Category Archives: Virtual/Online

Discovery Planet: Online Learning from “e” Inc. for Grades 1-5

“e” inc. — Boston’s environment science learning and action center — has a new YouTube show, Discovery Planet, that runs twice a week — exploring Water on Tuesdays and Animals on Thursdays — for Grades 1-3 (at 12:30PM) and Grades 3-5 (at 1:30PM). You can visit these sessions anytime after they are released each week, to review topics or conduct experiments described.

BlocksCAD Online Courses and Summer Camps, Grades 3-5 & 6-8

Boston-based BlocksCAD is a STEM education technology company offering a web-based 3D design platform that combines 3D modeling and block-based coding to help students in Grades 3-8 have fun learning math, computational thinking, and coding. See this summary. The BlocksCAD platform is free to use, and parents can help kids get started with projects here. The BlocksCAD team offers courses through Newton Community Education (formerly in person and these days online) as well as their own online courses. Each BlocksCAD online course runs once a week for four weeks, 5PM-6PM — on Mondays or Tuesdays for Grades 3-5, and on Wednesdays or Thursdays for Grades 6-8. As conditions permit, BlocksCAD plans to offer in-person, one-week summer day camps for Grades 3-5 (1:30-4:30PM, June 29-July 2) and Grades 6-8 (9:30AM-12:30PM, June 22-26).

TeleTutor: Local, Online Tutoring Service, by HS Students for Elementary Students

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 teletutor123@gmail.com. STEM-related classes this week:

  • Light and Sound Waves
  • The Octopus
  • Bees and Honey
  • Giraffes
  • Introduction to Genetics
  • Aquarium Tour
  • Genetics: Mechanics

Innovation Institute: Evolutionary Biology Seminar, Grades 6-8 & 9-12

The Innovation Institute (Ti2) will offer a new online course — Evolutionary Biology & Development: An Exploration of Genes versus the Environment from Darwin to Genomics — in two sections: Grades 6-8 (8AM-9AM) and Grades 9-12 (9:30AM-10:30AM) on Mondays-Wednesdays-Fridays, May 11 – June 19. The course will be in a seminar format with Mondays and Wednesdays focused on introductory material, interactive presentations, and video explorations, and Fridays dedicated to instructor-facilitated discussion. Register here. Weekly topics are: What is Evolution?, Origin of Life Problem, Diversity of Life – Classification and Phylogeny, What About the Fossil Record?, Origin of Variation (Where Evolution Begins), Selection, Speciation, Co-Evolution, Life History Strategies, Role of Biogeography in Evolution, Extinction, and What About Humans?

Rainstorm: Virtual Splash! Two-Day Programs for HS Students

Because the Splash! programs usually offered by various colleges and universities have been canceled during the shutdown, the sponsor of Splash! is offering Rainstorm — a free, two-day program of online courses for high-school students taught by undergraduates over the May 30-31 weekend, noon-5PM each day. Registration is open until May 13, and classes will be filled on a lottery basis if there is not room for all. For more information, email cloud@learningu.org. STEM-related courses in the catalog include:

  • It’s Just Rocket Science
  • Glass is Cool: Innovation, Manufacturing and Recycle
  • Code like a pro – Java and BDD
  • Why is Oxygen So Special?
  • Identifying Good Research
  • Computers and Ethics

Puddlestompers: Virtual Classes in Nature Exploration, Ages 3-7

Puddlestompers Nature Exploration is a Newton-based company offering classes for young children to explore nature. During this #StayAtHome time, Puddlestompers is offering virtual nature classes for ages 3-7. The lessons are $15 each and are pre-recorded so they can be watched at any time. Each has a STEM activity sheet, an outdoor activity, a handout, a coloring sheet, and a related story. Recent topics are Signs of Spring, Birds:Nesting, Soil, Seed Growth, Worms!, and Robins.

LabCentral: Innovation & BioTech in the World of COVID-19, May 5

LabCentral will host a free webinar, Innovation & BioTech in the World of COVID-19, on May 5, 1:30PM-2:15PM. Register here.

BU Summer Programs Move Online

These Boston University summer programs have moved online and changed their schedules. Applications are open now.

  • CODEBREAKERS for female students in Grades 9-12, July 6-31, is described in this post.
  • Artemis for female students entering Grade 9, July 6-31, is described in this post.
  • AI4ALL for female students entering Grades 11-12, July 26- August 14, is described in this post.

Blue Hill Observatory & Science Center: Online Programs

The Blue Hill Observatory & Science Center offers multiple online programs each week.  They are password-protected, so email dmccasland@bluehill.org (mentioning the titles of the programs you want to attend) for details about how to log on. This week’s programs are:

  • The Variety and History of Precipitation Measuring at Blue Hill Observatory: May 4, 1-2PM
  • Solar Eclipse Basics and How to View and Photograph Them Safely: May 6, 1-2PM
  • Significant Nor’easters in New England: May 8, 1-2PM

Subscribe to the observatory’s Sky Mail newsletter for all information about all programs, including how to log on.

LigerBots Seek Additional High-School Mentors for Elementary Students

Last week, the Newton LigerBots high-school robotics team launched its “Awesome Mentorship Project 2877” to match high-school student mentors with elementary students by common interests for weekly online mentoring sessions. Based on the great reception seen in the interest forms sent in by parents of elementary students, the LigerBots see high demand for this program and seek additional high-school student mentors for it. High-school students are invited to apply via this form. All mentors are vetted and trained by the LigerBots. Each mentor-student pair will spend an hour each week over a video call doing science experiments, tutoring in school subjects, or simply drawing and chatting — whatever the elementary student needs. Another example of the LigerBots serving the Newton community! #MoreThanRobots