The STEM Behind ‘OK Go’ Videos

This isn’t Newton-specific (except maybe Isaac…gravity), but the band OK Go has created OK Go Sandbox, a website offering entertaining explanations, challenges, and experiments related to the STEM principles underlying their incredibly intricate, wildly popular videos.

Boston Area City Nature Challenge, Apr. 27-30

Zoo New England is one of the sponsors of the Boston Area City Nature Challenge, which is part of a worldwide competition among 65 cities to document the highest number of species. Download the iNaturalist app, sign up to join the challenge, and record your observations in the greater Boston area during April 27-30 by uploading photos with the app.

STEM Pathways Spring Dinner & Dialogue, Apr. 26

STEM Pathways will host its annual Spring Dinner and Dialogue at Boston University on April 26, 6-8:30PM, for teachers and administrators to confer and network with STEM outreach programs, universities, industries, and related resources in the greater Boston area. Admission is free. Register by April 23 at 10PM.

MetroWest Employers’ Engagement in STEM Education, Apr. 4

Sanofi Genzyme will host a panel discussion on MetroWest employers’ engagement in STEM education on April 4, 8:15-10:30AM, at their Framingham Science Center (49 New York Ave., Framingham). Panelists include Kevin Flynn of Boston Heart Diagnostics, David Aldous of Sanofi Genzyme, and Newton resident Groot Gregory of Synopsys.  It’s free and open to the public, with light breakfast available. RSVP online.

Women in STEM: Volunteer at STEM Pathway’s SET in the City, Apr. 7

Women in STEM fields are invited to participate on April 7 in the 10th annual SET in the City, a program for girls in Grades 9-12 to explore academic paths and careers in STEM.  Volunteers in STEM careers are needed for the program’s Science Information Bazaar, to be held 10:30-11:30AM in the Photonics Center at Boston University. There will be tables set up for you to bring some demonstration, exhibit, poster, or computer application to share with the girls.  Register online to volunteer.  For more information, email

MIT Edgerton’s ‘Science on Saturday’ for Grades K-12, Apr. 7: Optics

MIT’s Edgerton Center holds free Science on Saturday programs approximately monthly during the school year for elementary, middle, and high school students — as well as their parents and teachers.  Each is a fun, one-hour, interactive presentation beginning at 10AM in MIT’s Kresge Auditorium, 48 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge.  Kids under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Attendees also receive same-day admission to the MIT Museum at half-price. No pre-registration is necessary but seating is limited and first-come, first-seated.  The next program will be April 7: Optics. For more information, contact Dr. Todd H. Rider, Mad Scientist in Residence, at

Clay Center Course: Beginner Level Amateur Radio Course

The Clay Center Amateur Radio Club — a public outreach STEM program of the Dexter Southfield school — is offering Beginner Level Amateur Radio — a radio Technician Class course for adults — and children (ages 11+) with a parent — to facilitate successful completion of the FCC radio license test, which will be administered in the final class. Children passing the test will receive free membership in the Clay Center Amateur Radio Club, the largest youth-oriented radio club in New England.  Six Wednesdays March 28 – May 9, 6:30-8:45PM at the Clay Center at Dexter Southfield School.  Register here via Newton Community Education.

Newton 4th-Grade Destination Imagination Team Wins Spot in Global Finals

[photo] Top: Luca Dalzell (Team Mascot)
Middle: Briana Shu (Cabot), Roaa Ben-Aiad (Bowen)
Bottom: Henry Goldstein (SSDS), Neharika Jayanth (Burr), Mia Dalzell (Bowen)

A Destination Imagination team of Newton 4th graders has earned top honors in the state and will represent Massachusetts in the Destination Imagination Global Finals in Knoxville, TN over Memorial Day weekend.  This is the 5th year in a row that Newton students have won this honor!  This team won by engineering a structure weighing 28 grams yet holding 720 pounds — more than held by any other team’s structure in the state.  The team of students from Bowen, Cabot, Burr, and Solomon Schechter also had to create and present a performance, including a technical component, to a panel of judges.

Destination Imagination (DI) is a global creative problem-solving competition for teams of up to seven children in Grades K-12 to collaborate on solutions to unique STEAM challenges. Students work independently from parents and learn life skills such as communicating and listening, empathy towards others, being a problem solver, and making connections across complex ideas.

Newton DI was formed eight years ago and has been growing ever since, with 17 teams participating this year. Matthew Miller, founder of Newton DI, says, “In DI, parents are not allowed to be a part of the solution. As a result, we see participants taking risks, learning new skills, and stepping outside of their comfort zone. The best feeling in the world is when a parent at the end of the season tells me that they have never seen their child any happier.”

Outbreak! Summer Program in Public Health, Grades 11-12

Outbreak! is a free, week-long, interactive summer program to introduce students entering Grades 11-12 to the history and importance of public health. Students will learn about epidemiology, investigate a simulated disease outbreak, learn about the wide range of public health careers, and take field trips to the State Public Health Laboratory in Jamaica Plain and the Lowell Community Health Center. It will be held August 6-10 at the Public Health Museum in Tewksbury, which strives to preserve records and artifacts from our nation’s public health history, educate the public about the achievements and contributions of public health, and inspire people to build upon the past and continue to advance the future of public health. Applications are due April 13.

Zero Robotics Summer Competition for Grades 6-9: Apply by Apr. 13

Zero Robotics is a nationwide summer-time programming competition for middle-school students where the robots are SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold Engage and Reorient Experimental Satellites) inside the International Space Station! Each team of 10 to 20 students (who will be in Grades 6-9 in the fall) is organized and managed by a public or private school or community-based organization that serves middle-school youth. Each organization should apply by April 13, identify an adult to engage and inspire the team, recruit team members, create accounts on, and start writing code. The program runs July 9 to August 10, during which teams should expect to spend 15 hours a week on the project.  The early rounds of the competition will use simulated SPHERES, and the final round of competition will use real SPHERES and will be officiated by an astronaut on the ISS sometime in August. For more information, contact Katie Magrane at