Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Summer Opportunities from the City of Boston

Boston R.O.C.K.S!!! - Summer Recreational Opportunities for City Kids

BPS Summer Stuff Resources - When school's out for the summer, it's important for families to select fun, safe, healthy, educational activities for their children. The documents and links on this page are designed to help Boston families find programs and services to keep children active during the summer months.

Boston Centers for Youth and Families - summer programs

Monday, March 21, 2011

Student Competitions

Student Competitions

Disney's Planet Challenge

This week, Disney announced the launch of the second annual Disney’s Planet Challenge, a free project-based environmental and science competition for classrooms nationwide. Formerly open to 4th through 6th grade classrooms, Disney’s Planet Challenge is being expanded to include two tracks: one for elementary schools grades 3–5, and another for middle schools grades 6–8. The middle school curriculum will offer an increased focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education.

Developed in collaboration with NSTA and the K–12 Alliance, the Challenge offers students the chance to use their imagination and creativity to help the planet while giving educators a fresh new way to motivate students with the help of an educationally sound curriculum that meets national and state guideline requirements.

The national grand prize winning elementary school class will enjoy a celebration at Disneyland® Resort while middle school national winners will earn a $20,000 grant for their school. Both grand prize–winning classrooms will be illustrated and appear within a Marvel comic book. Winning teachers will receive a one year NSTA membership. The grand-prize winning educators will also receive an expense-paid trip to the national 2012 NSTA conference where they will be recognized at the NSTA awards banquet.

For more information or to enroll in the program, visit Enrollment is open through December 17, 2010.

Rubber Band Contest for Young Inventors

Are you ready to stretch your imagination? The Akron Global Polymer Academy of The University of Akron is hosting the third annual Rubber Band Contest for Young Inventors to encourage students in grades 5–8 to demonstrate their creativity and ingenuity by creating an invention that incorporates the use of rubber bands.

There will be two separate divisions of competition—Arts & Leisure and Science & Engineering. Four finalists will be brought to Akron, Ohio, where the first place winner and runner-up in each division, will be announced at an awards ceremony on May 14, 2011.

The first place winner in each division will receive a $1,000 savings bond, while the runner-up in each division will receive a $500 savings bond, respectively. The top eight semifinalists who are not chosen as finalists will each receive a $50 gift card. The top four schools with the most entries will each receive a $250 donation. For more information about the contest, visit the website.

Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge

Earlier this month, NSTA, the Siemens Foundation, and Discovery Education announced the kick-off of the third annual Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, a program that educates, empowers and engages students and teachers nationwide to become “Agents of Change” in identifying and solving environmental problems. The third year of this national sustainability challenge—now expanded to include high school students—encourages all students, from kindergarten through twelfth grade, to team up with their classmates to create replicable solutions to environmental issues in their schools (grades K–5), community (grades 6–8) and world (grades 9–12).

Over 13,000 students competed in the 2010 Challenge across elementary and middle school grades. Projects ranged from reducing lunchtime waste to saving local trees and encouraging eco-friendly gardens. The grand prize team, “No1Idling” from Novi, Michigan, focused on reducing community pollution by raising awareness about the environmental impact of vehicle idling among area drivers.

Student and teacher/mentor prizes, which vary according to grade level, include savings bonds, school grants, exciting trips and much more. The deadline for all entries is March 15, 2011. Finalists and winners will be announced in April 2011 and the national winners will be announced in May 2011. For more information, visit or