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Students Prepare for a Mars Landing at Summer Science Camp at WPI

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Forty-eight students from Central Massachusetts will have the opportunity to participate in the Mars Lander Challenge – a space-themed competition – during the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Students will learn about camp founder and veteran astronaut Bernard Harris Jr. and his journey to become the first African American to walk in space. They will also learn about the extreme conditions he encountered during his two space shuttle missions.

"From building spacecraft to designing robots and bridges, students see, firsthand, science, technology, engineering, and math come alive through real-world applications," said Harris, president of the Harris Foundation, who oversees the mentoring of underserved youth at 20 such camps nationwide.

As a part of the program’s science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum, students will use a variety of household materials to create a spacecraft capable of absorbing the shock of a planetary landing. University administrators and faculty, as well as an ExxonMobil engineer, will work alongside campers, offering guidance as they construct their designs.

A Focus on Teamwork

The program is a two-week, all expenses paid experience designed to help middle school students enhance proficiency in STEM based learning.

This year’s camp has a special focus on teamwork and hands-on activities such as creating rockets, rollercoasters, model homes, and more, using specially designed software.

Additionally, area teachers will show campers math and science at work in their community through field excursions to local ecosystems, nature parks, and area museums.

"Technology is essential to nearly every industry, and students need to be well-versed in science and math in order to be prepared to succeed in the high-tech nature of the 21st century," said Suzanne McCarron, president of the ExxonMobil Foundation. "ExxonMobil is committed to preparing the future workforce through programs like the Bernard Harris science camps that help today’s youth develop an interest and solid foundation in STEM."

A Yearly Fixture

This summer marks the ninth consecutive year the ExxonMobil Foundation and The Harris Foundation have partnered to offer science camps that help close the achievement gap. This is the fifth year WPI has been selected to participate in the program.

"This is the fifth time in six years that WPI has partnered with ExxonMobile and Dr. Harris to bring this program to underserved students in Central Massachusetts," said Bonnie Hall, executive director of the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp at WPI. "This type of hands-on STEM program will help give them the self-confidence to thrive in the classroom and beyond."


Related Slideshow: 25 Must Do’s in Central MA this Summer

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Cars of Summer Classic Car Show and Auction

Green Hill Park

Friday, July 4, 2014 - Sunday, July 6, 2014

7:00 AM-7:00 PM

A three day classic car show held in Green Hill Park on Skyline Drive in Worcester MA. There will be live bands, food vendors, product vendors, over 1000 collectible cars, kid zones, canoe/paddle boat rides, live auto and collectibles auction, costume characters, and bounce houses.

See more here

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The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts

Youth Summer Program- Footloose

Classes focusing on music, drama, and dance as well as rehearsals for the final production will be held daily from 9AM-3PM Monday through Friday.

Two sessions will be offered: YSP I (July 7 - July 26) and YSPII (July 28 - August 16).

Students will present three performances of the popular movie musical “Footloose” at the end of each session

See more here

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Worcester Brave Hearts

The Worcester Bravehearts have 56 games scheduled for its inaugural season.  Included are 28 home games at Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field in Worcester with 15 of those games taking place on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays. The opening weekend includes 4 home starts with post-game fireworks on Friday, June 6.

See more here

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Rowing Lessons on Lake Quinsigamond

June 14 – June 29   –   6:00AM – 8:00AM

Open to non-members. 6 sessions for beginners. Learn the fundamentals of the rowing stroke; focus on basic body positions, 2 phases of the stroke, and blade work. Become familiar with boathouse & bay rules, learn how to handle equipment safely and lake traffic patterns. Practice good boat-handling skills both on water and off water.

See more here

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Worcester Art Museum

Knights! reveals the fascinating place of arms and armor in the broader context of history, storytelling, and art. Only three months after the closing of Worcester’s Higgins Armory Museum, this exhibition marks the first step in the long-term integration of arms and armor into the collection of the Worcester Art Museum.

See more here

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Numerous events and activities for the whole family to enjoy!

See more here

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Flippo’s Clown Camp

July 15-17 from 10am-12pm

Kids ages eight to eighty are invited to learn to juggle, spin plates, create balloon sculptures and perform balancing tricks in a two-day program.

See more here

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Salisbury Mansion Tours

Travel back in time to the 1830's as a member of the upper class.

See more here

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Pan-Mass Challenge

Leaves from Sturbridge Host Hotel

The Pan-Mass Challenge is the nation’s original fundraising bike-a-thon and raises more money than any other athletic fundraising event in the country.

See more here

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Worcester Windows Summer 2014

Thursday, June 19, 2014 - Sunday, August 31, 2014

For its summer 2014 exhibition the Worcester Windows Community Gallery Program presents works by Worcester painter Brian Burris and a series of abstract photographs by members of the Worcester Alliance of Photographers.

Worcester Windows is a community gallery program which uses storefronts throughout downtown Worcester as exhibit space to enhance the Citys downtown and to provide display opportunities for local emerging and established artists. Originally intended simply as a means to provide exhibit opportunities, Worcester Windows has grown dramatically, successfully raising the awareness of Worcester as a Creative City by not only bringing artwork to the public and showcasing local talent, but in also establishing itself as a true community gallery through which many of the exhibiting artists have sold works.

