Hour of Code is a global movement by Code.org to get everyone learning the basics of computer programming. The organization facilitates one-hour introductions to computer science and offers tutorials to enable anyone to start coding. The aim is to get tens of millions of people worldwide to devote an hour to learning how to code during the week of December 7-13, which coincides with Computer Science Education Week. Anyone can sign up to create and run an Hour of Code event, in school or outside of school. In Newton, school events have been set up at Angier, Burr, CATS Academy, Chestnut Hill School, Countryside, Horace Mann, Oak Hill, Peirce, Memorial-Spaulding, Mount Alvernia HS, Newton Country Day, Newton North HS, Solomon Schechter, Williams, and Zervas. The free, online educational resource, Khan Academy — a free, online educational resource — offers multi-hour, self-paced tutorials and has created one-hour versions for Hour of Code.
MIT’s Edgerton Center holds free Science on Saturday programs five times a year for elementary, middle, and high school students — as well as their parents and teachers. On December 5, the program will be focused on Nuclear Science and Engineering. 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.
The Newton North HS Science Team will rake your leaves to raise funds to pay for its competition fees and supplies for building and studying. Contact team vice president Nick Zhang at firstname.lastname@example.org to help the team and get a clean lawn!
Science Club for Girls has a terrific program of near-peer role models: Junior Mentors in Grades 8-12 work with younger girls, helping them to dream big and get excited about STEM — because the younger students naturally look up to the older ones. It’s also a leadership program in which the Junior Mentors get to work on job preparation, teamwork, and communication skills. A challenge grant until December 9 will match donations 3:1 to fund this program for a year: If you and others donate a combined total of $5,000 then it will be matched to yield $20,000 — which will fund 90 Junior Mentors working with 600 younger girls for a year. See the crowdfunding video to see how vital these near-peer role models are. Science Club for Girls is growing — with six more K-5 clubs, a new middle-school STEMinistas site, 30 more Junior Mentors, a new high-school Technovation team, and a doubling of high-school STEM research internships. Your tax-deductible donation can be part of it.
The John M. Barry Boys & Girls Club seeks a community volunteer to teach a one-hour-a-week coding course over ten weeks in January and February. You can choose Mondays or Wednesdays and any hour between 3:30PM and 6PM. You can choose to teach either ages 7-10 or 10-14. The students will use new laptops provided by the Club. If interested, contact Education Director Tamara Brogan at email@example.com.
Empow Studios runs week-long day camps during February, April, and summer vacations. It’s offering a 20% discount for those who sign up for 2016 camps before November 30. Topics include animation, audio/video production, robotics, 3D design, and graphic design.
The Cambridge Science Festival, which runs April 15-24, is accepting proposals for demonstrations, workshops, contests, performances, etc. Apply online by December 4 to offer an event in the Festival or an exhibit in the Science Carnival and Robot Zoo on April 16.
The MIT Museum will hold its twice-annual Girls Day on November 7, celebrating women in STEM. The event, for ages 10 and up, offers hands-on activities, informal talks, and demonstrations. It’s free for those with museum admission. This year there will be workshops for Girl Scouts at 10AM and 1PM, as well as hands-on activities for everyone 11AM-4PM.
The Microsoft Store in Prudential Center offers a series of two-hour YouthSpark camps to teach kids to code. Use the links below to register for sessions offered 10AM-Noon on these days in November:
- Beginner: November 10, 17
- Intermediate: November 11, 18
Fewer than 30 seats remain for the free Big Dream event for middle- and high-school girls on Saturday, November 14, 2PM-4:30PM at the Newton Free Library. Fifteen women mentors, representing a range of STEM fields and careers, will participate. Attendees will view Big Dream, a new documentary about seven young women pursuing STEM careers. Informal discussions with mentors and students will follow, with ice cream provided by Cabot’s.
Students must register ahead of time. This event is sponsored by the John M. Barry Boys & Girls Club, the Newton Free Library, and NewtonSTEM. [Download poster here.] For more information, contact Liz Rowland at 617-796-1380 or firstname.lastname@example.org.