Category Archives: Opportunities

Register Sept. 15 to Exhibit at MIT Mini Maker Faire, Oct. 4

MIT will host its first ever Mini Maker Faire on October 4, 9AM-6PM at North Court on the MIT Campus (map).  Artists, crafters, engineers, and inventors who wish to exhibit their work must apply by 11:59PM on September 15.  It’s free but space is limited.  Others may apply to be Volunteer Team Captains.  To be a sponsor, contact the organizers.   All may register to attend for free.  Events include Go-Kart Exhibition Races, Robotic Combat, Pile of Parts ‘Sand Boxes’, and Rube Goldberg Machines.

RE-SEED: Retired Scientists and Engineers Assisting in the Classroom

Northeastern University’s Center for STEM Education runs RE-SEED (Retirees Enhancing Science Education through Experiments and Demonstrations) to train retired scientists and engineers (and those who are not retired but have time available) to assist K-12 science teachers in the classroom, with a particular focus on middle school.  Volunteers complete a 30-hour training course about their supporting role in the classroom, the process for assisting teachers and students, and examples of hands-on inquiry-based learning activities.  Each is assigned to assist in a classroom once a week for a school year.  Principals and teachers can fill out an application to request a volunteer, and assignments will be made in late September through October.

The training sessions for new volunteers for the fall semester were over (September 2-5 and 11-12) before NewtonSTEM learned of this, but if you’re interested in volunteering, contact Daniel Sullivan at or 617-373-3382.

Science Club for Girls Seeks Next Executive Director

Dr. Connie Chow is stepping down in December, after eight years as Executive Director of Science Club for Girls, which has served Eastern Massachusetts for 20 years.  The organization now seeks an Executive Director skilled in fundraising, communication, and management of a fast-growing organization transitioning to a stable phase (job description and application details PDF).  For more information, email

In addition, all are invited to the Science Club for Girls 2014 Catalyst Award and 20th Anniversary Celebration at the Newton Marriott on October 27.

Innovation Institute: Open House, Sunday, Sept. 7

The Innovation Institute — the leading STEM-focused academic enrichment program for grades K-12 in Greater Boston — will hold an open house Sunday, September 7, 2:30-5PM in its classroom laboratories at 288 Walnut Street, Suite 300, in Newtonville. Learn about courses for after school, for home school students, on weekends and during school vacations. Fall programs begin Wednesday, September 10 and will explore computer programming (Python), the science of renewable energies, neuroscience, and engineering immersion. A special high-school seminar, At the Biomedical Frontiers, will address the latest research in areas ranging from 3D printing applications to cancer therapeutics. For information, see, call 617-340-9907, or email InnovationInstitute3DPrinting

Courses range widely, but here’s one example:  This summer, in a one-week mini-course on 3D Printing, middle-school students analyzed additive versus subtractive fabrication while creating Potatohenge. They worked on collaborative challenges that built teamwork skills, made individual Blue Sky presentations about the possibilities of 3D printing, and learned a bit of introductory CAD. They also visited labs at Harvard University, engaging with researchers and viewing demonstrations of amazing 3D printing applications.

PTC/FIRST Grant Applications Due Sept. 12

PTC, a long-time, strong supporter of FIRST Tech Challenge, will make $1,000 grants to FIRST teams across the U.S. for the 2014-15 FTC season.  Grants can be used for travel, robot expenses, computers, etc.  Grant applications will be due September 12 and awards will be announced by September 26.  Details and forms are online.

Destination Imagination: Information Nights in September

Last year, 80 students from nine different Newton Public Schools participated in Regional and State competitions sponsored by Destination Imagination.  Destination Imagination encourages teams of learners (K-12) to have fun, take risks, focus and frame challenges while incorporating STEM, the arts, and service learning.  DI students learn patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and their ideas, and the collaborative problem solving process.  The program is run by volunteers and needs participation from every family.  Teams are formed in October and meet in November, and the Regional Tournament is in early Spring.

