Framingham State University’s Christa McAuliffe Center seeks presenters and volunteers for the second annual Science on State Street festival on April 27, 11AM-3PM, on its campus (directions). It’s free and open to all ages, with over 50 hands-on activities (in biology, chemistry, physics, food science, robotics and engineering), featured presentations by FSU faculty and invited scientists, conversations and performances that explore the interaction between science and the arts, and lots of free planetarium programs. The keynote talk, at 2PM by Dr. Jonathan McDowell from the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, will be on the Moon Race: The U.S.-Soviet Competition to Put a Man on the Moon. The event coincides with Framingham’s Earth Day Festival nearby on the Framingham Centre Common.
MassBay Community College will host its bi-annual STEM Expo, 1PM-2PM on May 1 at its Wellesley Hills campus cafeteria (50 Oakland Street) to highlight accomplishments of students and faculty in Engineering, Math, Computer Science, Life Sciences, and Biotechnology. It’s free and open to the public, and business and industry professionals, community organizations, high school students, teachers and administrators are encouraged to attend. For more information, contact Marina Bograd at email@example.com.
We learned too late to let you know ahead of time, but here’s a peek at yesterday’s successful RoboDay at You-Do-Electronics Center (YDI), in celebration of National Robotics Week. Robotic STEM enthusiasts attending included the all-girl Winsor Wildbots FTC team #13620 from Winsor School in Boston, GearTicks FTC team #6055 from Lincoln, and 8-year-old Max, who demostrated his creative robotic-hand project. Attendees had the opportunity to network with featured exhibitors Empow Studios, iRobot, Expedition to STEM, and Velleman. Look for the event next year. In the meantime, YDI intends to be not only be a place to shop but a source of STEM awareness and inspiration for the community. YDI is at 40 Franklin Street in Needham, between Rte. 128, the Charles River, and Highland Avenue.
Futurist and inventor, Ray Kurzweil, speak at the Newton Free Library on Tuesday, April 16 at 7PM at the official launch of his newest book, Danielle: Chronicles of a Superheroine. He’ll explore his vision of “an extraordinary future where our brains are connected to the cloud, we have hybrid biological/nonbiological thinking, our human intelligence is enhanced a million-fold, and everyone has the power of ideas to solve the world’s grandest challenges.” Danielle, the superheroine of the book, has a level of super intelligence and also “courage to question the assumptions that limit imagination.” The event is appropriate for ages 12+.
Eight local robotics companies are offering free open houses to celebrate National Robotics week. You must be 18 years or older and preregister here.
- April 8: iRobot, FLIR (formerly Endeavor Robotics)
- April 9: Artaic, MassRobotics
- April 10: DunkWorks
- April 11: 6 River Systems
- April 12: Symbotic, Piaggio Fast Forward
Newton Destination Imagination Creativity Day, on May 4, will offer parents and kids a preview of the Destination Imagination program — a volunteer-run STEAM program for Grades K-12 (see video). Participants will work in teams to solve STEAM-based challenges in structural engineering, science, math, performance, and improv. The event will take place at Memorial Spaulding School (250 Brookline Street), and the cost is $5 person. Attendees under Grade 9 must be accompanied by an adult. Register now for either the 9AM-11:30AM session or the 11:30AM-1:30PM session.
In the school-year Destination Imagination, teams of 2-7 students form in September (by Grades: K-2, 3-5, 6-9, and 9-12) to address various design challenges throughout the year in preparation for regional tournaments in the early spring and potentially state and global competitions in May. Over the years, over 350 Newton students have participated, and last year a Newton team went to the Global Finals!
The fourth Wellesley STEM Expo — free and open to the public — will be held on April 6, 10AM-3PM, at Wellesley High School (50 Rice Street). Last time, over 3000 attended this amazing event (see the video recap of the 2017 Expo). From 10AM to 2PM, there will be over 100 exhibits, 14 workshops (workshop space is limited), and a showcase of student work. A featured exhibit will be Picturing Science, adapted from the exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History. At 2PM, this year’s keynote speaker — Dr. Cheryl Knott, Professor of Anthropology and Biology at Boston University — will speak about her work to protect the wild orangutans of Borneo. At 3PM, there will be a Meet-a-STEM-Professional networking reception. Register for free. Check out opportunities to be a sponsor.
The 11th annual SET in the City (that’s Science, Engineering, Technology) takes place next Saturday, April 6, and needs adult volunteers to help 150 high-school girls explore academic paths and careers in STEM. Volunteers are needed specifically for its Science Information Bazaar, 10:30-11:30AM in the Photonics Center at Boston University. Can you bring a demo, exhibit, poster, or computer application to share with the girls?
It’s a wonderful opportunity to share your enthusiasm for what you do with high-school girls eager to learn what motivates people into STEM careers. In past years, volunteers have:
- Made “elephant toothpaste” and bottle rockets with the students;
- Brought in sea urchins, Van der Graaf generators and ultrasound machines;
- Demonstrated innovative computer applications and nano materials; and
- Experimented with Snap Circuits and Mobius bands.
After the Science Information Bazaar, the girls will travel to other campuses (Emmanuel, Harvard, Simmons, or MIT) for lunch and lab activities — and finally to Merck in Boston for the keynote and a student panel. Adult volunteers exhibiting in the Science Information Bazaar are invited to travel with them for the lunch and lab activities (but need to arrange their own transportation back).
SET in the City is sponsored by the Boston Area Girls STEM Collaborative: Boston University, Emmanuel College, Harvard University, MIT, Northeastern University, Simmons College, UMass Boston, Wentworth Institute of Technology and WGBH.
The Cambridge Science Festival is the national leader in its field, with 189 activities and events spanning 10 days, April 12-21, in Cambridge, greater Boston, and beyond. #CambSciFest is too much to keep in your head. You can filter this year’s online schedule of events by date, age (family/teens/adults), cost, various tags, venue, day of the week, time of day, or organizer — and then export your filtered events to your personal calendar. Some events require pre-registration or tickets, and most are free. Some highlights:
Boston Tech Mom (“a parent’s guide to raising a future techie”) is a great resource for all things STEM around Boston — including her monthly posts about free or low-cost STEM Events for Kids in Boston. Here’s her Boston Tech Mom: Tech Events for Kids in April list of STEM events.