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Inquiry First.

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 the... 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 Massachusetts... Read More

Boston Latin's Nathan Han wins 2014 ISEF Gordon E. Moore Grand PrizeTwenty two of Massachusett's finest young science minds recently made the trip to California to compete in the 2014 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. They were among over 1700 students representing 70 nations and territories all over the world.

We are delighted to report that Boston's own Nathan Han won the $75,000 Gordon E. Moore Award, the top prize at the fair, standing out above of all of his competitors. A Boston Latin High School freshman at the time of the competition, Han's work has been to employ a custom designed computer algorithm to evaluate the presence of the... Read More

Hot on the heels of a first place finish at the 2014 Massachusetts State Science and Engineering Fair, Brockton teen Adrian Niles spent some time this week at the White House, participating in the first ever White House Maker's Faire. His project, which took two years to build and has seen success through several science fairs, is a variation on a Segway-style personal transportation device, with modifications to make it even more useful for the elderly and people with disabilities.

In addition to his first place finish at the MSSEF event in May, Adrian also took top honors in engineering at the 2013 NAACP ACT-SO (Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics). He will return to compete in this year's event, in Las Vegas. Adrian also won the gold medal at the South Shore Regional Science Fair in... Read More

Revere High School in Revere MAIt's no secret that different kids learn in different ways. However, in a 'regular' classroom set up, especially in the No Child Left Behind era of standardized testing, too often only one style of teaching can be applied and some kids don't do as well. Revere High School has taken some big steps to make sure that more students are getting what they need to learn more optimally and expand their potential. They have revised their semesters and class times, acquired iPads for every student, and placed a stronger emphasis on teacher skill rather than seniority.

The end result? Students entering high school with weaker English skills are later taking honors English. College acceptance rates have risen. Drop out rates have decreased. And Revere High School has been declared the nation's most innovative school by the... Read More

Photograph courtesy of Arne Kuilman/Flickr, Creative Commons licenseIn Arlington MA, students are enjoying the benefits that come from increasingly versatile and powerful technology in their classrooms. Students are blogging and writing code as early as 4th and 5th grade, using iPads to test aerodynamics, and utilizing 3D printers to create pieces for model rockets. It's really quite remarkable how the progress of technology is also making STEM education that much more accessible and complex all at the same time.

The Arlington Education Foundation has been working diligently to fundraise and make the growing presence of technology possible in that city's classrooms. The Foundation has existed in some form since 1990, taking its current shape in 2010. Its long history of supporting classroom innovation has made a tremendous,... Read More

Credit: Gates Foundation on Flickr, under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).More and more, we are seeing job forecasts which project steady, double digit growth in STEM industries and fields, spurring greater discussion about when and how to capture the interest of kids early enough so that they can develop the skills and dedication needed to make them well suited for those careers. In March 2014, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics released its latest report on the topic: STEM 101, Intro to Tomorrow's Jobs.

One of the more significant approaches towards achieving reach and appeal to more students has been to increase access to technology and internet, giving greater availability to a wider variety of learning tools. Among the programs designed to assist with this is... Read More

Cambridge MA based TERC and the Virtual High School have announced plans to collaborate on a new Earth and space sciences program for high school students. Recognizing that Earth and space sciences are a core part of science education from K through 12, both companies have long been committed to developing solid and practical online coursework in this area. This new program runs for a year, utilizing a series of ten modules, each to last 3 weeks. With projected growth in various aspects of Earth and space science expected grow by double digit precentages over the next ten years, the project aims to better equip students with both knowledge and essential problem solving skills which can be applied in numerous related fields.

TERC is an independent organization focused on utilizing research to engage students with... Read More

The city of Lawrence has been awared a $50,000 grant to develop and grow STEM programming for middle and high school aged kids. The grant comes from the Massachusetts LIfe Sciences Center, and it will be used to expand the Youth CITIES Life Sciences Learning Labs program into the Greater Lawrence area. Launching in the fall, this is a weekly program 

One of the reasons Lawrence was selected for this grant was for the diversity that exists in the area. The program will help to reach people of many cultures and make STEM education and careers much more accessible to a population which does not always have such opportunities within easy reach for a variety of reasons crossing socio-economic strata.

We wish everyone involved the best of luck, and look forward to the success stories that are sure to... Read More

Square's Code Camp - computer science education for girlsThere's a terrific new program called Code Camp being offered by Square, the innovative company which has made taking credit cards easy and accessible for everyone from crafters and musicians at shows to major chains like Starbucks. According to Techcrunch, Square's CFO, Sarah Friar, who has a masters in engineering, noted dramatic numbers reflecting the number of girls in the field. High schools offering AP computer science programs number in the single digit percentages. Girls taking those classes comprise fewer than 20% of students enrolled in them. But, those girls who are able to start in high school are also significantly more likely to major in... Read More


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