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Inquiry First.

On September 22, Google will announce the winner from a very select group of 15 competitors in its global Google Science Fair. Culled from thousands of applicants ranging in age from 13 to 18, the fifteen finalists represent just some of the fantastic and innovative ideas emerging today from young STEM scientists. Projects cover a range of topics from fuels, to assistive technology, to combatting online bullying and more.

Google has partnered with National Geographic, Scientific American, Lego Education, and Virgin... Read More

Maryam Mirzakhani or Stanford University. Photo courtesy of Stanford.Major news emerged this week about a significant first in the field of mathematics. The Fields Medal, which is the most prestigious prize in the field - its version of the Nobel Prize - was awarded to a woman. Maryam Mirzakhani is an Iranian born professor of maths at Stanford University. She also has a connection to Massachusetts, having earned her PhD at Harvard University. Her work, with emphasis on geometric structures and their deformations, is regarded by her peers as being "technically superb and boldly ambitious". Originally drawn more to literature as a child growing up in Iran, her brother introduced her to math, which eventually captured her imagination.... Read More

San Francisco based Black Girls CODE recently took part in a programming Hackathon in New Orleans as part of the 2014 Essence Festival. Along with their partners at the event, Verizon's HopeLine and a youth-led anti-domestic violence organization called Break the Cycle, their project was geared towards creation of mobile apps and websites to help bring information to their peers on how to have and maintain abuse-free relationships. The 48 hour project was called Love Is Respect.

Black Girls CODE

 

Black Girls CODE is a terrific organization which is working to bridge the gap of access to internet and STEM education for black families and households in the Bay Area. As one of the more signifcantly underrepresented... Read More

STEMlete.org - a site for STEM scholarsWe've recently been made aware of a promising new resource on the web, launched in April, called STEMlete. It is designed to give bright young minds in STEM fields a way to share and connect with peers, to discuss projects, and to be visible to professionals and recruiters. The outlined parameters for usage of the site are intended to foster respect and support for everyone's efforts and passions. The intention is to be more targeted than the likes of Facebook or LinkedIn, designed to focus on STEM specifically. 

While primarily designed for students, the free site also offers resources for parents, educators, colleges, professonals, researchers, and more. We will be curious to see how this new site develops. Are you using it? Please let us know your impressions of it if... Read More

MSSEF veterans Nigell Dennis and Adrian Niles continue to add to their success this year by each winning a first place gold medal at the 2014 NAACP ACT-SO National Competition, which took place recently in Las Vegas. Nigell won gold in computer science while Adrian won gold in engineering. There were over 600 competitors in this year's event, with entries covering sciences, humanities, business, performing arts, and visual arts.

As we have previously reported, Adrian won a first place prize at the 2014 Masachusetts State Science and Engineering Fair and went on to compete in the first ever White House Maker's Faire with his adaptaton of a Segway-style transportation device. Nigell competed at the MSSEF event with a smart watch. Both young men are graduates... Read More

Maker Faire Robot logoWith the growth of job opportunities in STEM fields also accelerating emphasis on related academic pursuits, there's a growing question of whether that is enough.  We reported recently about MSSEF First Place Winner Adrian Niles' going to the White House for the first ever White House Maker's Faire. In the wake of that high profile Faire, there's an increasing interest in finding ways to make hands on learning and innovation become a bigger part of classroom activity. Maker Faires themselves are not new on the scene, having started in California's Bay Area in 2006. With... Read More

Erica Budina at 2014 MSSEFMedford's Erica Bufina was recognized in June by the Medford School Committee for her success at the 2014 Massachusetts State Science and Engineering Fair. Budina is a 4 year veteran of MSSEF, placing third as a freshman and taking first prizes as a junior and senior. In her last MSSEF event, Budina earned the Grand Prize, the 2014 Genzyme Science Award. The prize of $27,500 benefits not only Erica with $10,000 directly, but also awards $10,000 to the Medford High School Science Department, with another $5,000 to Budina's science teacher, Jody Driscoll, for an externship, and $2,500 to Budina for a summer internship at... Read More

As our society becomes increasingly immersed in technology, so to does the need for capable, qualified workers rise to continue to develop and manage that technology. This has been the growing message to and from business leaders, and it is starting to be heeded by students.

As the Boston Globe reports (Science, tech fields await high school grads), a great example of this shift in student focus has come in Medfield, MA. Students electing STEM majors have increased from about 1/5 of students to nearly 1/3, while those opting for humanities majors have dropped to fewer than 1/10 of those going on to further education. The... Read More

Lionfish. Photo: christopherpuchta/Creative Commons via FlickrOf the many problems facing coral reefs in our oceans today, one of those is lionfish. An invasive species, they are increasing in numbers and causing a great deal of destruction to reefs. Understanding them and finding solutions to reduce their threat is a big concern for many marine scientists. (see Lionfish infestation in Atlantic Ocean a growing epidemic)

And that's a concern not only for those with advanced science degrees. Sixth grader Lauren Arrington of Florida has been intrigued by the lionfish, and decided to conduct her own experiments. Originally curious about the toxicity of the stings of dead lionfish, the lack of willing human test subjects motivated her to shift her curiosity. Her resulting experiment sought to understand... Read More

Anisha GundewarMarlborough High School graduate Anisha Gundewar, class of 2009, has won a Fulbright scholarship and is heading to India this fall. A new graduate of the University of Rochester with a double major in Health, Behavior, and Society along with Microbiology, she learned of winning the scholarship back in April, and has been making plans and preparations ever since.

Gundewar will be based in Mumbai, and working non-profit organization, Partners for Urban Knowledge, Action, and Research. Her focus will be examining how to best understand and utilize social structures in slum neighborhoods to carry out public health initiatives. 

During her years at Marlborough High School, Gundewar participated in multiple science and engineering fairs in... Read More

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