Science Opportunities for Students: From National Science Teachers’ Association and Massachusetts Association of Science Teachers

Opportunities for Students

National Park Service
The national park service is giving a free park pass to all 4th graders this school year.

MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center Open House
Thursday, December 3rd
We will offer the attendees of our Outreach Day a basic understanding of what plasmas are, how they behave, and their role in harnessing fusion energy. In addition, we can offer an exposure to several technologies, such as large magnets and sources of intense microwave and millimeter wave power, which are key to fusion’s successful development. Students will have the opportunity to actually observe and create plasmas in a glow discharge tube, perform hands-on demonstrations with electromagnetism, and see MIT’s tokamak, Alcator C-MOD.

The program is scheduled to begin at 9:00 am with presentations and tours, followed by lunch and a magnet demonstration. For those interested, a tour of MIT will be available beginning at 3:00 pm. While we will be furnishing refreshments in the morning and sodas at lunchtime, it will be necessary for each participant to bring a lunch.

As the number of participants will be limited, we recommend responding early. Participants will be selected on a first come first served basis. Please contact me with your recommendations and questions at 617-253-8101 (Fax: 617-253-0570), Register on line at by November 16th.

Cool Science 2015
Cool Science is a free and public art competition held each fall for all K-12 students in Massachusetts. This year, we are asking young people to answer one of the following questions with a visual work of art:

  1. What is your community doing to prepare for the impacts of climate change?
  2. What evidence for global warming is most important to you?
  3. Create a climate change character. How does your character fight a changing climate?

Then, in December, we select the best elementary, middle, and high school entries for display on public buses throughout the Lowell Regional Transit Authority in the spring.

Cool Science is an award winning collaboration between the University of Massachusetts Lowell and the University of Massachusetts Boston. In February, Cool Science was honored by the White House as an exemplar for improving climate literacy in local communities. See all past winners on our Facebook page and visit our website for all details about the program ( Deadline for entries: November 20th.

Friday After Thanksgiving Chain Reaction
Friday, November 27, 2015, 1 – 4 PM
Rockwell Cage Gymnasium
120 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA 02139
Participants link their chain reaction devices together forming one mega chain reaction – set off at the end as the event’s thrilling culmination. More than 1,500 people attend this fun-for-all-ages “extreme” event! Making a chain reaction allows people to explore their own creativity and see how their unique contraptions relate to a larger whole. No matter how unique the devices, inevitably, with a little string and duct tape, they all work together beautifully. Click here for more information.

How does it work? Join the fun as a spectator or, even better, as a participant! Participants must register in advance to create their own contraptions and bring them to Rockwell Cage on Friday, November 27, 2015. Artist and inventor Arthur Ganson, renowned chain reaction creator, will be on hand, along with local artist and MIT alumnus Jeff Lieberman, to help participants link their contraptions together and emcee the event.

Can anybody do it? Of course! Participants range from Girl Scout troops to artists and engineers, from MIT clubs to high schools and family teams. Teams have come from as far away as Michigan and California! Learn how to get started on your link.

New to F.A.T.? Watch videos from previous years: 2014 Chain Reaction | 2013 Chain Reaction

Apply for ASPIRE 2016
Apply to be a part of the 16th annual APSIRE program in the Polymer Science and Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst! Sponsored by the Polymer Science and Engineering department, ASPIRE runs for 5 consecutive Saturday mornings commencing on Jan 9, 2016 [9, 16, 23, 30 and February 6 (Snow Date Feb 13)]. We are looking for students in 10-12th grade interested in science, technology and engineering. In this no-cost program, graduate students will guide you through the experience of research in a science and engineering lab. As a part of our program, you:

  • Get hands-on experience in a science and engineering lab
  • Do experiments in polymer chemistry, physics, and engineering
  • Learn about electron microscopes and 3D printers
  • Plan and run your own one-day independent project

Apply online at Deadline for submission of applications is Nov 30th, 2015For more information, check out our facebook page

STEM Day at Elms College
On Saturday, December 5th Elms College will be hosting a STEM day for high school and college students on the topic of food science with biology chemistry and technology workshops. Sessions will be held in the new Center for Natural and Health Science. Elms STEM Day is free of charge to attend and includes lunch and campus tours following the STEM sessions. The public is welcome to attend, pre-registration is required. Find more information and sign up at:

Coding Boot Camp Level 1
This brand new Coding Bootcamp introduces students to the exciting world of computer programming using Basic programming language. Students will enjoy developing customized programing projects that will give them an insight into one of the hottest skills in demand today computer programming. Boot Camp Dates: Saturdays 12/5, 12/12, 12/19 Time: 9:00am 3:00pm Grades: 7, 8, 9 &10 Price: $210 Enroll

Science on Saturday events on the MIT campus in Cambridge
All of our Science on Saturday events on the MIT campus are free and open to all elementary, middle, and high school students, as well as their parents and teachers. They are sponsored by the MIT Museum and the Akamai Foundation. Parking and seating are limited, so we recommend that you arrive early. Attendees can park in either the West Garage (very close to the event) or Albany Garage (a ~10-15-minute walk from the event) provided they can pay the $6 flat fee with a credit card at either parking garage. Alternatively, attendees can take MBTA buses to the MIT Massachusetts Avenue stop (very close to the event) or the subway to either the Central or Kendall Square T stops (a ~20-minute walk from the event). For maps of the event and parking garage locations, please see the attached advertising flyer or our web page:

