Boston Area STEM Activities for Kids- Spring 2024

Spring is just around the corner! I am highlighting a few national programs at the top, followed by specific events in Massachusetts in the next few months.

Multicolored handmade robot at desk with school children

National Programs and Events

Day of AI- 2024

Day of AI is a free, hands-on curriculum of lessons and activities designed to introduce K-12 students to artificial intelligence (AI) and how it shapes their lives. Students can learn the basics of AI, identify its benefits and risks, and explore how to design and create with AI. This year’s curriculum offers new courses on Data Science and Climate Change. Teachers can host their own Day of AI any day, but its 2024 celebration is May 13th. The Day of AI curriculum was developed by a team of researchers at MIT’s Responsible AI for Social Empowerment and Education (RAISE) initiative and designed to be taught by educators with little or no technology background. These resources are free, Creative Commons-licensed, and made to be accessible to students of all backgrounds and abilities.  Register to get full access to the MIT-designed curriculum and training. Open to teachers, parents, and students.

Future Engineers Invention Challenge

This year’s invention theme is Toys for Pets! Students in grades 2-8 are encouraged to put their inventor’s hat on and stretch their imagination to design a new pet toy for a cat or dog. The winner will receive $5000, and the winning design could even be manufactured to benefit STEM Education. Teachers can run the challenge in classes, and students can also do it at home on their own. Learn about the challenge. Entries are due by March 19.

Naval Horizons Essay Contest

Naval Horizons invites students in grades 9-12 (US citizens) to learn through a video series about cutting-edge STEM topics that impact the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, including autonomy, oceanography, cybersecurity, undersea medicine, and more. Students are encouraged to write an essay explaining how the people and research of the Navy and Marine Corps inspire them. The essay contest challenges students to picture themselves in a STEM career by designing the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps of the future. Essay contest submissions are due by June 10.

Fun with Snap Circuits Classes

Create & Learn is offering a free online event series to learn the basics of electronic circuits using Snap Circuits (for grades 2-8). Build several fun projects while learning what a circuit is, how circuits work, and how to add more parts to a circuit to make sounds, light, and more! Enroll now.

National Robotics Week April 6-14

The mission of National Robotics Week is to inspire students and people of all ages to explore robotics and STEM-related fields. Find events nationwide!

Splash Programs

In March and April, universities around the country will hold Splash programs, in which students get to take classes taught by college students. Many programs are free! Visit Learning Unlimited to see which universities offer programs. Registration is required. 

Total Solar Eclipse- April 8, 2024

Mark your calendars for Monday, April 8, because it will be the last total solar eclipse visible from the contiguous United States until 2044. A total solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the Sun. The sky will darken as if it were dawn or dusk. Visit NASA’s website for full details, including a map showing the eclipse path. NASA’s Eclipse Explorer is an interactive map designed to enhance your eclipse-viewing experience down to the zip code level! Use NASA’s event list to find in-person and virtual NASA-related events that you can participate in before or during the eclipses. Read NASA’s safety guidelines and be sure to protect your eyes during the eclipse because looking directly at the Sun without specialized eye protection for solar viewing is not safe.

KaiPod Learning

KaiPod Learning, a network of in-person microschools reimagining education, is currently enrolling students at their locations across the country. KaiPod supports homeschoolers and online learners with small group, in-person learning for kids in grades 3-12. From STEM enrichment activities to core academics, KaiPod revolves around every child’s individual experience. KaiPod offers weekly summer programs with a STEM and academic focus. Tailored for ages 8+, their programs provide an immersive experience with a maximum of 12 kids per camp. Participants dive into themes ranging from animal biomes and desert survival skills to the mysteries of space. Intentionally designed camps foster connections as kids explore chemistry concoctions and physics phenomena. Led by expert Learning Coaches, KaiPod’s summer programs are available in Phoenix, AZ, Orlando, FL, and southeastern NH.

