Boston Area STEM Activities for Kids- February 2018 Roundup

The winter is a great time to explore new STEM activities. Here are some opportunities you might consider.  

MIT Spark Weekend

Spark will take place March 17-18 this year and registration will open in February (date is TBD). This is a wonderful program for 7-8th-grade students to take a variety of really neat classes taught by MIT students and community members on MIT’s campus. The cost is $40. Create an account and MIT will email you when registration opens.

DIY 3D Valentine’s Cards with Paper Circuits

Here is a Valentine’s themed STEM project perfect for your kids. It’s a 3D card that lights up using copper tape, an LED, and a battery. Thanks to Rosie Research for creating this project. We have been having fun making cards in our house. She provides a helpful video tutorial (I recommend it) and a supply list of everything you need on Amazon. Get the project instructions here.

Here is a list of free or low-cost STEM activities for your kids to consider this month. Enjoy!

Newton's Cradle

February  (various dates): Learn to code with CodeCampKidz and write HTML, CSS & JavaScript at Microsoft Store in the Burlington Mall and Natick Mall. Intro classes free. (Grades 6, 7, 8)

February 1: Explore and work with Scratch to create games, animation, and stories at the Newton Free Library. (Grades 3-4)

February 3: Girls Who Build will host a Music Tech workshop in Cambridge for high school girls. This is a one-day, hands-on introduction to music technology and includes tearing down old headphones and speakers, designing your own speaker, and programming a synthesizer guitar (make mixes!). Participants also get to listen to keynote speakers from the music technology industry, including female engineers from Bose and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Registration is required. Cost: $50.

February 3: Attend Science on Saturday at MIT’s Kresge Auditorium and learn about materials with magical properties. Free event for all ages.

February 3: Join as Roboticist and Entrepreneur Kevin Harrington discusses animatronics at the Worcester Public Library.

February 3: The WPI Chapter of Engineers Without Borders will present their work and you will learn how different types of engineers work together on common goals to improve living conditions at the Worcester Public Library.

February 3: Create your own 3D design using Tinkercad, an online 3D design & printing app at the Belmont Library. 

February 3: Learn to code at a Python workshop at the Belmont Library. Grades 6-12 

February 8: Take part in STEM demos with Microsoft at the Worcester Public Library.

February 8, 15: Take part in the global Hour of Code movement and go behind the scenes to learn how to code, program, and play in your own Minecraft world at Microsoft Store in Burlington. Free event. Ages 8+

February 10: Explore wintry science and learn about snow, ice, and how they melt with several different science activities at the Thomas Crane Library in Quincy. Ages 5+

February 10: Attend a Python workshop and use your skills (ranging from novice/beginner to seasoned-open-source-contributor) to think about a problem using computers at the Newton Free Library. Grades 7-12

February 14:  Students will develop their spatial and artistic abilities in a 3D printing workshop with Empow Studios at the Lower Mills branch of the Boston Public Library. For grades 6-12.

February 17: Attend the STEM Pathways mini-Jamboree, an interactive day of learning to encourage accessibility to synthetic biology and iGEM to high school and undergrad students at Boston University. Registration is required. Free event.

February 17: Members of the Game Development Club at Worcester Polytechnic Institute will talk about the positive impact that games and making games has on people’s lives, as well as basic advice for anyone who wants to get started in game development at the Worcester Public Library.

February 17-18: Registration is open until Saturday, January 27 for Blueprint: a weekend-long learnathon and hackathon for local high school students held at MIT’s campus. You’ll form a team, decide on a project, and develop it from start to finish with the support of mentors. You can also attend short “tech talks” on specialized computer science topics. Free event.

February 19-23: Attend a week of Tech & Design Camp during February break at Empow Studios in Brookline, Lexington, or Newton. Cost: $335+

February 19-24: Attend Feb Fest, the annual celebration during February school vacation, with daily hands-on activities, workshops, and more, at the MIT Museum in Cambridge. All workshops cost$85. Pre-registration required.

February 19, 20, 21, 22: Take part in the global Hour of Code movement and go behind the scenes to learn how to code, program, and play in your own Minecraft world at Microsoft Store in Natick. For ages 8+. Free event.

February 20: Learn what goes into engineering a spacesuit at the Worcester Public Library.

February 20, 21, 22, 23: Engage in hands-on STEM activities led by Minuteman’s Girls In STEM Club, a group of young women involved in STEM programs at Minuteman High School in Lexington. For girls, grades 7-8.  Free for in-district towns and $149 for out-of-district.

February 21: Build a simple robot and use Arduino programming software instructions to animate lights, sounds, and motors at the Watertown Free Public Library. Ages 10+

February 22: The Boston Chapter of Women in Power, a group of experienced and empowering women working in the energy industry, will present a panel presentation on energy, the utility industry and various career paths available to women interested in studying engineering at the Worcester Public Library. Recommended for ages 13+

February 24: Learn about electronics, mechanics, art and leadership at the Women In STEM Event in the UMass Lowell Makerspace. Presented by the FIRST Robotics team 5962, this is a free event for girls grades 7-12. Registration is required.

February 24: Take part in a family engineering challenge and build a Rube Goldberg Machine at the Worcester Public Library.

February 24, 2018: Attend Science on Saturday at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington to hear “The Rise & Fall of Pluto: How Science Progresses.” This talk will be about discovering new things in the solar system, and how this led to both the rise and fall of Pluto. Free event for children 5-17. Registration is required.

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