Science & Engineering Saturday Seminars              Spring 2007

-        Designed for science teachers; new teachers are especially welcome

-        Five Saturdays each term; 8:30-1 at UMass Amherst except as noted below

-        Educational materials, refreshments, parking, PDP’s

-         Advance registration is required; capacity is limited

-         Cost $30 per session, $120 for all five sessions

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


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

UMass Closing Status Update

Note: In some cases we may cancel even it UMass stays open. Check your email and this website if you are in doubt.

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

February 3. Where Do You Find the E in STEM? John Burns, Agawam High School. Using a mix of video, lecture, and hands-on activities we will explore methods of incorporating interesting engineering principles into your classroom teaching. Using the new WGBH TV show Design Squad as a backdrop we will explore the topics of The Engineering Design Process, Intellectual Property, MCAS tested Learning Standards, and obtaining monetary and content resources.

February 10. Safety in the Science, Art & Technology Laboratory. James Kaufman, Laboratory Safety Institute. Note: We will meet until 3 PM and will serve lunch.  This seminar is intended for secondary school science, art and technology teachers, supervisors, and curriculum specialists and is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents. It addresses regulatory compliance, inventory control, hazardous waste disposal and the habits of safe behavior and performance.  Topics include: the 3 C’s of safety, scope of the problem, accidents, legal aspects, emergency planning, chemical handling, chemical storage, biological and animal hazards, eye and face protection, chemical disposal, electrical safety, safety program planning and “your most serious problem”. 

March 3. Discrepant Events in Chemistry. Peter Shaughnessy, Northampton HS and UMass.  Patterns and Predictions: using the unexpected to examine what we think we know. This will be an inquiry experience in chemistry that will allow us to analyze collected data from short activities to determine the patterns that exist.  And then to use those same patterns to make predictions in the way of extrapolations and interpolations. These chemical experiences are easily reproducible with very modest equipment requirements.

March 10. Nanotechnology 3. Mark Tuominen, Physics, UMass. More on this exciting new branch of science and technology that deals with materials and devices as small as a few atomic diameters.

March 31.  Forest Watch. This seminar will be held in Morrill Room 301, NOT Lederle Barry Rock, University of New Hampshire. Forest Watch is a K-12 outreach program aimed at introducing teachers to hands-on activities focused on white pine, and in turn, assisting them in training their students to conduct authentic research that will be of use to researchers at UNH. White pine needles develop symptoms indicative of ozone exposure. Damaged needles will be studied with dissecting microscopes. Thin sections will be studied using compound microscopes, and the spectral reflectance properties associated with the symptoms will be characterized using a portable spectrometer. Learn about how to become a Forest Watch teacher and participate in this on-going research activity.

April 28. Weather cancellation makeup date.

May 5.  Recall for those registered for graduate credit. (Held in Hasbrouck Room 113)

Graduate credit option: There is a charge of $300 for 3 Continuing Education credits plus a $40 registration fee.  This is in addition to the $120 STEM Education Institute 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 for NatSciM 597A  (Special Topics in Science Ed) or Educ 615T (Sci/Engin Seminars).

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

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