Category Archives: Opportunities

Mass. Audubon Citizen Science: Join the Firefly Watch

All are invited to participate in the Massachusetts Audubon Society‘s citizen-science project, Firefly Watch, to track the geographic distribution of fireflies along with the environmental factors affecting their abundance. Learn how to participate (10 minutes a week) and see interim results.

Highland Street Foundation: Free Fun Fridays at Museums This Summer

The Highland Street Foundation is bringing back Free Fun Fridays, during which it provides support to about 100 selected museums and cultural venues open to everyone for free on specified Fridays. Here are the STEM-oriented Free Fun Fridays on the schedule this summer:

SE Mass. STEM Network Conference in Bridgewater, Aug. 15

The Southeastern Massachusetts STEM Network invites educators, business partners, and community representatives to its STEM conference — Educating for the Future: Practices – Programs – Partnerships — at Bridgewater State University on August 15, 8:30AM-2PM, in the Rondileau Campus Center Ballroom (19 Park Avenue in Bridgewater).  All are welcome and attendance is free but registration is required. For more information, contact

Innovation Institute Expands Facility and Courses for Summer and School Year

Entering its fifth year, The Innovation Institute (TI2) in Newtonville announces expanded facilities, new equipment, and new courses. Here’s what sets it apart:

Enlarged and enhanced facility: A year-long renovation has resulted in the doubling of lab space, all redesigned discussion rooms, and one expanded room for older students and special events.

Proof-of-Concept approach: TI2 instructors have advanced degrees and deep content expertise and are passionate and highly capable educators. They facilitate learning and serve as role models because they respect young people’s capacity to learn.

Summer courses: Registration for summer courses is closing soon. Students are placed by interests and maturity, rather than solely by age or grade. They have options from Micro&Nano Worlds and Chemical Reactions to Neuroscience: Select Topics and The Body Electric: Neurobiology and Engineering. Courses always have new content, even if their names remains the same. This summer, some students will explore making art under the microscope!

School year Enrollment is open for the 2018-19 academic year, including The Internet of Things—Computing, Engineering, and Design (a student-directed course); Jr NeuroExplorers; Biology of the Brain: Intro the Nervous System; and Molecular Biology, Genetics and Genomics.

K-8 Students and Parents: Learn About FIRST LEGO League Robotics, June 20

Students in Grades K-8 — and their parents — are invited to learn about FIRST Lego League (FLL) and Junior FLL at FLL Info Night, hosted by the Newton LigerBots on June 20, 7-9PM in Newton North HS’s Film Lecture Hall (on the left of the main lobby on Tiger Drive).  At the event, students and parents can learn more about FLL and what roles students can play on FLL teams, such as being a researcher, coder, or engineer, and they can meet others who are interested in forming FLL teams. The meeting is aimed primarily at parents, but kids are also welcome to come and learn more about the FLL program and participate in STEM-related activities.

FLL is a competition for Grades 4-8, and Junior FLL is a project-based program for Grades K-3. FLL teams build and program LEGO robots, and they undertake a project to brainstorm and present creative solutions to real life problems related to each year’s FIRST theme. This year, the theme is space and the FLL game is “Into Orbit.”

The LigerBots — Newton’s FIRST Robotics team, spanning both high schools — offers this information session as a community service, in part because FLL is a great introduction to the engineering, teamwork, and project skills that make great future LigerBots. The LigerBots also support FLL by mentoring local FLL teams, hosting FLL competitions, and promoting the principles of FIRST. A Newton FLL team, the Day Dragons, which won the Eastern Massachusetts Championship this year, will assist the LigerBots in this presentation. For more information, visit or email

Breakthrough Junior Challenge: Videos Due July 1

The Breakthrough Junior Challenge is an annual global competition for high school science and math students to inspire creative thinking about fundamental concepts in the natural sciences and mathematics. Students 13-18 years old are invited to create an original video — up to 3 minutes, illustrating a concept or theory in life sciences, physics, or mathematics — and submit it by July 1. One winner will receive a $250,000 educational prize, the winner’s science teacher will receive $50,000, and the winner’s school will receive a $100,000 science lab.

Coding Butterfly Opens in Newton, Offers Free 3D Class in June

Coding Butterfly is an after-school and weekend educational program in coding and robotics for Grades 2-8, with locations in Brighton and now Newton (132 Charles Street, Suite 200, Auburndale). It offers personalized instruction and hands-on learning in Scratch for beginners as well as Python, JavaScript, and 3D Design. To celebrate the opening of its Newton location, Coding Butterfly will offer 40 free seats to 3D classes in June for ages 8-13. Reservations are required.

Jr.Tech Programs on Cape Cod This Summer

Jr.Tech will offer these STEM co-ed camps on Cape Code this summer:

Edge on Science: Try EyeWire Gaming to Map Neurons

Edge on Science, which offers summer STEM programs, recently sent a newsletter describing, a free online gaming environment that facilitates mapping neurons for brain research. The newsletter explained, “[Sebastian Seung’s]  lab at Princeton University has been building 3D models of neurons [and] continuous groups of them. … The computer image processing is not perfect and [with EyeWire] thousands of citizen scientists have contributed to correcting and filling in the connections and completing the 3D models, neuron by neuron.” You can read this description and sign up to play the game.

Mass. Audubon Bird-a-thon, May 11-12

Join a team for the Massachusetts Audubon Society’s annual Bird-a-thon, 6PM to 6PM, May 11-12, to raise money for bird sanctuaries and programs. The event is open to Official Birders and Bird-a-thon Boosters who bird for fun and want to fundraise, too.