Science & Engineering Saturday Seminars Spring 2006


-        Funded by the National Science Foundation and the University of Massachusetts Amherst

-        Designed for science teachers; new teachers are especially welcome

-        Five Saturdays in the spring 2006 term; 8:30-1, at UMass Amherst

-        Free educational materials, refreshments, parking, PDPs

-        Advance registration is required; capacity is limited

-        4 PDPs per half day session; option for 3 grad credits at reduced cost with extra work


You can register for graduate credit in any of THREE ways:


  1. Continuing Education: You may now register online with Continuing Education at The course is Educ 615Y, "Science and Engineering Saturday Seminars," class #58679, $225 + registration fee. (You can also register by phone at  800-933-8211). We will also have registration forms available at the first class; bring along a check or credit card.
  2. You can also elect to register through Continuing Education for NATSCI&M 597A, "Special Topics in Science Education " Class  #58684. (This option is not yet on the website..)
  3. Regular Graduate School: Full time graduate students may prefer to register for NATSCI&M 597A, "Special Topics in Science Education".  This course is available on SPIRE. The course number is 58503.


Note that you must also register at whether or not you want graduate credit.

Snow Closing Policy: SESS meetings will not be held if the University announces it is closed due to snow

*** Sessions are in Lederle Grad Research Towers 1033 unless another location is announced. ***

February 4. Solar Cars. Susan Reyes, NESEA. Energize your students by having them design and build model solar electric cars. Kids through 8th grade are eligible for area competitions. Learn about the program and its role as an engaging interdisciplinary project connecting energy and environmental studies, physical science, engineering, craftsmanship, teamwork, problem solving, and more. Get a free materials kit and try your hand at crafting a model car. More information:

February 11. Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Mary Moriarty, ADA Coordinator, Springfield Technical Community College.  UDL is based on the premise that alternatives to traditional instruction and assessment will enhance learning for individuals from diverse backgrounds as well as for those with a range of abilities and disabilities. Topics include the changing nature and demographics of students, the theoretical constructs of UDL, practical and technological UDL applications, and teaching strategies.

March 11.  Transportation Engineering. Mike Knodler, UMass Civil and Environmental Engineering. Transportation, commonly defined as the safe and efficient movement of people and goods, has a daily impact on everyone. As part of the seminar learn the basics of transportation engineering, including concepts related to building roadways, timing traffic signals, and planning for new transportation facilities.  The class will be hands-on and include several activities to bring back to your classroom.

April 1. Schoolyard Science. Will be held at FURCOLO in Room 228 Tarin Weiss, UMass School of Education. How can you engage students in motivating and meaningful learning experiences, invigorate your own sense of wonder about the natural world, and still meet state learning standards? By exploring the science of your schoolyard, urban or rural! The outdoors offers multiple contexts for teachers to confidently guide student learning of physical, biological, and earth science and provides opportunities for relevant integration of math, social studies, language arts, reading, art, music, and technology.

April 8.  Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Mapping. Rob Snyder, STEM Education Institute.  Inexpensive GPS devices (~$100) can use satellite data to pinpoint positions anywhere on the earth to within 3 meters. They allow students to construct very accurate maps, noting the locations and elevations of their observations, structures, etc.  Barometers can also be used to obtain accurate elevation data. See how these devices can be used in earth science and other science classrooms.

April 29. Weather cancellation makeup date.

May 6. Recall for those registered for graduate credit.

Graduate credit option: There is a charge of $225 for 3 Continuing Education credits plus a $30 registration fee. Teachers may obtain credit for the seminar as many terms as they wish, but only 3 credits may be applied to UMass Amherst degrees. A lesson plan and a book report will be required for those enrolled for graduate credit. Register with Continuing Education or the UMass Graduate School  (see this website later on for details, course number.)

Questions: Mort Sternheim,, 413-545-1908,

Online seminar registration: Required for everyone whether or not they are registering for graduate credit.