Register for Summer STEM Programs

Now is the time to sign up for STEM summer camps and pre-college programs. Learn about nationwide summer camps available to students. If you live in Massachusetts, review my extensive list of 100+ STEM summer camps

Summer Prep for AP Computer Science A Class

Is your child planning to take AP Computer Science A next year? I recently learned about CodeWizardsHQ’s online summer prep class. Over a 3-week period, students will learn object-oriented programming with Java in live, interactive classes. Review the curriculum and learning objectives. This course helps students build a computer science foundation, boost their confidence, and prepare them for their high school class. Beginners with no experience are welcome.

Upcoming Events & Activities in Massachusetts

Summer Entrepreneurship Program at Suffolk University

In this program, rising high school senior students will learn how entrepreneurs launch new ventures and create value for existing organizations of all sizes. This immersive, in-person, three-week entrepreneurship program provides hands-on experience in class, through team projects, and across visits with Boston’s top entrepreneurial organizations. The experience culminates in an exciting event where students present their own new concepts. This is a free program! Apply no later than April 12.

New England Aquarium Internships

The application for paid summer 2024 Teen Internships is open, where students gain extensive training in marine science, climate science, public speaking, and customer service. Applications are due by March 23, and interviews will take place upon invitation shortly after the close of applications. Due to funding, the vast majority of these positions are open to teens (ages 14-18) who reside in either Boston or Cambridge. However, the Aquarium has a limited number of positions open for residents of other cities and towns. Apply here.

dynaMIT Summer Program

dynaMIT is a free on-campus STEM summer program for underserved Boston area middle school students. This year, dynaMIT will take place at MIT from August 19-23 for rising 6th and 7th graders and August 26-30 for rising 8th and 9th graders. Apply by April 1.

Nashoba Brooks School STEM Scholarship

Current third-grade girls passionate about pursuing their interest in STEAM subjects are eligible to apply for the five-year, full-tuition STEAM Scholarship at Nashoba Brooks School in Concord, MA. Applicants must display a keen interest in STEAM subjects and a commitment to the School’s core values of integrity, collaboration, inclusivity, empathy, and resilience. This scholarship is available for students beginning in grade 4 and continuing through grade 8. Like all learning at Nashoba Brooks School, STEAM learning is integrated, innovative, and inspiring. Students gain confidence, competence, and conviction in themselves and their ability to thrive as learners and leaders. Learn about the application process

Harvard Museum of Natural History: New Exhibit!

Arthropods: Creatures That Rule is a popular gallery in the Harvard Museum of Natural History that draws on Harvard research to explore arthropods’ extraordinary evolutionary success. It features a wide array of preserved creatures and live specimens. Ants and Termites: Nature’s Super Organisms is a brand-new addition to the gallery. Ants and termites are nature’s power players. These extremely social superorganisms inhabit every continent, save Antarctica, and live in complex societies. Members of each colony work together as one unified force to survive and reproduce. The new mini-exhibit incorporates fascinating and leading research from Harvard scientists.

Calendar of Massachusetts Events

March 28: The Harvard Museum of Natural History is hosting ArtsThursdays: Edible Insects and More! Join for a free, fun night and explore the new exhibit: Ants and Termites: Nature’s Super Organisms. RSVPs are encouraged.

March 30: Northeastern Splash offers the opportunity for students in grades 8-12 to take fun and informative workshops offered by undergraduates. Registration opens March 5 for this free event.

April 6: Einstein’s Workshop (Burlington) will host a Robotics Festival from 10:30am – 12pm. In the Masterpiece challenge, 6-10-year-old students will present about art and its impact on their lives and the world. FIRST LEGO League Explore teams from all over MA will showcase their hard work and robotics. This is a free event and open to the public.

April 6: The MIT Museum is hosting Teen Science Cafe: AstroBlast, a talk by PhD candidate Chloé Gentgen, who will discuss her work in engineering space systems for deep-space robotic exploration, followed by a Q&A session. Participants will then move to the Learning Labs, where several aerospace-themed activities will take place, including mini-rocket making, a paper plane competition, and solar rover engineering. This is a free, in-person event for students in grades 8-12. Register now.

