The Ligerbots high-school robotics team will celebrate the end of its month-long fundraiser at Whole Foods (Beacon and Walnut Streets) with an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast on Saturday, January 31, 9-11AM. Cost is $10, and all proceeds go to the Ligerbots to fund equipment, travel, and registration for competitions. Enjoy pancakes and help to support Newton’s award-winning team!
Josh Gahm, parent-coach of the Cabot Elementary School caBOTs, is working with NewtonSTEM to create a forum for FIRST Lego League (FLL) coaches in Newton. If you’re a current or former FLL coach — or if you’re interested in becoming one — please email FLL@newtonstem.org to let us know who you are.
FLL promotes inspiring, educational robotics competitions among teams of children 9-14 years old worldwide. For several years, various FLL teams have sprung up in Newton, hosted by elementary and middle schools, after-school programs, or parents in their homes. There’s a continuing need for more FLL teams in Newton, judging from inquiries received by NewtonSTEM. The constraint seems to be the number of adults volunteering to coach. You don’t need to be a STEM expert to coach; you need a knack for managing small groups of children. Paul Barbone, former parent-coach of the Oak Hill FLL MegaOHMS, has written a very informative memo for new coaches, Introduction to Coaching a FIRST Lego Team (PDF). Let’s get focused on how we can recruit and support new FLL coaches.
Newton Public Schools seeks adults to join its School Volunteers program to tutor students in Grades 2-5 in basic mathematics concepts for 30-45 minutes each week. This includes playing special math games that reinforce skills and help students gain confidence and competence. Read Steve Siegel’s account of his experience as a Newton Schools Volunteer. Volunteers may select a school, grade, day of the week, and time. They are trained in Everyday Math materials and receive ongoing support. No teaching experience is needed. For more information, please contact Ellen Bender at 617-559-6131 or email@example.com.
Last month, the Newton South PTSO launched its Success@South campaign to help fund equipment for the high school’s new STEAM Learning Lab (that’s STEM + Arts), augmenting funding from Newton Public Schools and other sources. To date, generous donors have contributed $14,000 toward the $20,000 goal. Your donations are tax-deductible. Please join in!
Newton Community Education will offer these STEM programs at Newton North HS during the upcoming February school break:
edX will offer a free, 6-week online course — Programming in Scratch — for people of all ages, and no previous programming experience is required. Scratch was developed at MIT to teach kids about programming through the creation of interactive stories, games, and animations, but it’s not just for kids anymore. Register now for the course, which starts February 2 and will require about six hours a week for six weeks.
Wheelock College will host a one-week summer day camp, STEM in the City, for rising 8th and 9th graders, with presentations, field trips, and hands-on activities, July 6-10, 9AM-4PM, at Wheelock College. Register online. For more information, contact Cara Dembkoski at 617-879-1147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American Public Transportation Association will host its fourth annual Youth Summit in Washington, DC during June 28-July 2. This free, expenses-paid event brings 50 rising high-school juniors and seniors together to explore careers in public transportation. This year’s program will include a focus on STEM careers. Applications are due February 13 by email to email@example.com or by fax to 1-202-496-4323.
PROMYS for Teachers is an intensive, collaborative program for middle- and high-school teachers to explore mathematics and problem solving. It consists of two six-week summer sessions at Boston University with three to five academic workshops at the Education Development Center in Waltham during the intervening school year. This year, the summer session will be June 29-August 7, running concurrently with, but separate from, the PROMYS program for high-school students. PfT alumni in Newton include teachers from Learning Prep, Mt. Alvernia HS, Newton North HS, and Solomon Schecter. Applications (PDF) are accepted on a rolling basis through May 15.
WGBH will host two online presentations/discussions for science teachers this week, highlighting free online resources from PBS Learning Media:
January 28: A Google Hangout at 7PM EST for science educators to learn about updates and resources for solar-system sciences curricula, including the PBS Learning Media library of NASA Planetary Sciences materials.
January 29: A webinar, “Becoming Systems Literate,” to explore how to teach students to think about systems, using the new Systems Literacy collection offered by PBS Learning Media. The link to the webinar will be provided to those who register.