Please plan to join us 10:00 a.m.-noon on the following Saturdays in MIT’s Kresge Auditorium, 48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 20139:

  • December 5, 2015 Nuclear Science and Engineering
  • February 6, 2016 Rockets and Flight
  • March 5, 2016 Materials with Magical Properties
  • April 2, 2016 Circuits and Computers

Bright Schools Competition
A free, hands-on exploration designed especially for middle school students (grades 6–8)—creates a learning experience that helps students, parents, and teachers better understand the link between light, sleep, and student health and performance. Engage your students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education with this free competition. Registration is now open and projects are due on January 29, 2016. The competition is free to enter and offers great prizes for students and teachers. Register now! If you have questions or comments about the competition, please Click here for more information.

Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Program
Registration for the 24th annual Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision program—the world’s largest K–12 student science competition—is now open. The deadline for all project submissions is February 1, 2016.

Through the competition, teams of 2 to 4 students are challenged to research scientific principles and current technologies as the basis for designing innovative technologies that could exist in 20 years. Students simulate real scientific research to outline how they plan to test their ideas and create mock websites to illustrate concepts. Student participants will have a chance to win a number of great prizes, including $10,000 U.S. Series EE Savings Bonds (at maturity). Canadian winners receive Canada bonds purchased for the equivalent issue price in Canadian dollars. And to celebrate ExploraVision’s 24th anniversary, the top 24 teachers who submit 24 eligible online entries will receive a Toshiba tablet.

Teachers can learn more information by visiting the frequently asked questions page on the competitionwebsite. Follow ExploraVision on Twitter at @ToshibaInnovate or like ExploraVision on Facebook.

S-STEM Scholarships at Elms College
Elms College is offering NSF funded S-STEM scholarships for first year students majoring in Biology (except pre-medical and education tracks), Chemistry, Mathematics, or Computer Information Technology (CIT) for the Fall of 2016. The scholarships range from $3,800 – $10,000 a year for all 4 years until graduation at Elms College. Review of applications will begin March 1st 2016. In addition to the scholarships, the ElmSTEMs program includes science field trips, career seminars, research opportunities, and science and tech internships. For more information on the ElmSTEMs scholarship and applying to Elms College, see our website

Girls STEM Summit – Statewide 2016
Hosted by Jr.Tech, Inc., and taking place at Regis College in Weston, MA on Sunday, April 10, 2016.

Jr.Tech, Inc., is a Massachusetts-based non-profit educational organization currently celebrating 10 years of supporting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. Over the past five years, Jr.Tech has delivered seven Girls STEM Summits across Massachusetts and is once again inviting 250 high school girls to experience the premier Massachusetts STEM event for high school girls – the Girls STEM Summit – Statewide.

Following up on the success of seven sold-out Girls STEM Summits, Jr.Tech, with support from Lead Sponsor, Biogen Foundation, Major Sponsor, National Grid, and Facility Partner, Regis College, will again convey to the young women of the Commonwealth, the professional, personal and financial benefits of a career in the STEM fields.

Kicking off the day-long event will be an inspirational keynote speech from a local female leader in a STEM field after which students will begin rotating through five different hands-on career path breakouts with leading female STEM professionals representing a range of STEM fields. Following lunch, students will visit the hands-on Exhibit Hall featuring many STEM-focused organizations and higher education institutions all demonstrating and discussing different areas of STEM careers and fields of study. The rotation of career-path breakouts finishes up in the afternoon and following a closing ceremony the attendees will be given a parting gift before heading home.

Phyllis Russell, Jr.Tech’s President and Executive Director, and the creator of the Girls STEM Summit program shares, “At every Summit, the energy that radiates from our attendees, presenters and teachers is amazing! The feedback from the girls in attendance is positive and immediate and the adults involved love sharing their STEM experience and knowledge with such bright and enthusiastic attendees. Biogen Foundation, National Grid and Regis College, all share our passion for bringing STEM to the young women of the Commonwealth as well as sharing our goal of closing the gender gap in females entering STEM fields.”

The key goals of the Girls STEM Summit – Statewide programs are to educate young women in grades 8-12 on various STEM career paths through hands-on breakouts, to encourage students to continue studying these disciplines throughout high school in order to prepare for college degree programs, to inspire through interaction with female professional role models working in STEM fields, to demonstrate that a STEM career is attainable, to impact decision-making at a critical period, and to close the gender gap in the STEM workforce.

The Girls STEM Summit – Statewide 2016 serves girls in grade 8-12 and will be held on Sunday, April 10, 2016 at Regis College, 235 Wellesley Street, Weston, MA. The event runs from 8:00 am – 4:15 pm and has a fee of $55 per student (fee includes lunch and parting gift). Individual and group enrollment is available.

For additional information and to register your student for the Summit, please visit Questions can be directed to: Phyllis Russell 774-994-2097 or Deborah Vogt 617-512-1794


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