April 6: Code Ninjas in Canton invites the community to a free Open House event that includes STEM activities, Roblox, Minecraft, Scratch game building, and Sharon High School’s robotics team! Book your open house spot.

April 7: Clark University Splash offers a full day of classes taught by Clark students to students in grades 5-12.  Registration for this free event will open on March 15.

April 7: Acera School in Winchester is hosting a math festival. The festival will include math and logic-themed games designed to inspire creative reasoning and collaborative problem-solving. Register for this free event!

April 7: The Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology and Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East in Cambridge are hosting the Amazing Archaeology Fair at Harvard. Venture on archaeological expeditions around the world in this annual event for all ages. Talk with archaeologists who study ancient Egyptian, Aztec, and Inca civilizations and more. Discover these and other surprises during this popular Spring event. Regular museum admission rates apply.

April 11: In celebration of National Robotics Week, The Robo Hub in Cambridge is hosting an Innovation Showcase highlighting the future of tech and STEAM education! Families are invited to explore the local tech scene with interactive exhibits, robotics demos, and hands-on challenges for children of all ages! Register for this free event!

April 15-19 (school vacation week): Here is a sample of organizations offering STEM vacation camps.

  • Acera School (Winchester) hosts STEAM camps full of immersive projects and activities for ages 5-12.
  • Code Wiz (various locations) offers robotics, coding, Roblox, and Minecraft camps for ages 7+.
  • Einstein’s Workshop (Burlington) offers electronics, science, robotics, and Minecraft camps for grades K-8. 
  • Guild Hall (Cambridge & Woburn) hosts robotics and game development programs for ages 9-17.
  • MIT Museum (Cambridge) is offering science and engineering programs for families. 
  • The Robo Hub (Cambridge) offers LEGO robotics and STEAM camps for grades 3-8. 

April 20: The Climate Hope Concert by Multiverse will be held at the Christa McAuliffe Center at Framingham State University. Throughout the show, musicians and scientists connect diverse threads together, exploring topics from sustainable polymers, coral reef restoration, urban regeneration projects, and the regeneration of space as a unifying source of wonder for our precious island Earth. Get tickets.

April 20-21: CitySpace in Boston is hosting The Mega Awesome Super Huge Wicked Fun Podcast Playdate, a two-day podcast festival for kids with performances presented by WBUR and friends! Buy tickets!

April 21: Boston College Splash is a one-day event that offers a wide variety of courses to students in grades 6-12, all taught and designed by undergraduate and graduate students.

April 27: Science on State Street is an annual Massachusetts science festival at Framingham State University. The event has a particular focus on themes relating to planet Earth. Explore STEM and its role in supporting environmental justice, renewable energy, and environmental sustainability. Check out the list of exhibitors! Science on State Street is a free interactive event for families!

April 27: The Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts is hosting STEM Fest at Camp Cedar Hill in Waltham. Participants explore fun, hands-on STEM challenges while choosing their own adventure and deciding what areas and topics to explore. The event is open to all Girl Scout levels, with activities and experiments created and designated specifically for different ages. A patch and swag are included. Cost: $40. Register now.

May 3: The EcoTarium Museum of Science and Nature in Worcester is hosting the Multiverse Concert Series’ “Climate Hope Concert” as the final event in their month-long Earth Day celebration. Join for an engaging program featuring climate scientists, activists, and musicians, all complemented by immersive 360-degree visual projection inside the Alden Planetarium. Get tickets.

May 18: Acera School in Winchester is hosting Girls in STEM, a hands-on experience that empowers young women to explore the fascinating world of science, technology, engineering, and math. This in-person event offers a unique opportunity for girls to engage with inspiring mentors, participate in interactive workshops, and discover their passion for STEM! Register for this free event!

May 18: Harvard’s Robotics Lab is hosting National Biomechanics Day at the Harvard Science and Engineering Complex in Allston. High school students are invited to learn about biomechanics in a hands-on event that includes touring state-of-the-art motion capture labs, learning about body mechanics and muscle physiology, discussing responsible research with a diverse team of researchers, and more! No prior experience is needed, and all are welcome. Register for this free event!

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