See more here

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Worcester Latin American Festival

City Hall Area

August 16, 2014, free admission 12-9pm

Live music, Latin American cuisine, children's tent & crafts, and beer garden.

See more here

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American Antiquarian Society

Dig into some history this summer on a rainy day.

See more here

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Summer Sailing Camp

Lake Quinsigamond/Regatta Point State Park

June 23 to August 22

Ages 9-13

Kids learn the basics of sailing including, boat parts, rigging/derigging, wind direction, points of sail, and water safety as well as playing games, swimming, kayaking, and paddle boarding. 

See more here

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Central Rock Gym-Indoor Rock Climbing

Experienced climbers and first-time climbers welcome.

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Old Sturbridge Village

April 1 - October 31
Daily, 9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Old Sturbridge Village depicts life in New England from 1790-1840.

See more here

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Worcester PopUp

The Worcester PopUp opened on June 19 at 38 Franklin Street and will run through August.

Rotating art exhibitions, performances, music, food, art, 3D printing, hands on activities, and workshops.

See more here

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Longsjo Classic and Family Fitness Festival

Destination Worcester, in partnership with the Longsjo Classic, Greendale Family YMCA, Blue Cross Blue Shield will host a free, fun fitness festival that supports healthy living.  The event will feature a family Zumba dance party, a Kids Run, a Bike Parade, healthy living vendors and more!

The Festival will take place on Saturday, June 28, 2014 – rain or shine, from 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., at the Worcester Common Oval behind Worcester City Hall, 455 Main Street. 

The Longsjo Classic race will begin at 4:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

See more here

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Out to Lunch Summer Concert Series and Farmers Market

The Out to Lunch Summer Concert Series & Farmers' Market is back! The 2014 series kicked off on Thursday, June 19th and will run until Thursday, August 21st. Farmers' Market opens at 11:00 AM, main stage talent performs 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM.

The lineup for this year includes the following:

July 3rd - The Hip Swayers
July 10th - The SouL DeScendants
July 17th - Jubilee Gardens
July 24th - Testify
July 31st - Ashley Jordan
August 7th - Throwback to the 1960s
August 14th - Matthew Sanchez Y Su Orquesta
August 21st - East Coast Soul

See more here

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Massachusetts Symphony Summer Concert Series

The Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra's admission-free Summer Family Concert Series has been presented each year since 1951. The first week in July each year (for the Fourth of July holiday) features a concert with fireworks at Worcester's East Park (Cristoforo Colombo Park) on Shrewsbury Street. The orchestra presents a program of Independence Holiday patriotic music, celebrated Broadway and other orchestral selections, with the concert culminating in fireworks accompanying Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture and Sousa marches.

See more here

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Big Dipper Ice Cream Festival

Elm Park

June 28th from 10:30AM-5:30PM

There will be entertainment, face-painting, food tents, moon walks, and of course, all-you-can-eat ice cream!

See more here

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Canal District Wagon Tours

Tours start in Kelley Square next to the Farmer's Market

Thursdays, July 3, 2014 - August 21, 2014

5:00 PM-8:00 PM

Join trained interpreters from South High School for a journey through Worcester’s Canal District as they tell the farm to factory story of the Industrial Revolution and the immigrants that made it happen.

See more here

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Elm Park Summer Concert Series

Every Thursday from July 10 through August 14, from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

uly 10 - The Beatles night with a live performance by UnionJack

July 17 - The 20-piece swing band The Milford Big Jazz Machine Orchestra performs

July 24 - Country night with Mychael David with The Help Wanted Band (Nashville recording artist), featuring their No. 1 hit “Nothin.”

July 31 - Performance by legendary R&B singer Toni-Lynn Washington

August 7 - Swinging soul night with The Love Dogs

August 14 - Jump blues with Little Red and the Riders

For more information, call 508-799-1400.

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7th Annual Barbara J. Walker Butterfly Festival

Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center and Wildlife Sanctuary


Enjoy educational fun for all ages at the 7th Annual Barbara J. Walker Butterfly Festival at Broad Meadow Brook, where butterflies fly free in their natural habitats. Festival activities will include naturalist led walks & workshops, performances, live caterpillars, butterfly art, face painting, children's activities, butterfly garden tours, butterfly garden plant sales, delicious food and much more. Come in costume and get a prize! Rain date August 10.

See more here

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Worcester 4th of July Celebration, Concert and Fireworks

Worcester’s annual 4th of July celebration and fireworks display is scheduled for July 3rd at East Park beginning at 6:00PM. There will be food vendors and kids’ activities followed by a ceremonial flag raising at 7:45PM followed by a performance by the Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra at 8:00PM and fireworks at 9:30PM (rain date is July 5th).

See more here

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Hot Night in the City

July 9, 2014

6:30-9 p.m.

The night promises to be a hot time with cool adventures in creating, making, eating, and viewing. The Craft Center’s studios include the equipment necessary to produce using Hot processes like glass blowing, enameling, jewelry making, and firing ceramics. Hot Night in the City focuses attention on those processes as well as many of the opportunities for making that are provided annually at the Craft Center.

See more here


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