Part the Red Sea! Bring Science to the Seder Table

Fun seder ideas for kids: Parting the Red Sea with science from

Later this week Jewish people around the world will be hosting Passover Seders. The Passover, or Pesach, seder is a meal wrought with ritual. Seder itself means order- and, indeed, there is an order to this meal, which is full of stories (mainly, the Exodus) and symbols. In an orthodox household the pre-dinner service may take hours with a meal lasting long into the night. Many modern, more reformed households look for fun seder ideas to make the ... [ Read More ]

DIY Dog Treat Dispenser and Toy

Dog Treat Dispenser Toy from

Inspired by something he found online, The Young Maker Teen set out to make a dog treat dispenser that would also be a fun puzzle or toy for our energetic dog. He went off to his computer and started designing a 3D plan in Autodesk Inventor (free student version!). When I checked on his progress, though, it was slow going. So I clicked on his browser history and saw that much of his "work and research" was in the form of Imgur visits and time ... [ Read More ]

Digital Footprints, Digital Safety, and Monica Lewinsky

Teaching cybersafety to kids

A few weeks ago I had a conversation about cybersafety, cybersecurity and cyberethics in relation to Think Before You Link, a new joint program from Discovery Education and Intel Security. The free program offers modules for parents, students and teachers to help raise cybersmart kids. Digital citizenship is a key part of today's education. I've shared my thoughts about things like classroom selfies and this past weekend I came across two items ... [ Read More ]

Ford’s Futurist Sheryl Connelly; It’s STEM Girl Friday!

Meet Sheryl Connelly. a futurist at Ford. Learn about other interesting women on's STEM Girl Friday!

As Ford’s Global Consumer Trends and Futuring Manager, Sheryl Connelly collaborates with various business groups within the Company, using consumer trends research to help guide viable business and automotive solutions for changing customer needs. I'm not sure if being a futurist counts as a STEM career, but that title has always intrigued me. Explain what you do as a futurist and how science, math, engineering and/or technology play a role in ... [ Read More ]

Robots4Us Student Challenge

Robot Challenge for Kids from DARPA. Details at

Robots4US is a student competition from DARPA. How often do kids get to enter DARPA challenges? Um, pretty much never. Do you know what DARPA does? The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is an agency of the US Department of Defense. They are responsible for the development of emerging technologies for use by the military. (Thanks, Wikipedia.) Many DARPA technologies filter down into civilian life. For example, maybe you've heard of the ... [ Read More ]

Support the Niles Township Teen Appathon

Appathon for Civic Hacking Day

I'm thrilled to be working with one of my favorite places, the Skokie Public Library, on a teen Appathon for what has traditionally been the National Day of Civic Hacking*. We're going to bring teens together to brainstorm pressing community concerns and have them build or prototype apps that can address those concerns. While we expect the event to attract some tech-savvy kids, the event is open to all high school students. Good ideas and ... [ Read More ]

Summer STEM Camps In and Around Chicago

STEM Summer camps in and around Chicago 2015

People have been asking me about summer STEM camps for tweens and teens, so here goes. It's not an exhaustive list of every single science or technology camp in and around Chicago, but it is pretty good. Certainly enough to get you started. I'll add to it as I have time. This list focuses roughly on kids 5th grade and up, but the camps may have options for younger kids, so click for more information. Let me know what additional information you'd ... [ Read More ]