Newton Free Library: STEM Events in January

The Newton Free Library will host the following STEM events in January:

  • January 4:  Scratch Club, 7-8PM, Grades 3-4. Space is limited.  Pick up tickets 15 minutes beforehand at the Children’s Desk.
  • January 8:  Crazy 8s Math Club, 4-5PM, Grades K-2. Space is limited.  Registration opens at 9AM on December 18. Register for all 8 sessions (January 8, 22, 29February 5, 12, 26; March 5, 12).
  • January 16:  Animal Camouflage, 4-5PM, ages 3+.
  • January 27:  KIBO Robots, 10:30-11:30AM, Grades K-2. Space is limited to 8 children.  Pick up tickets 15 minutes beforehand at the Children’s Desk.

Brainpickings: 7 Favorite Science Books of 2017

Maria Popova’s Brainpickings blog presents her picks for her seven favorite science books of 2017.

SUMIT Collaborative Event for Girls in Grades 9-10 Who Like Math, Feb. 3 & 4

SUMIT is a fun, mathematically intense, fully collaborative, all-day, large-scale math collaboration for girls in Grades 6-10 who like math. It’s hosted annually by Girls Angle, a math club for girls in Cambridge. SUMIT is not a competition but is a collaborative math/theater event in which participants must self-organize and overcome math challenges toward a common overall goal. Participants do not need any experience in math and should simply bring an enjoyment of thinking about math and an open mind.

This year, there will be two separate sessions, each running 8:45AM to 4:30PM at the Broad Institute in Cambridge. Girls can sign up for either February 3 or February 4, as grade-specific space is available.  Currently there is still room for girls in Grades 9-10.  A wait list is available for grades that are filled. The $50 fee will be waived for students demonstrating financial need. Register here. For more information, email Learn more about the Girls Angle club in their bimonthly Bulletin and blog.

Newton Schools Foundation Annual Appeal Supports STEM Programs

You can donate to the Newton Schools Foundation Annual Appeal to support these STEM initiatives in the Newton Public Schools:

The Calculus Project aims to narrow the achievement gap in mathematics and increase the number of African American, Hispanic, and low-income students who complete calculus in high school. Rising seventh and eighth graders participate in small-group intensive summer instruction in mathematics and related workshops to gain academic skills and confidence, followed by after-school tutoring during the school year.

The DaVinci Program Newton South HS is a project-based collaborative approach to learning science, technology, engineering, arts and math.  Students build skills in experimentation, analytical problem solving, collaboration, presentation, communication, and artistic representation through authentic and student-driven learning.

The Middle School Engineering and Sustainable Energy Generation curriculum focuses on new blade design for wind turbines to engage students in hands-on STEM projects at all four middle schools.

Science and Society is an interdisciplinary senior elective in science and history at Newton North HS using case studies to explore how science has changed and responded to society over time.  Studies include the development of the atomic bomb, DNA and how it connects to identity and medical innovation, germ theory and the development of public health, biological evolution, environmental history, the development of modern cities, and the science of race.

The Ligerbots robotics club engages students, teacher coaches, and parent mentors from both Newton North and Newton South High Schools to provide students with challenges that foster interest and skills in STEM and create the next generation of scientists, inventors, and engineers.

Science Emporium: Holiday Shopping Party, Dec. 19

e, Inc.‘s Science Emporium, in the Charlestown Navy Yard (114 Sixteenth Street, Charlestown), invites the public to its special holiday shopping hours, December 19, 4-7:30PM, for refreshments and a 5% discount on science toys, games, books, and gifts for all ages.

LigerBots to Host Eastern Mass. State FLL Championship at NNHS, Dec. 16

The LigerBots will host the Eastern Massachusetts FLL State Championship, a FIRST LEGO League robotics competition for 300 Massachusetts students in Grades 4-8 on Saturday, December 16, 9AM-3PM, at Newton North HS. It’s free and open to the public. The theme of this year’s competition is Hydro Dynamics (see video).  Forty-eight teams earned the right to compete in the championship via their performance in earlier qualifying events. They will use LEGO robots they have designed, built, and programmed to perform complex tasks. The public may also view the teams’ displays of their solutions to real-world problems related to the water-based theme. There will also be a maker fair with hands-on STEM activities for kids and a “RoboPalooza” exhibit of robots from First Robotics Competitions and FIRST Tech Challenges.

Help NSHS Marine Biology Students Supply Water Filters to Puerto Rico

Newton South HS’s Marine Biology students are responding to the current hurricane-induced public health crises in Puerto Rico by raising funds to purchase much needed water filters for affected communities there.  Donations by check (made out to “Newton South High School” with “PRWaterFilters” in the memo line) may be delivered to any NSHS house office or advisory teacher or mailed to NSHS Water Filters for Puerto Rico, 140 Brandeis Rd, Newton, MA 02459.

Women in STEM Event in Lowell, Postponed to Dec. 16

Women in STEM event for girls in Grades 7-12, originally scheduled for December 9, has been moved to Saturday, December 16, 10AM-3PM, in the UMass Lowell Makerspace (Falmouth Bldg., Rm 102, 1 University Avenue, Lowell). It’s sponsored by FIRST Robotics Competition Team 5962. At this event, students may participate in fun, hands-on activities led by female engineers. During lunch, there will be a discussion time for students to ask the engineers and members of the UMassLowell Society of Women Engineers (SWE) any questions they have. The event is free, and lunch is provided. Register here. No experience required!

Summer Research Science Institute at MIT: Applications Due Jan. 16

The Research Science Institute hosts 80 accomplished high-school students in a rigorous summer STEM research program at MIT, June 24-August 4, combining on-campus coursework in scientific theory and off-campus work in STEM research.  Students first participate in a week of intensive STEM classes, then conduct five-week individual research projects with mentors, and finally prepare written and oral presentations of their results. The program is designed for students entering senior year in the fall, but exceptions for younger students will be considered. Except for a $65 application fee (which may be waived upon request), the program is free to students.  Applications are due January 12.  For more information, email RSI.

Patriot Place STEM Teacher of the Year: Nominations Due Jan. 20

Each year, The Hall at Patriot Place recognizes a full-time, certified, K-12 STEM teacher in public or private school as its Massachusetts STEM Teacher of the Year.  Anyone may nominate a teacher by January 20, and nominated teachers will be asked to submit a separate application.  The winner’s school will receive $5,000 for STEM education, and the schools of the four other finalists will each receive $1,000.  For more information, email