Science and Engineering Saturday Seminars

Fall 2005




You can now register for graduate credit in any of THREE ways. September 13, 2005


  1. Continuing Education: You may now register online with Continuing Education at The course is Educ 615 O, course #40223, $225 + registration fee. Note that the detailed course information on that website, including seminar titles, and the date and location of the first class, are incorrect.
  2. You can also elect to register through Continuing Education for NATSCI&M 597A.  Class number 40502.

    All the UWW students have been moved into this new section. If anyone else registered for EDUC 615O efers the NATSCEI&M number, they can switch at no cost up to an extended deadline for add/drop, September 30. Send email to, or a fax to 413-545-0513, or call 800-933-8211, stating your name, social security number, Mass ID if known, and a request to drop EDUC 615O and add NATSCI&M 597A
  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 for the fall. The course number is 40235.


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


-       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 2005 fall 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


Sept. 10.  Forest Ecology Basics. Lederle 1033. Gini Traub, MA Dept. of Environmental Management. Enjoy the early fall outdoors, getting acquainted with forest ecosystems from the ground up.  Emphasis is on observing habitat and participating in related activities and discussion.  Please dress for time spent outdoors.  Program moves indoors in the event of heavy downpour.

Sept. 24. The Equinox.  UMass SunWheel and Amherst College Planetarium. Click for directions. Steve Schneider and Judy Young, Astronomy. As autumn begins, we will explore the astronomical rhythms that give rise to our seasons. We begin at the UMass Sunwheel, a Stonehenge-like construction that marks the changing position of the Sun throughout the year. We then move indoors to understand the Suns motions, examining how it moves against the stars using hands-on activities, pictures and videos. We will learn about the motions of the Moon, and how the cycles of the Sun and Moon inspired ancient monuments as well as the calendar systems different cultures use today.

Oct. 1.  Nanotechnology.  Lederle 1033. Mark Tuominen, Physics. Nanotechnology deals with materials and devices created on the nanometer size scale. A nanometer is one millionth of a millimeter, or a few atomic diameters. Such materials can behave in very surprising and useful ways.  Applications of the rapidly growing nanotechnology field include regenerative medicine, fabrics and construction materials of unprecedented strength, ultra-high performance computers and data storage, more efficient solar photovoltaic cells, and much more. 

Oct. 15. Insulin in the Biology Class.  Lederle 1033. Brandon Poe, Gann Academy. Students often compartmentalize science topics -- information in one unit doesn't connect with information in another. A model system can help tie ideas together.  Using insulin, biology topics as disparate as anatomy and biotechnology have a common thread helping students link the course together.  This workshop will illustrate the value of models as a teaching tool for any discipline.

Oct. 29. Acting and Teaching.  Lederle 1033. Rod Hart, School of Education. Using exercises and techniques developed in the theater, teachers can use their voices and bodies to communicate not only their course material, but also their commitment to the students and the subject.  Learn how to prepare like an actor for the classroom stage, and how to use the tools of the theater director to set the stage for achievement. Practice the art of improvisation to develop your ability to respond to students and classroom challenges more effectively.  

Nov. 19. Weather cancellation makeup date.

Dec 3.  Recall for those registered for graduate credit. Hasbrouck 113.

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 (see website later for details, course number.)

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

Online seminar registration: Required for everyone.