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STEM Programs


As part of the science program at Dexter Southfield, each student is able to experience firsthand the process of conducting scientific observations during class visits to the observatory. Students are able to view the Sun, Moon, planets and the stars through the telescopes in broad daylight.
The telescopes are also available for night-time viewing by students and their families.
The School is pleased to offer a variety of after school science programs. These are extracurricular, hands-on, enrichment clubs designed to encourage inquiry and learning in a fun, positive, educational environment. Clubs meet in the Clay Center and the S.T.E.A.M. Room, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. or 6:00-8:00 p.m. on specific weekdays. Snack or dinner will be provided. Please note: There will be no bus transportation for after school attendees. A lab fee for each enrolled club will be charged to help offset the cost of these extracurricular programs.


Offered programs include: 

Electronics Gadgets  (Classes 3–8)  

Students explore how electricity works, learn how electronic circuits and components work, make things that light up and make noise, and learn how to solder gadgets to take home and play with. Designed for beginners who have not taken this activity before. Sign up for one or the other but not both.

MEETINGS: Three Tuesdays, 3:30-5:30 p.m., Oct. 2, 9, 16. Lab fee is $120.
MEETINGS: Three Tuesdays, 3:30-5:30 p.m., Oct. 30; Nov. 6, 13. Lab fee is $120.

Making Things Club  (Classes 3–8)

Use professional tools and software to design and make things, big and small. We generally work with things you can hold in your hand: anything serious or silly is a candidate for being made in this club, which is an introduction to 3D design and engineering. During the club, students will design and make objects they can keep. Meets in the Clay Center 5th floor. Bring your own computer. Come to either session or both.

MEETINGS: Three Wednesdays, 3:30-5:30, Oct. 10, 17, 24. Lab fee $90.  
MEETINGS: Three Wednesdays, 3:30-5:30, Nov. 7, 14, 28. Lab fee $90

CubeSAT Project with MIT Media Lab (Classes 7–10) FULL, accepting waitlist only at this time.

This is a full-year academic and hands-on spacecraft-building program where you will learn about rockets, space science, and climate research, then design and build a spacecraft that will launch into space in 2019. This term students will build a project to launch on a high-altitude balloon. No previous experience is required, but preference will be given to students who trained in the program last year. Scientists at the MIT Media Lab will help you learn everything needed to accomplish this project. Meetings involve regular field trips to MIT, so the meeting blocks are necessarily longer. This is a full-year project, so a commitment will require re-joining Tuesday meetings this winter and spring. You will have a unique and amazing experience to write about on your college applications.

MEETINGS: Twelve Tuesdays, 3:30-6:30, Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; Nov. 6, 13, 20, 27; Dec. 4, 11, 18. Lab fee is $280 per term.

LEGO Robotics (Classes 3–8)

This activity lets you explore robotics with LEGO, control modules, and sensors. Create robots that perform specific challenges. All levels from beginner to expert are welcome. Meets in the Clay Center 5th floor. Come to either session or both.

MEETINGS: Three Wednesdays, 3:30-5:30, Oct. 10, 17, 24. Lab fee $90.  
MEETINGS: Three Wednesdays, 3:30-5:30, Nov. 7, 14, 28. Lab fee $90. 

Amateur Radio Club Meetings - Evening Program (Classes 4–12)

The Clay Center Amateur Radio Club (CC-ARC) meets regularly on Wednesday evenings. Meetings are open to anyone interested in wireless communications technology. The club provides leadership opportunities for those building portfolios for college applications. Join us for educational talks or demonstrations, fox hunts (hidden transmitter hunts), learning Morse Code, radio contesting, exploring space communications, building radio electronics projects, and more.

MEETINGS: Wednesdays 6:00-8:00 with an option to stay until 9:00 p.m. on clear nights for the telescopes. Some students stay for Homework Club first, then join this group for dinner at 5:30. Regular attendance is not required. Meets Oct. 17, 24; Nov. 7, 14, 28, in the Clay Center. Lab fee per term is $30 to cover food and incidentals; optional projects may have additional small lab fees.

Public Telescope Nights - Evening Program

Dexter Southfield community and the public are invited for open observatory night at the Clay Center on clear Wednesdays in the fall and spring seasons. Depending on conditions and the season, we will point the telescope* toward a variety of planets, the Moon, nebulas, and stars. Visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of greater Boston from the observation decks, and walk among the constellations on the stars court. *Note, while the observatory’s main telescope undergoes some repairs and upgrades for a few weeks, we will use some smaller telescopes on the north roof deck. 

MEETINGS: Wednesdays, Oct. 17, 24; Nov. 7, 14, 28, weather permitting. Open for all from 6:30-8:00 p.m. Group tour begins at 6:30 from the lobby of the Clay Center.


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