PM at Hillside Elementary School (28 Glen Gary Road in Needham) for Pre-K, elementary, and middle-school children and their families. Admission is $5 per family. Let’s Build is currently seeking volunteers and community presenters, so email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help. Scheduled activities include the Needham HS robotics team, What’s Inside a Flashlight? at the Take-Apart Table, ballerinas teaching the science of pirouettes, build your own bubble wand, and create hoppers with Olin College students.
Empow Studios in Lexington hosts a LEGO Robotics Club for Grades 2-8 on Saturdays, 1-2:30PM. This cooperative, welcoming club uses LEGO MindStorms EV3 kits and provides experience to prepare kids for FIRST LEGO League (FLL) participation starting in August. Registration is open starting any month, at a cost of $80 per month.
The Massachusetts Society for Medical Research will hold its 26th Annual Student Competition, in which New England students in Grades 7-12 learn about a breakthrough in life sciences and report about it via a poster, essay, or website — as if reporting for the What A Year website for science discovery. Awards of up to $500 will be made in two levels: Grades 7-8 and Grades 9-12, with education grants for the teachers/advisors of the winning students. Entries are due by May 8. See the student packet.
The EcoTarium (222 Harrington Way in Worcester) will open its new exhibit, City Science: The Science You Live, on January 17. Hands-on, interactive exhibits encourage exploration of the science we encounter every day but rarely stop to consider.
The Technovation Challenge is a worldwide, 12-week technology entrepreneurship competition in which each team of five middle- or high-school girls identifies a problem in the local community, builds a prototype mobile app for it, develops a business plan, and pitches it to potential investors. Teams meet for 3-4 hours weekly with female mentors from the tech/business community, February-April, in preparation for regional and worldwide events in May and June. Last year, one of two Technovation teams at Newton South HS, the TechnoLions, placed second statewide and went on to compete in the national finals. If you’re interested in participating as a student, teacher/coach, or mentor, sign up now but no later than March 8. For more information, email email@example.com.
The AMP it up! Challenge invites students to research an advanced manufacturing innovation in Massachusetts and then present it in a 3-minute video to explain how it’s made, why it matters, and what it means to the student. One middle school, one high school, and one community college in the state will each win $5,000 in unrestricted grant funding. Manufacturers are encouraged to sign up now to support the challenge by talking with students and offering factory tours. Schools should sign up to participate and may be represented by individual students, classes, groups, or clubs. Students will begin researching in January and submit their videos by March 30. Here’s the winning high-school video from last year by students at Melrose HS.
CodeCampKidz offers mentoring in web development for students in Grades 6-8 on Thursday evenings, 6:30-8PM at the Microsoft Store in the Natick Mall. The first two sessions are free. Topics include HTML basics, CSS basics, CSS box model, Graphics and links, Text and backgrounds, and Tables, lists, and iframes.