Tagged STEM

Curie Me Away Is a Radioactive Musical Romp

What’s that? A musical production steeped in physics, biology, and chemistry concepts that also tells the compelling story of one of the most important women of science who ever lived? That pitter-patter you hear is my nerdy little heart waking up and capering about like a puppy hearing a ringing bell. Where can you find such a thing? Try the Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater, where Matheatre’s Curie Me Away is on stage this weekend. This show is a delightful romp through the...

In Gamifying the Language of Chemistry, CompoundIt! Is a Minnesota-Born Winner

In CompoundIt!, a board game created by Minneapolis science teacher Andrew Lyman-Buttler, chemistry and Scrabble-like mechanics join hands to create a uniquely geeky experience. The game—which is running a crowdfunding campaign through May 2, 2018—is billed as a “chemistry formula word game in which the ‘letters’ are chemical elements and the ‘words’ are compounds.” It challenges players to build binary compounds and polyatomic ions on the board from tiles representing individual elements. Lyman-Buttler describes his game as a “great new...

American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year Shoots for the Stars

American Girl, the brand known for bringing history-based 18-inch dolls to bunches of kids over the past 30 years, has been releasing a special Girl of the Year each year for the past decade or so. Each of these characters generally has a specific interest, such as baking or dance. Over the course of two to three books (it varies from year to year), her story related to that interest evolves, and she overcomes various challenges along the way....

Roller Coaster Challenge Is Problem-Solving Fun for Young Players

When I saw that ThinkFun had started a Kickstarter for Roller Coaster Challenge, a brain-teaser game that lets you build your own roller coasters, my only question was what I should pick for my backing level. Should I just get the base game, or spring for the extra challenges and bonus car? My geekling is a budding roller-coaster enthusiast who also loves the challenges from Robot Turtles, another critical-thinking and logic game from ThinkFun, and this game had her...

How Five Minnesota Educators are Bringing NASA into Their Classrooms

Experiential learning and project-based learning are methods oft praised by teachers when it comes to creating lesson plans or poring over various curricula for their students. But these philosophies aren’t solely beneficial for students in the classroom—they’re also for teachers themselves. Enter NASA’s new Microgravity University, a program hosted out of the Johnson Space Center in Houston that aims to offer educators and undergraduate students the opportunity to “conduct science, engineering, mathematical and technological experiments in a simulated microgravity...

Minnesota’s 2017 FIRST Robotics Season Begins

As the FIRST Robotics Competition build season comes to a close and the competition season comes to an open, high-school students across the globe are frantically putting the finishing touches on their robots. The sound of drills and the smell of pizza fill the air. FIRST Robotics Competition is a high-school-level robotics competition where teams of high school students build a robot in six weeks to compete in a game, which changes annually. This year’s game is FIRST Steamworks. The build...

Free Code Camp Twin Cities Brings Local Geeks Together to Learn

On a brisk Sunday afternoon, I got off the bus and headed toward the Minneapolis Central Library to meet some Internet strangers from Free Code Camp Twin Cities, a local community for people who are learning code on the website Free Code Camp. The site is exactly what it sounds like: a place to learn to code for free. It’s similar to Codecademy in general format but much more employment oriented, and thus much more oriented toward networking and community....

Have You Heard of Gamecraft Yet? Twin Cities Geek Can’t Wait to Tell You About It

Are you up for the challenge of helping create a video game? Global Game Jam is the world’s biggest game-creation event—“a hackathon focused on game development,” as its organizers say. Just like a group of musicians comes together for a jam session, Global Game Jam brings game-minded creators together with the goal of creating a game. The catch? Participants only have 48 hours to create the whole thing. Minnesota tech nonprofit Glitch is once again hosting an official GGJ...

10 Cool STEM Toys to Engage Young Minds

The holidays are here. People running to and fro, looking for the ultimate gift for the kids. Some people will come away with video games, and others with socks and underwear. Whether you celebrate a holiday or not, getting just the right gift for a kid can be tricky. Some of the best gifts can be those that engage a child’s mind. To do that, I’d like to recommend STEM toys. What is STEM? STEM is an acronym that...
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