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Inquiry First.

MSSEF board member and award-winning meteorologist Mish Michaels collaborated with Gerhard Sonnert and Philip Sadler, both of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, on an article that explores the relationship between gender and the science fair experience.  Entitled, "Gender Aspects of Participation, Support, and Success in a State Science Fair," the paper considers data from student participation in the 2009 Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair, investigating the role that gender played in students’ participation, choice of science field, award of prizes, and mentioning inspiring teachers.

Among the findings:

  • Rather than being under-represented at this science fair, girls were were slightly overrepresented, making up 62% of 2009's Massachusetts state high school fair participants.
  • Girls exhibited a strong preference for the life sciences.
  • A gender-matched student–teacher pair held no advantage when it came to outcomes.... Read More

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have organized Synergy: An Experiment in Art and Science Collaboration.  This has culminated in an exhibit at Boston's Museum of Science.  The exhibit matched artists with scientists at WHOI to showcase the experiential side of science.  Synergy hopes to demonstrate the creative and analytical side of both science and art.  The exhibit will be on display through May. Check it out!

~ Shannon Morey

The Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair (MSSEF) provides middle and high school students with the opportunity to work on independent research projects in science and engineering. Now in its 64th year, the annual statewide fair will feature the highest quality projects of hundreds of students from across the Commonwealth. We will need more than 300 outstanding judges to donate their time to evaluate these students' work.  Some students invest more than 1,000 hours of research in their projects!

Volunteer to judge! Please consider being a member of the distinguished judging panel at the 2013 State Science & Engineering Fair.  If you have received a four-year college degree in a science or technology subject, and work in a related field, you are eligible to judge and may... Read More

The Cambridge-based non-profit Science Club for Girls has been partnering with the Boys and Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster to bring hands-on science activities to girls grades 2-7 at their club.  A recent grant from the American Association of University Women has allowed Science Club for Girls, along with their partner, Aisling O'Connor, a chemistry professor at Fitchburg State University (FSU) to continue this vital program.

For ten weeks each semester, the girls spend one afternoon a week with a female science or engineering student from FSU.  This not only gives them important hands-on science... Read More

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... Read More

President Obama can be assured that his wife is in good company tonight as he takes the stage for the State of the Union address.

Science fair superstar Jack Andraka, who took the grand prize at the 2012 Intel International Science Fair (ISEF) has been chosen by the White House to sit in the First Lady's box during tonight's address.

A Broadcom MASTERS semi-finalist in 2011, Jack -- a Maryland resident -- gained widespread acclaim following ISEF 2012 when news of his new method for detecting pancreatic cancer made international headlines.

The Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair has sent numerous students to ISEF over the years, including top winners.

Read more on... Read More

In 65 countries, 15-year-old girls performed better than their male peers on a science test given by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.  In the United States, however, boys outperformed girls.  What's the disconnect in America?  Researchers think that stereotypes may have something to do with it.

“We see that very early in childhood — around age 4 — gender roles in occupations appear to be formed,” said Christianne Corbett, co-author of the 2010 report, Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. “Women are less likely to go into science careers, although they are clearly capable of succeeding.” Countries like Asia and the Middle East, where a higher percentage of women go into the sciences, don't seem to have the same cultural forces at play.

Read on nytimes.com

... Read More

Two Massachusetts high school students made it into the finals of the Intel Science Talent Search 2013!  A program of Society for Science & the Public, the talent search will culminate in an awards ceremony in March, where the 40 finalists -- chosen from a field of more than 1,700 entrants -- will compete for $63,000 in awards.  The top winner will receive $100,000 from the Intel Foundation.

Lexington High School student Surya Bhupatiraju's project, "On the Complexity of the Marginal Satisfiability Problem," propelled him to the finals of this year's Intel Science Talent Search.  Surya is no newcomer to science fair success. Along with his project partner, Hao Shen, he won a team first place at last year's Massachusetts State High School Science &... Read More

From The Foundation Center's Philanthropy News Digest:

Created by the Lemelson-MIT Program, the InvenTeam initiative provides opportunities for high school students to cultivate their creativity, curiosity, and problem-solving abilities and apply lessons from science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects to invent technological solutions to real-world problems.

InvenTeams comprised of high school students, teachers, and mentors receive grants of up to $10,000 to invent technological solutions to a problem of their choice. Projects can range from assistive devices to environmental technologies and consumer goods. Applicants are encouraged to consider the needs of the world's poorest people (those earning $2 or less a day) when brainstorming ideas.

STEM educators at high schools and nonprofit educational organizations who have not received an InvenTeam grant within the past three years are eligible to apply. Funds may be allocated for project-related research, materials, and learning... Read More

Massachusetts earned an overall grade of B (score of 84.1) in the Quality Counts 2012 State Highlights Report -- placing the state second only to Maryland, which achieved a B+ (87.5).  The national average was C+ (76.9).

Key areas measured include adult outcomes, school accountability, school finance, and college readiness.  Get the State Highlights Report here.

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