Boston-area STEM museums are beginning to reopen, following the COVID-19 safety protocols specified for Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan, including timed ticketing increased cleaning and sanitation, one-way traffic flows for pedestrians, and reduced capacity. Online events and activities are continuing.
Boston Tech Mom has curated a fine list of free, at-home STEM activities for kids to undertake this summer.
Science Club for Girls has broadcast six online sessions of its weekly science show, SCFG Live!: Spring Into STEM, with hands-on activities, videos, podcasts, and virtual tours. Recordings of these shows are available on SCFG’s Facebook page, YouTube channel, the SCFG website, and the public-access television stations of Somerville, Cambridge, Lawrence, Lowell, Boston, and Brookline. New live shows will start the week of June 12.
Dr. Gertrude M. Clarke, an inspiring classroom teacher and brilliant scientist, passed away on May 15 at the age of 88. I’ve been writing the NewtonSTEM blog for over nine years now, driven by an interest in STEM ignited 50+ years ago in Dr. Clarke’s physics class in Chatham, NJ. Besides being my favorite teacher, she:
- Studied atomic, nuclear, and solid waste physics at Yale;
- Earned her Ph.D. from Rutgers University;
- Conducted research at Brookhaven National Laboratory, with the Rutgers University accelerator, with Harvard University’s cyclotron, and at Stevens Institute of Technology’s laser laboratory;
- Taught physics, science survey, practical chemistry, and environmental science at Chatham High School and created a high-school AP course in nucleonics;
- Received honors from Princeton University and the National Science Teachers Associations for her excellence in high-school teaching;
- Improved the precision of medical proton beams in numerous cancer treatments through her research;
- Founded the New Jersey Business/Industry/Science Education Consortium and served as its Executive Director;
- Was a trustee, the first woman president, and later an inductee of the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame.
Dr. Clarke was super smart, energetic, understanding, and super dedicated to her students, with a great sense of humor. Her classes were fun, challenging, and enlightening. I remember her saying one day, as we worked on experiments, “This is a laboratory — with the emphasis on labor, not oratory!” I’m sure that Dr. Clarke inspired several hundred students to pursue careers in science, engineering, and STEM education.
The MIT Museum has created a Virtual Idea Hub to offer weekly online guidance for maker activities for families, teachers, and youth-group leaders working with Grades 4+. Sessions are every Friday at 11AM on Zoom. Registration is required. Upcoming sessions are:
The Ligerbots’ new Awesome Mentor Project — linking elementary students with high-school mentors during #StayAtHome — has grown to nearly 80 pairs of mentors and students in a short time. The Ligerbots hope that more students of both age groups will join in this free service to help continue younger students’ education during this time. Mentor and mentee pairs meet online weekly to explore a wide variety of subjects, from programming to the arts to grammar and English. In addition to teaching, mentors and mentors can play games, be reading buddies, and do crafts.
High school students interested in mentoring should fill out this form.
Parents interested in signing up their elementary-school children should fill out this form.
For more information, email email@example.com.
Stay tuned for information about how the LigerBots are thinking about adapting their Awesome Mentor Project to be a summer program once school ends.
The Engineering is Elementary team of curriculum developers at the Museum of Science is conducting a brief survey of educators and families to help EiE and MOS offer high quality STEM resources and experiences during these challenging times. Those who complete the survey will gain free access to EiE’s 20 digital storybooks until June 30. These interactive storybooks feature kids around the world using engineering to solve problems. Also included is a mini design challenge.
Two high-school juniors in Newton, Talia Raffel and Emi Lundberg, have co-founded Teletutor, an online tutoring service for elementary students. They have recruited five other high-school students as additional teachers. They offer 40-minute virtual, one-session classes — STEM and other — with a maximum of six elementary students per session. Classes vary each week and are announced at 9PM each Saturday. Parents sign their kids up by 9PM the night before a class, paying online. Per-student costs are $15 for a 40-minute class, $10 for a 20-minute class. TeleTutor is offering two special deals now: $40 for a pass to any four classes; or bring a friend, and both you and your friend get a 50% discount. Classes are free for kids of healthcare workers and first responders, as well as in cases of financial hardship of any kind, no questions asked. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org. STEM-related classes this week:
- Light and Sound Waves
- The Octopus
- Bees and Honey
- Introduction to Genetics
- Aquarium Tour
- Genetics: Mechanics
The Newton Free Library’s Makerspace is now online, offering virtual training in various levels of technology. High-tech training focuses on 3D printing, online computing, media production, robotics, virtual reality, and web design. In addition, online STEM resources include Citizen Science, Sci Starter, Road Kill Tracking Project, National Geographic, and Alternatives to School Hatching Projects.
HMSC Connects is a free electronic newsletter from the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture to connect families with useful resources from the museums for playing and learning at home. Sign up here.