Interested parents are invited to any of five DI Info Nights (7-8PM):

  • Tuesday, September 9:  Zervas Elementary (30 Beethoven Avenue)
  • Wednesday, September 10:  Burr Elementary (171 Pine Street)
  • Monday, September 15:  Cabot Elementary (229 Cabot Street)
  • Wednesday, September 17:  Memorial Spaulding Elementary (250 Brookline Street)
  • Monday, September 22:  Horace Mann Elementary (687 Watertown Street)

Fall STEM Programs at Leventhal-Sidman JCC

The Leventhal-Sidman JCC, 333 Nahanton Street in Newton, is offering several STEM programs this fall from Empow Learning and Einstein’s Workshop.  Register online at or call 617-558-6486.

LEGO® Engineering  (Ages: 4-5 yrs)
Hands-on introduction to simple machines. Children construct devices from LEGO DUPLO® kits and experience simple machines in action. By Empow Learning
Fridays 1:15-2pm, October 24 – December 19
Thursdays 4:15-5pm, October 2 – December 18

Animation Exploration (Ages:  4-6 yrs)
Children develop story-telling skills, learn professional software, and capture the action of their Lego movies. After filming children will learn to edit their films with titles, transitions and sound. Final movies will be available for home viewing.  By Empow Learning
Tuesdays 1:15-2pm, September 23-December 16

Junior FIRST LEGO League (Grades K-3)
Children work as a team to make mechanized, programmed LEGO models. The team project will be presented to a Junior FIRST LEGO League Exposition. Team members learn about research, methodologies, motorized computer-controlled LEGO, and teamwork.  By Einstein’s Workshop
Sundays 2-3:15pm, September 14 – November 2

FIRST LEGO League (Grades 4-8)
Join a FIRST LEGO League team to build and program LEGO MINDSTORMS® robots to perform missions on an obstacle course. Projects will be presented at a regional tournament, and teams may be eligible to advance to the state competition and beyond.  See JCC for details.  By Einstein’s Workshop
Sundays 3:30–5:30pm, September 14 – November 16

Video Game Design (Grades 3-5)
Students learn the fundamentals of object-oriented programming through video game design while creating their own game. Wile creating the games, they learn math, geometry, design, logic, and object-oriented programming. By Empow Learning
Sundays 2-3pm, September 14-November 16

Video Game Design (Grades 6-8)
Students work with self-paced tutorials and knowledgeable instructors to master programming and make their own games. Once games are complete, students learn the art of game customization or construct new games and learn different methods of game creation. Experienced programmers can work with scripted coding or try 3D game-making.  Empow Learning
Sundays 3:15-4:15pm, September 14 –November 16

Innovation Institute Classes Start Sept. 10

The Innovation Institute in Newtonville will offer these new courses for the fall, starting September 10:

Check out the full course catalog and register online.

Last Day for MIT’s Summer HSSP Registration: June 18

Lottery registration — during which all applications are considered equally — ends today, June 18 for MIT’s Summer HSSP.  Summer HSSP is a seven-week academic program that runs on Sunday afternoons, July 6-August 17.  Classes — both academic and non-academic — are offered in 3 timeblocks between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., with a one-hour lunch break.  It’s open to students who in the fall will be 7th Graders through college freshmen.  View the catalog and register online.  Rank up to three choices per block.  Classes will be assigned by lottery and published on June 23.  You can add or drop classes until June 27l  The cost for 7 weeks is $40, regardless of the number of courses taken, and generous financial aid is available.  For information, email

Spaces Still Open for MIT’s Junction

Rolling admissions are still open for MIT’s Junction, a summer, non-residential series of evening courses taught at the undergraduate level.  Junction teachers design their own classes, so most Junction subjects do not conform to any standard high school or college curriculum. They are intense, exciting, experimental, and reliant on students’ work outside of class.   Core classes this year that are still open include Cryptographic Security, Advanced Classical Physics, and Chemical Biology and Evolutionary Medicine.  Courses meet 5-9PM, Monday through Thursday, July 7-August 14.  Each evening includes a core class, dinner, and a seminar class (single- or multi-session classes of great variety, not requiring outside work).  The cost is $600, including tuition, dinners, and supplies.  Generous, need-based financial aid is available.  Apply online.