STEM in the News

Exciting ways students and the community are connecting with STEM.

2021 Massachusetts STEM Week Challenges

The following organizations received grants to develop STEM design challenges for students:

BioBuilder Edicational Foundation, Newton: BioBuilder invites students across the Commonwealth to engage with its Idea Accelerator, a digital offering that allows students to learn the foundations of biodesign and challenges them to develop a biotechnology that solves any challenge they want to address. The world’s health crisis has focused everyone’s attention on biology and life science. A design challenge related to bioengineering is not only timely but is also a way to focus student’s ideas on solving society’s needs, allowing students to both see themselves in STEM and see STEM in the world. To learn more, contact Stephanie Ovitt at stephanie@biobuilder.org.

CoderZ by Intelitek, Inc: CoderZ invites students and educators to explore CSTEM, the fusion of computer science and STEM, through their award-winning platform during Massachusetts STEM Week 2021. Owned by Intelitek, Inc., CoderZ's gamified online platform is as easy to use as it is powerful. Students learn core STEM, coding, and robotics skills, while supporting 21st Century skills such as critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration. To learn more contact Kathy Scott at kathy@gocoderz.com or 215.589.3954, and to schedule a demo, visit https://calendly.com/kathygocoderz.

FIRST Robotics WPI, Worcester: New England FIRST invites students and educators across the Commonwealth to engage with robotics teams during MA STEM week and learn more about how to get hands-on with robotics.  FIRST programs enable students from kindergarten through high school to understand the basics of STEM and apply their skills in an exciting challenge while building habits of learning, confidence, and teamwork skills along the way. To learn more, visit https://nefirst.org/ or first@wpi.edu

Gale Force Education: Gale Force Education brings the excitement of power engineering to high school students through Engineering for Resilience (EfR), which focuses on the design and operation of New England’s power grid. In a series of challenges aligned to MA STEM standards, students will design, test, and improve power grid system components and a model power grid system. To learn more, visit https://bit.ly/2UMvRdN or contact us at michael@kidwind.org.

Kids in Tech, Inc., Lowell: Kids in Tech’s STEM Challenge will help students in the Commonwealth visualize the concepts of AI, understand how these systems affect the world, and appreciate the potential they have to change the future. Students will utilize two online platforms, Machine Learning for Kids and Scratch, through which they will complete engaging activities that allow them to see what is possible with AI concepts and technology. The challenge will culminate in a project in which students will design their own Smart Cities using AI principles and programming language. To learn more, visit us at www.kidsintech.org or info@kidsintech.org.

Museum of Science, Cambridge: The Museum of Science and EiE®, the Museum’s curricular division, invites educators and students to see themselves in STEM by engaging with the museum’s newest permanent exhibition, Engineering Design Workshop powered by MathWorks, in classrooms throughout the Commonwealth during Mass STEM Week 2021. Engineering Design Workshop enriches hands-on activities through the use of state-of-the-art tools and includes the popular Design Challenges program that invites visitors to design, build, and test their own solutions to fun engineering and computer science challenges. Challenges will engage students live and in-person as they engineer to solve problems related to environmental challenges humans face across the globe, set in the context of urban, coastal, suburban, and rural settings across the Commonwealth. To learn more, contact Lesley Kennedy, manager of professional development, at lkennedy@mos.org.

United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, Boston: In partnership with Boston Public Schools, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley’s (UWMB) BoSTEM initiative challenges students and educators across the Commonwealth to explore social justice for civics by using STEM as the lever for change. The impact of social justice issues on youth has been exacerbated by COVID-19 and racial injustices. Through this design challenge, teachers will support their students in local data collection and synthesis to build a social justice message and project around equity in the city for issues like our deteriorating environment, lack of affordable housing, transportation equity and food security. To learn more, contact us at bostem@supportunitedway.org.

