I hope you and your family had an enjoyable summer, and found ways to explore together and do fun summer activities while keeping safe. Given the continuing concerns and uncertainty about COVID-19 this fall, I am once again focusing on STEM activities that your kids can do at home rather than in-person programs and classes. Fortunately, there is a wealth of resources, for students of every age and interest! I hope you and your child enjoy the process of exploring, discovering, and choosing among these online learning activities just as much as doing the activities themselves.
Fall 2020 Online STEM Classes
Now that we’re heading back to school, I spoke with STEM providers to find out what they were planning for their fall programs. Due to COVID-19, many chose to move from in-person camps to online STEM this summer, and based on what I’ve heard, it appears that students and families were happy with their summer programs. Plenty of online STEM classes are coming back this fall. Some organizations are also holding in-person classes. Please check with your local organizations to find out what they are offering.
To find a program, check out my article featuring fall 2020 online STEM classes. These classes are led in real time by live instructors, allowing your kids to participate in learning activities right from home.
More Learning Opportunities for Kids
Even though the Museum of Science in Boston is now open, they will continue to deliver daily MOS Live presentations on various STEM topics, podcasts, at-home activities, and more through MOS at Home.
Registration is open for the annual Congressional App Challenge. Every year members of Congress across the country challenge students in their districts to create and submit original apps for a chance to win the Congressional App Challenge (CAC). The winners of the challenge are publicly recognized. To be eligible to participate in the Congressional App Challenge, you must be a middle or high school student at the time of app submission. Students may register as individuals or as teams of up to four. Students may compete in the district they reside in or in the district where they attend school. Students can register and submit their original apps through October 19. Register here.
TechGirlz, a nonprofit organization helping middle school girls embrace the power of technology, will host free virtual tech workshops this fall designed for girls in grades 6–8. View the calendar of events and sign up here.
Tumblehome Books, a Boston-based non-profit publisher of STEM books for kids, is hosting five free Zoom sessions (from 9/24 to 11/18) for their readers and families. The presenters are Tumblehome authors, each world-renowned in their field. From galaxies, planets, and black holes to puffins in Maine and penguins in Antarctica, to saving endangered animals, these topics are sure to delight children. Register here.
Black Girls CODE is offering a number of free virtual tech events this fall. Join every week for “Fridays with Verizon” through the end of this year for candid conversations with professionals in the tech industry. For the month of September, join every Wednesday for an hour of coding fun with Microsoft.
Scholastic has partnered with educational experts to develop Scholastic Learn At Home for Families, a program specifically designed to inspire children aged 4 to 10 with engaging materials and activities covering a wide range of topics. Cost: $5.99/month.
The Boston Red Sox is hosting a free Virtual STEM DAY, presented by CITGO on September 29. The video will remain up for an additional period of time for people to utilize at their convenience as they understand there are scheduling challenges during these times! Register now to reserve your spot for this completely free event and they will send you a link prior to the big day!
“Since we can’t all be together at Fenway this fall, alongside our friends at NASA, we are bringing STEM DAY to you in hopes we can provide a resource to our amazing and overworked teachers and parents with some fun educational programming and at-home experiments for all ages.”—Red Sox
Does your teen enjoy doing hands-on projects? Read my resource guide to DIY STEM projects article and learn how to get started and find ideas for projects. Dip in or dive deep—you’re bound to find something that’s intriguing and engaging!
Does your child love technology and enjoy working with kids? Consider STEM volunteering. Get ideas on how your child can parlay their love of tech and give back to their community through STEM volunteerism.
Teens who are interested in research and science can publish their research with the Journal of Emerging Investigators, Inc., a peer-reviewed scientific journal, before they go to college. Learn about their free mentorship program.
Applications open September 1 for NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing (AiC). This annual award recognizes high school young womxn in the U.S., Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S overseas military bases, and Canada for their computing-related interests and achievements. Recipients receive engraved awards, scholarship and internship opportunities, entry to a peer-network of technical womxn in the NCWIT AiC Community, various prizes, and that is just the beginning! Students in grades 9-12 who self-identify as women, genderqueer, or non-binary, can apply online at www.aspirations.org/AiCHSAward by November 5, 2020. Students with any level of experience are encouraged to apply: NCWIT recognizes aspirations as well as accomplishments!
We’re entering the college application season! Here are my tips to feature your STEM skills, aspirations, and experience and make them stand out in your applications. Learn how to make your STEM activities shine on the Common App and create a STEM high school resume.
MIT’s popular Splash program for high school students will be held virtually this year on November 14 and 15. During the weekend, thousands of high schoolers take classes on STEM subjects taught by MIT students, and much more. Create an account, and you’ll get an email when student registration opens.
Student Spotlight! I’ve seen many students step up during the pandemic and support their fellow students with STEM mentorship, instruction, and tutoring. Today, BostonTechMom features Noah Abji, a Boston-area student who created videos to help students learn the math material for the Intermediate Math League of Eastern Massachusetts (IMLEM). Nice job, Noah!