Are you looking for local STEM opportunities for your kids close to home? Try your local technical high school's School of Continuing Education classes. Montachusett Regional Technical High School in Fitchburg, Massachusetts has two programs for kids.
Cool Circuits for 7th & 8th grade students will be taught by Sehba Hasan, an electronics and telecommunications engineer. Students will learn about LED's (light emitting diodes), switches and fans. This course will be held Tuesdays, Sept 12 - Oct 17 from 4:30 - 5:30 pm and costs $149
Kidtronics for 5th & 6th grade students will teach the basics of electronic circuits. They will learn about electricity, electrons, voltage source, conductors and insulators. As a final project students will create a LED card. This course will be held Sept 11 - Oct 23 from 4:30 - 5:30 pm and costs $149.
Register online at Montytechnites.com or call 978-345-9200 x5220
Ever wonder what the maker movement is all about? Are you interested in learning about 3-D Printing? The Leominster Public Library is hosting a Maker Monday - 3D Workshop this summer for 7th - 12th grade students. You must be able to attend all three sessions to sign up. Sessions are Mondays July 31, August 7, and August 14 from 2:30 - 4:30 pm.
I am very excited to see the Leominster Public Library offer a program like this for teens!
Looking for something fun and educational, and oh by the way...free, to do with your kids this summer? Microsoft stores run YouthSpark Camps for kids 8 - 12 years old. The camps run two hours a day from Monday - Thursday.
Starting a Business Jr - Kids learn that they are never too young to have great ideas and start a business. Students come up with a business idea, build a business plan and present their plan at the end of the camp. They learn how to do market research, create an advertising plan, figure out costs and distribution methods, think about how to finance their business, and write a business plan. If you have a boy scout, this plan meets most of the requirements of the Entrepreneurship Merit Badge.
Get Creative with 3D in Windows 10 - Bring out your inner artist in this fun camp where students learn Paint 3D and create their own emojis, monsters, robots, and landscapes. Students have a chance to present their 3D designs to the other students in the class. (This was my son and his friend's favorite YouthSpark Camp!)
Kodu Makerspace - A great way for beginners to be introduced the concepts game design and coding utilizing the free Kodu Game Lab software.
My son attended all three of these camps and I would highly recommend if you live near a Microsoft store to take advantage of these opportunities.
Mark your calendar, MIT Science on Saturday's 2017-2018 schedule has been released! All events are FREE and opened to students K-12, parents and teachers.
Science on Saturday events on the MIT campus are free and open to all K-12 students, as well as their parents and teachers. Each event features an hour of spectacular on-stage science demonstrations led by MIT presenters with volunteers from the audience, followed by an hour where kids can do their own experiments at 24 different hands-on activity tables. The events will be held 10:00 a.m.-noon on the following Saturdays in MIT’s Kresge Auditorium, 48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139:
October 14, 2017 Biotechnology
December 2, 2017 Nuclear Science and Engineering
February 3, 2018 Materials with Magical Properties
March 10, 2018 Rockets and Flight
April 7, 2018 Optics
Events are produced by MIT alumnus Todd Rider and sponsored by the MIT Museum and the Akamai Foundation. Attendees receive half-price, same day admission to the MIT Museum.
Becker College, ranked number five worldwide by the Princeton Review for computer game design, is again holding their Video Game Summer Studio for high school students. My son attended this program last summer and said it was the best two weeks of his life! He was surrounded by peers with similar interests and the classes were taught by great teachers.
Becker's Video Game Summer Studio is a two-week residential program where students live, learn and play together. The program is an introduction to all aspects of game development including game design, game art and animation, motion capture, programming, sound, testing and production. Students will work in small groups, as part of a development team, and collaborate to build an original game. Students will have a chance to meet professional game developers at companies such as Petricore Games. At the culmination of the program, students will showcase their new game and discuss the programs and processes they used during game development.
The program will be held on the Worcester, Mass. campus for students grades 9-12. Registration deadline, June 10, 2017.
Students who attend the Summer Game Studio can qualify to receive a $5,000 annual scholarship if they go on to enroll full-time in Becker College's Bachelor of Arts Interactive Media Design Program. See Becker College's website for scholarship details.
