STEM

Zombies and Wizards Teach "Sneaky STEM" at Guard Up in Boston Area

Celebrate a birthday by battling the undead in a zombie apocalypse. Spend the school break brewing potions in the Mages' Guild. Cap the school day with an epic afternoon NERF battle. These fantastic adventures are 100% reality at Guard Up, a local spot in Burlington and Waltham, Massachusetts, offering weekly classes, summer camps, birthday parties, and school holiday camps for ages 4 and up.

As magical as Guard Up may seem, the real wizardry is that the carefully developed programs actually teach creative problem-solving, leadership, teamwork, and yes, even STEM, all through gamified adventures kids will love. And that's just the tip of the iceberg; the more you hear about Guard Up the cooler it sounds.

STEM Classes For Kids in Houston

Does your kid love robots, LEGOs, computers, and NASA? What about multiplication, division, and science experiments? If so, your little ones will love participating in a fun and education STEM-centered class. STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) classes create a space where kids can learn how to use science and math skills to create their own video games, build computer systems, experiment with chemical reactions (safely), and so much more. Check out our top picks for STEM classes in the greater Houston area for your budding engineer.

Coding Classes and Clubs for Boston-Area Kids—Scratch, Java, and More

Not loving the idea of your kids whiling away the afterschool or weekend hours in front of a tablet or computer? But what if they were engaged in programs that help nudge them away from mindless click-and-tap games and toward some serious 21st century computer skills? These cutting-edge area programs introduce children to coding and programming concepts through interactive games and challenges, and provide an alternative to these great online coding courses by enouraging collaboration in a social setting. My takeaway, after learning about these cool classes: Not all "screen time" is created equal!

Sylvan EDGE STEM Classes (Almost) Too Cool for After-School

We're forever amazed by the things kids are learning to do these days. From coding to building robots, today's kiddos are mastering critical 21st century skills that will help them excel in school and, ultimately, their careers. And the best part of all is that places like Sylvan Learning have figured out how to make engineering, coding, and even math, fun. Sylvan Learning believes that engaging and interactive experiences during this pivotal time help nurture an early love of STEM, which can literally serve kids for a lifetime.

We recently took a bunch of kids to try out a Sylvan EDGE STEM program for an afternoon, and we couldn't believe what they created. Check out the video to see what your little learners could be doing at Sylvan.

Planetariums Near and In NYC Where Kids Can Stargaze

Stargazing in New York City is more likely to mean a celebrity sighting than watching actual celestial bodies. I grew up in the suburbs and have fond memories of standing in my yard with my dad and my telescope, talking about constellations. Even if you’re lucky enough to have outdoor space here, the light pollution precludes seeing anything but the brightest stars. If you can’t book a trip to some remote, rural location, the next best thing is a planetarium—especially since you also get expert guidance as to what you’re seeing.

As most of us know, a complete solar eclipse will happen on August 21, and it might just be the perfect event to spark interest in the solar system for your family. If your child is fascinated by the eclipse, your next stop should be a planetarium, so they can learn more about the stars and planets. We’ve rounded up the planetariums in and around New York City. Happy stargazing!

Find more local NYC eclipse events in our calendar, including viewing parties at local libraries. (Tip: B&H on Ninth Avenue was still selling eclipse glasses at press time.)

The Solar Eclipse: Getting Kids Psyched and Watching as a Family

What's all too fleeting, potentially a bit hazardous, and absolutely something you need to experience with your kids? We're talking about the solar eclipse on August 21st, of course! For the first time since 1979, parts of North America will be treated to a total solar eclipse—a rare moment when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, temporarily blocking the sun. 

How dramatic the eclipse is will depend on where you are located geographically. People in the states that fall in a diagnonal line from Oregon to South Carolina are in the path of "totality," meaning they'll be exposed to a complete blocking of the sun. The rest of us will see a crescent shape as the moon partially blocks the sun from our view. Nevertheless, scientists and educators nationwide are encouraging everyone to plan to watch this astronomical phenomenon. So we tapped John Aviste, a civil engineer who runs the popular Edge on Science camps in New York and Massachusetts, to help us understand why—and how—families in all of Mommy Poppins' nine regions should witness the eclipse. Whether you've been preparing for this moment for years or are just catching up now, read on for some useful tips—from explaining eclipse science to little ones to ensuring that everyone's peepers stay protected.

Science, Machines and Nature Museums in Fairfield County, Connecticut

From trying on a real space suit, to jumping into a the cockpit of a full-size helicopter, to touching a shark, Fairfield County offers some top-notch museums when it comes to science, nature, and machines. Featuring authentic and original equipment, imaginative and creative displays of abstract scientific concepts, and a variety of hands-on, interactive engagement, kids are sure to love exploring these Fairfield County museums. And so will their grownups!

Looking for more STEM fun? Consult our Event Calendar and sign up for our newsletters.

50+ Ways to Keep NYC Kids Off Screens This Summer

"Brain drain." "Summer slide." No matter what you call it, the phenomenon of students losing months of math and reading skills during the eight-week summer vacation scares parents and teachers alike.  

As we hit mid-summer, we wanted to put together a list of some off our favorite NYC spots, events, and even at-home challenges that get kids to exercise their brains. More importantly, the activity has to be engaging enough to keep them (and us) off our screens!

So get out there to try these more than 50 ideas for enriching exploration and edu-tainment around NYC . You can find even more ideas in our STEAM Guide, and don't forget to peruse our NYC Schools Guide as September (gasp!) approaches.

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