Robin Saitz, senior vice president of PTC, recently joined a brief panel discussion on NECN (video) about how the FIRST robotics program inspires students to become engineers and gives them broad experience in design, collaboration, and other skills. PTC is a FIRST Strategic Partner. Robin also explained how FIRST is the cornerstone of the company’s Creating Shared Value program benefiting PTC, its employees who volunteer for FIRST, the students who are inspired to become engineers, and PTC’s customers who hire them.
Alona Meirav graduated last year from Newton South HS and is studying Chemical Engineering at University of Colorado Boulder. She sends this message back to high-school students considering — or not yet considering — a STEM major. Continue reading
Biogen Idec Foundation has extended the deadline to Friday, January 17 for teachers and schools to apply for Ignite the Power of STEM grants. A total of $50,000 — up to 25 grants of $2000 for teachers or $5000 for schools — will be available to support science education programs and projects run by elementary, middle and high schools in Massachusetts. Applicants must be full-time professional personnel from Massachusetts public school districts or charter schools that had at least one individual registered or in attendance at the Massachusetts STEM Summit on November 13, 2013. (Newton Public Schools had several teachers and administrators in attendance.) Programs should be designed to: Continue reading
There are several excellent shops in the area that have lots of science and engineering gifts. If you like kids, toys, art, science, engineering, math, puzzles, games, or anything fun, get over to Green Planet Kids at 22 Lincoln Street in Newton Highlands. This little store is jam-packed with the best toys, art activities, and STEM related kits. All the items are hand-picked by the owner, Annabelle Ship, and she knows every item she stocks. I’ve frequently seen someone ask about something, and Annabelle will give them the ins and outs of that particular toy or kit, and then introduce a couple of alternatives. Continue reading
At the Massachusetts STEM Summit, the Biogen Idec Foundation announced the availability a total of $50,000 in mini-grants for schools and non-profit organizations in the greater Boston area to support science education. Applications are due December 31, and awards — up to $2000 per teacher or $5000 per school — will be made by February. Applicants must be tax-exempt, non-profit agencies. Details are here.
The Newton North Science Team is raising money for team expenses by doing small jobs such as leaf raking, snow shoveling, wall painting, wallpaper removal, etc. Hours are fairly flexible and prices are negotiable. The money raised helps to offset team expenses including competition registration fees, textbooks, and materials for “build-ahead” events. The team pays for all tools and materials that are used for the Science Olympiad competition, including carbon fiber, wood, metal, saws, drills, screws, etc. The final cost for one academic year for the Olympiad alone is usually between $2000 and $3000. Please contact the team about fundraisers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
U.S. Representative Joseph Kennedy has succeeded Lt. Gov. Tim Murray as chair of the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council. Rep. Kennedy sits on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology and is supporting IL Rep. Bill Foster’s bill to create a national STEM grant program for school districts. In a succession ceremony, Kennedy highlighted a partnership he observed between the Brown Middle School in Newton and Boston University where engineering students taught seventh graders for credit about the physics of a wind turbine and led them in a competition to design a turbine on a budget that produced the most energy.
Recently funded through Kickstarter, a new toy company, Goldie Blox, is receiving lots of attention and will deliver its first product in February, 2013. It’s a construction toy and book series starring Goldie, a kid inventor who loves to build. The kit combines spatial and verbal skills and is aimed for girls 5 to 9 years old. The second and third sets of the series, to be released in the spring, will introduce more engineering principles, new characters, and more construction pieces. You can pre-order sets, track the company’s production progress, and see what’s new at www.GoldieBlox.com. See videos on Goldie Blox’ Youtube channel.
Dr. Ann Koufman-Frederick has joined Newton Public Schools as the system’s first Deputy Superintendent for Teaching & Learning. We’re fortunate to have an educator with a strong background and interest in STEM in this new position overseeing Newton’s K-12 curriculum and professional development. Here’s a bit of her background in STEM: Continue reading
Many thanks to Horace Mann school librarian Patti Karam for compiling the following holiday booklist of twelve STEM-related recommendations for elementary-school students, in response to our request for ideas for STEM holiday gifts. (Note: The ones marked OSTB are Outstanding Science Trade Books noted by the National Science Teachers Association, which maintains a broad catalog of recommendations at www.nsta.org/recommends/) Here’s Patti Karam’s booklist: Continue reading