UMass Amherst is offering a free 4-week pre-college program, Summer Transportation Institute, funded by the Department of Transportation, for current high school students entering the 10th - 12th grade. Students will learn about career paths, including: Connected and Automated Vehicle Technology, Public Transportation, Sustainability, Aviation, Safety and Enforcement, Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities
The program runs from July 9, 2017 - August 3, 2017. The program includes housing in a
pre-college residence (a commuter option is available as well), a full meal plan and co-curricular programs. Available space is limited, so if interested, apply soon.
This summer offers another opportunity for rising 7th graders to graduating seniors to take classes at MIT through HSSP. Students can choose from a variety of academic and non-academic courses. The program runs on Sundays from July 9, 2017 - August 13, 2017 from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm. The cost of the program is $40, as always, generous financial aid is available. Space is limited. The course catalog is expected to be released on May 23rd and registration will open tentatively around May 28th. Registration closes on June 13th.
Registration is now open for CODEIT!, a free program offered by MIT students aimed at decreasing the gender-gap in technology. Middle school girls with little or no programming experience will have the chance to explore computer science through interactive workshops and MIT student mentors. The program meets weekly on Saturday afternoons from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. beginning October 7, 2017 through December 2, 2017 (students are expected to attend all classes). Computers and smartphones will be available for student use and a catered lunch will be provided.
Girls Space Day Adventure, hosted by The Society of Women Engineers, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, MIT AeroAstro Department and MIT Women's Graduate Association of Aeronautics and Astronautics, will be held this Saturday, May 13, 2017 at the MIT Johnson Ice Rink. Girls, grade 6 - 8, will participate in hands-on activities and demonstrations while learning about the role of science and engineering in space exploration. There will be interactive demonstration and the young women will have the opportunity to meet women scientists and engineers.
Student Check-in: 9:30 a.m. - 10 a.m.
Speakers & Demos: 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
We loved the library when my kids were little, we were there all the time. We listened and sang at Mommy & Me story time, we played with puzzles, and borrowed lots and lots of books. We loved the kids performers – the magicians, the jugglers, and the science shows. It was a great time to get together with friends. The calendar was always full with upcoming activities.
It was a sad day when I realized my kids had outgrown the library. They were excited when they realized they were now going to a new room upstairs with a whole new variety of books, booths to sit in and computers work on. We quickly discovered, most of the time the door was locked and the room empty. The library staff were quick to unlock the door but it was soon locked again after the kids made their selection. The sense of feeling welcome was left in the first floor childrens’ room. My kids now prefer to just download a book on their electronic device and there is no real reason for them to head to the library anymore. It seems this is a common trend at many libraries and the middle and high school kids get lost. There is a void, a sense of loss of community that we had when the kids were little, we had loved the library.
The question I was left with is, what do you do when your kids outgrow the library? More and more people are turning to makerspaces. Makerspaces are community spaces where people can gather together for learning, exploring, making and sharing using a variety of tools and materials. Makerspaces are unique to the community they serve. Some may be in a small space consisting of primarily art supplies and Legos while others can be in a vast location offering a variety of tools and classes.
I recently had a chance to tour Technocopia, a makerspace in Worcester, with Lauren Monroe, the founder of Worcester Think Tank. Worcester Think Tank, established in 2008, is a youth education center providing hands-on experiences in science, technology and the arts for youth ages 8 to 17. Technocopia offers workshops, tool trainings and youth education. Memberships are available to individuals and families to use the space and tools. Workshops are offered to both members and non-members of the makerspace. The space includes a Design Studio, Glass Shop, a Metal Shop, a Laser Cutter, 3D Printers and a classroom with computers. The two organizations have formed a unique relationship, sharing a space and collaborating on a full time basis.
In addition to workshops throughout the year, Worcester Think Tank is offering 2-weeks of summer programs in August. There will be a variety of workshops including: Illuminated Sculpture where students will learn 3D printing, how to use a laser cutter to create a sculpture and electronics to light up the sculpture; Screen Printing where students will create a design and to screen print on a t-shirt.; Minecraft and 3D Printing workshop; and Art Biology.
…This may just be the answer to what we do now that we have outgrown the library.
Debbi - Proud mom of two beautiful boys who have benefited from some amazing STEM opportunities!