Category Archives: Recommendations

Message from a STEM Undergraduate

Here’s another in our series of STEM-related reflections by recent Newton high-school graduates. Dan Ehrlich, who graduated last year from Newton South, is a freshman studying applied math at NYU.

Biology. Chemistry. Oceanography. Geology. Astrophysics. One by one, the sciences were crossed off my list of potential college majors. In middle school, I thought for a while that I would be a scientist. I would discover the cure for cancer (little did I know that there were multiple types), or design autonomous underwater vehicles and explore the ocean depths. I would be a theoretical chemist or perhaps a neurologist who understood the brain so well that he created an artificial intelligence. I wanted to work on the frontiers of science. I wanted to change the world. I knew I would be a scientist before I had even picked up my first biology textbook.

Two things happened in high school, however, that dissuaded me from these dreams: Continue reading

Nominations Open for Mass. STEM Teacher of the Year

Each year, The Hall at Patriot Place and Raytheon together recognize a full-time, certified, K-12 STEM teacher in public or private school as their Massachusetts STEM Teacher of the Year.  Anyone may nominate a teacher by February 28, and nominated teachers must submit their part of the application by March 17.  The winner’s school will receive $5,000 for STEM education, and the schools of the four other finalists will each receive $1,000.  See details here (PDF).

Information Session for Potential ‘Einstein in the Classroom’ Volunteers, Dec. 9

The Cambridge Science Festival will offer Einstein in the Classroom to mark the 100th anniversary of the publication of the Theory of General Relativity.  The program will bring college physics students and professors into Grade 7-12 classrooms for engaging activities about Einstein’s work, in two sessions in February and March.  Topics to be to covered include relativity, spacetime curvature, the life cycles of stars, the relative sizes of the objects that occupy the observable universe.  There will be an information session — for anyone interested in volunteering or learning more about the program — on Tuesday, December 9 at 5:30 at the MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge.  For information, contact Peg Legendre, K-12 coordinator for Cambridge Science Festival and Science on the Streetat

Help ‘Science Club for Girls’ Win $20K Challenge Grant by Dec. 31

Science Club for Girls has raised $13,000 and needs to raise an additional $7,000 by December 31 in order to win an all-or-nothing challenge grant from The Amelia Peabody FoundationRead the reviews of this local non-profit and consider making a donation.

NNHS Science Team Raises Funds for its Expenses via Yard Work

The Newton North HS Science Team raises funds — for team expenses including travel to science competitions — by raking leaves and shoveling snow for anyone in the Newton area.  You set your price — by the job or by the hour.  Contact Team VP Amy Huang at  By hiring Tiger Science, you support the team while making your yard look even better than it does now.

Help the Newton Ligerbots by Ordering at Bertucci’s on May 14

On Wednesday, May 14, Bertucci’s in Newton Corner is sponsoring a fundraiser to support the Ligerbots, Newton’s award-winning robotics team.  Print out this coupon and bring it with you that day, and Bertucci’s will donate 15% of your eat-in or take-out purchase to the Ligerbots.   Each year, the NNSH/NSHS Ligerbots students build a robot to accomplish a new task and compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition.  This year, the team made it all the way to the World Championships in St. Louis.  Celebrate with some great pizza or Italian food.

Support Newton Ligerbots at FRC Worldwide Championships!

The Newton Ligerbots have just learned that they have qualified for, and received a coveted invitation to, the top high-school robotics competition worldwide — the FRC World Championships in St. Louis, April 23-26.  This culminates their award-winning season of engaging, fun competitions that celebrate excellence in design, collaboration, and STEM while building leadership, self-confidence, and communication skills.  This team — spanning both high schools — needs your financial support to make the trip.

Can you, as a loyal, committed NewtonSTEM reader, provide some financial support to help the Ligerbots attend this worldwide event?  The team registration fee alone is $5000.  Travel costs for students and adult coaches/chaperones will be about $15,000 for a bus plus $9000 for rooms.  The team has already secured grants totaling almost $12,350 from NDEP, PTC, Textron, FedEx, and Newton Public Schools, specifically for this competition.  Ligerbot students’ families are ready to pay substantial amounts to make this happen.  But there’s a gap because not all families can afford the cost.

You can make a tax-deductible contribution to the Ligerbots’ success — in any amount, large or small — through the Newton Schools Foundation:

  • Online:  Click the “Donate” button at to use PayPal or credit card;
  • By check:  Send it to “Newton Schools Foundation”, 246 Dudley Rd., Newton, MA 02459 (with “Ligerbots Championship” in the memo line); or
  • By phone:  Call the Newton Schools Foundation office at 617-559-6120 with your credit card and say your donation is for the Ligerbots Championship.

Thank you, NewtonSTEM readers, for your concrete support of STEM education excellence!

See Newton Ligerbots in Action This Weekend

Newton’s award-winning FIRST Robotics team, the Ligerbots, will compete this weekend in the Northeastern University District Qualifying Event on March 28-29.  If things go well, the team will be invited to the New England FRC Regional Championship at Boston University on April 10-12.  All FIRST events are free, open to the public, and a blast to watch.  More info here.

Strategic Partner PTC Discusses How FIRST Inspires Engineers

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.

Message from a STEM Undergraduate

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