Wade Institute for Science Education, Quincy: The Wade Institute for Science Education, the Salem Sound Coastwatch, and the Lloyd Center for the Environment have designed “Hurricane Heroes! Storm City, Massachusetts,” a phenomena-based challenge that will allow educators to use grade-level appropriate science and technology concepts that address Massachusetts curriculum standards. This challenge will give students across the Commonwealth the opportunity to learn about storms and their impact and to incorporate engineering concepts with physical and earth science disciplinary core ideas. To learn more, visit wadeinstitutema.org or contact Sandi Ryack-Bell at sRyack-Bell@wadeinstitutema.org.

STEM Challenge Partners

The following organizations were also announced as STEM Challenge Partners. The organizations have collaborated with the STEM Advisory Council over the last 4 years to provide opportunities for students across the Commonwealth.

i2 Learning: i2 Learning has been proud to partner with the Commonwealth since the inaugural Massachusetts STEM Week in 2018. Building on i2's successful weeklong and monthlong programs in schools and districts around the country, i2 is now partnering with select Massachusetts school districts to pilot i2 Full Year, a complete school year of immersive, interdisciplinary, project-based curriculum. For more information about bringing an i2 program to your school or district, please visit www.i2learning.org.

Mass STEM Hub and Project Lead the Way: As part of Mass STEM Week 2021, Mass STEM Hub, a program of the One8 Foundation, is providing an opportunity for schools to connect directly with industry professionals to help students deepen their learning and link their coursework to real-world careers. With Student Industry Connects for STEM Week 2021, middle and high school students (grades 6-12) are invited to submit Project Lead The Way (PLTW) and OpenSciEd (OSE) projects from Fall 2021 to receive authentic feedback from STEM professionals on their work. Classrooms that submit projects will also have the opportunity to continue the conversation with professionals through follow-up virtual classroom visits. Visit Mass STEM Hub Student Industry Connects website for more information, including a link to register. Contact connect@mass-stemhub.org with any questions.

Schools, classrooms, educational organizations, homeschools, and families can register their students for these activities. Students under 18 should be registered by a teacher or guardian. Educators can register once on behalf of their entire classroom or organization. The dates for each of the education plans are completely flexible.

Mission to Mars Student Challenge

The NASA STEM Engagement & Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University provides live educational webinars at no cost. There is a busy schedule of diverse topics covering basic science to mission-specific results.

STEM Webinars from NASA-TSU

 

This free online unit is offered by the Mass DOE in partnership with EVERFI. It aims to help students in grades 6-9 take practical steps to protect their privacy and safety online. Students will learn critical digital literacy skills such as how to evaluate content for accuracy, perspective, and motive. It also helps students acknowledge the benefits of online communities and resources while guiding them to successfully navigate potential pitfalls in their digital lives.

Ignition: Digital Literacy

Mass DOE Free Courses page

This is a free online course offered by Mass DOE in partnership with EVERFI. It is an interactive program for exploring STEM careers for middle school students (grades 6-9). These lesson plans enable learners to engage with interactive content that reinforces key STEM skills while discovering some of the exciting STEM opportunities that await.

Endeavor: STEM Exploration for Middle School

Mass DOE Free courses page

A free online program at the Mass DOE site, offered in partnership with EVERFI, this unit teaches math and science concepts through the sport of hockey, exposing students to STEM concepts through real-world applications. This unite is for grades 4-7.

Future Goals: Hockey Scholar

Mass DOE Free courses site

Check out these entries in the At School section for free ebooks on earth and space science.

NASA E-books for Educators and Students

Elementary Study Units for Earth System Sciences

 

GLOBE, the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment Program, has created science-based storybooks with classroom activities to teach Earth system science. These resources introduce students to key concepts in climate, water, soil, clouds, seasons, aerosols and Earth system studies.

Here are three space-flight related ebooks from NASA.

CRaTER is the Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation, a shoebox-sized instrument circling the moon on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. The purpose of CRaTER is to detect cosmic rays that can be harmful to an astronaut's body. Using the downloadable pages, students can make a comic book that explains cosmic rays, the danger of cosmic rays and how CRaTER works. The book is targeted to grades 9-12 and informal educators.

CRaTER Comic Book

Children and their families can watch videos of astronauts reading books and performing experiments on the International Space Station.

Learn more at the listing in the At School Section

Thank You to Our Partners

who help make our mission possible.