President Obama took a tour of more than 30 science, technology and engineering projects on Monday, April 22nd in his third White House Science Fair. Exhibits included a bicycle-pedal powered water filtration system created by Payton Karr and Kiona Elliot, classmates at Northeast High School of Oakland Park, Florida, that was tested by the commander-in-chief himself. Senior Administration officials and leading STEM communicators, advocates, and educators attended the White House Science Fair as well and met the students, encouraging further participation in both science fairs across the nation and STEM fields.
One projected was created by Boston, Massachusetts native Cassidy Wright through her school’s TechnoSWAG learning-apprenticeship program. Cassidy created an LED banner programmed to automatically flash the message “BE YOURSELF.” She built the banner in order to make a statement against bullying in middle schools and encourage diversity in the student body.
With that same spirit of individuality in mind, Cassidy declares a lesson learned from her mother. “I’m specially gifted in my own way and I don’t try to be like everybody else.”
Last week, thousands gathered to hear about the wonders of science and engineering from hundreds of Massachusetts organizations. Tables filled with activities lit up children’s faces and intrigued their parents. For four hours, these activities took over the Cambridge Public Library and the surrounding lawn and field house.
In addition to all of the hands-on activities, students of all ages also enjoyed a robot zoo featuring water robots, rolling robots, sniffing robots and every other kind of robot in between. Stage performances featuring fanciful chemistry demonstrations, science comedy, and much more entertained visitors throughout the event.
The MIT Museum and Boston’s Museum of Science have a week of hands-on activities planned to mark the week long celebration of engineering occurring to school vacation week (February 18th – February 22nd) .
The Museum of Science will have activities lining the floors of the Exhibit Hall during open hours. They also have a full schedule of special events and challenges throughout the week.
The MIT Museum has drop-in, hands-on activities from 10 am – 1 pm followed by special presentations by local companies and MIT departments from 1 pm – 3 pm every day this week. On Saturday, February 23rd MIT’s Society of Women Engineers will host a panel discussion about engineering careers, all genders and ages are welcome, but the talk is especially applicable to high school students.
~ Shannon Morey
A reception and book signing will be held this month for “New Frontiers in Formative Assessment.” Edited by Penny Noyce, MD and Daniel Hickey, Ph.D., the book features a chapter about the Math Learning Community Project co-authored by MSSEF board member Sandy Mayrand, MBA, Director of the Regional Science Resource Center, and Wendy Cleaves, M.ED, Math Coordinator.
The event will take place on Wednesday, January 18, 2012, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the faculty conference room, University of Massachusetts Medical School (55 Lake Ave North, Worcester MA 01655).
If you would like to attend, please email Holly.Boudreau@umassmed.edu (UMass) by January 6.
The 16th Annual N.E.M.E.S. Model Engineering Show will take place on February 18, 2012 from 10am to 4pm at the Charles River Museum of Industry, Waltham, MA.
Visitors will see: operating scale steam engines, gasoline engines, aircraft engines, Stirling Cycle engines, clocks, machinist tools and fixtures, locomotives, traction engines, model boats, and meet the craftsman who built them.
For more information, call 781-893-5410 or visit the N.E.M.E.S website.