February 5             


Marie Silver and Kate Devlin

STEM Education Institute and Greenfield Community College


“STEM RAYS After-school Science Clubs”


The STEM ED Institute is in its second year of an NSF funded project designed to increase student interest in science in the 4th - 8th grade in Franklin County. A collaborative project with Greenfield Community College, STEM RAYS stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Research Academies for Young Scientists. Teachers from schools around Franklin County work directly with science faculty from UMass, GCC and Smith College on authentic research projects that they then implement with students in after school science clubs. Kate Devlin, Adjunct Faculty at GCC and a STEM ED Institute staff member, is one of the after school science club instructors working with Curtice Griffin on Bird Research. Kate will describe her work with STEM RAYS and discuss the impact she sees on student interest in science. Students in her three after school clubs at Deerfield and Sheffied Elementary are engaging in a wide variety of bird ecology studies on a weekly basis in their after-school programs.


February 19


Steve Cremer                     

FIRST Regional Director for Massachusetts

FIRST Senior Mentor for New England


“The Demand Side of STEM - F.I.R.S.T. plays an important role in pushing the envelope for all students”


FIRST is more than the high school FIRST Robotics Competition; it now encompasses programs for students from grade 2 [or earlier] through college. Find out how this international program can serve all the students in your school system and will allow them to continue involvement for the rest of their lives. Steve Cremer, FIRST Regional Director and Senior Mentor for Southern New England, will present what is new and exciting in FIRST including the new curriculum and framework links to Technology/ Engineering, Science, Math and ELA standards both in Massachusetts and around the world.  Hear about the partnerships with leading corporations which have created the FIRST Tech Challenge, FIRST LEGO League, Junior FIRST LEGO League, along with premier FIRST Robotic Challenge. Recent research has shown that after school and out of school programs have a profound effect on student performance and their overall lifeskills in the STEM areas. Students are many times more willing to undertake difficult areas of study because they are aware of the excitement such study can bring to their lives and careers.


March 4          


Allan Feldman                    

Teacher Ed. & Curriculum Studies, University of Massachusetts


“Learning to Be a Scientist -- How University Students Learn to Become Researchers”


Over the past several years I have been studying an interdisciplinary scientific research project to understand how people learn to be scientists.  From this previous research my graduate students and I developed a model for this educational process. The model describes the process as an apprenticeship that takes place in research groups. It considers the structure of the research groups, the roles of students in the groups, and their status in the groups. In this presentation I will discuss the details of the model and its implications for the education of new scientists and engineers.


April 1    


Elizabeth A Connor                      

Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts


“BIO 2010: A Roadmap for Curriculum Redesign in the Life Sciences”


The National Academies recently provided guidelines for the training of life science students in a report, “SBIO 2010: Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists.”   We, at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, have begun a process of curriculum reform in the biological sciences that implement BIO 2010 recommendations. Our approach is to integrate the applicable principles of physics, chemistry, mathematics, and bioinformatics into the biology curriculum in both the classroom and laboratory setting. The long range goal is to achieve a fundamental and lasting redesign of our biological science curriculum that will better prepare our biological science students for careers in 21st century biomedical research that require interdisciplinary and quantitative skills.  To date, we have designed four new integrated introductory laboratory courses taught by teams of instructors from biology and the physical sciences. Two of these course have been implemented and two are in design.


April 8    


Hanna Arzi              

Science Education, Independent Researcher-Consultant

Tel Aviv, Israel


“Insights from a 17-Year Longitudinal Study of Change in Science Teachers’ Knowledge of Science”


A lot has been said on teacher knowledge and on what is desirable. The research base varies across the different pedagogical and subject-matter knowledge categories and is particularly limited in regard to secondary school teachers’ knowledge of the subjects they teach (known by the acronym CK, Content Knowledge). The seminar will overview a longitudinal study, carried out in Australia, on change in secondary science teachers’ knowledge of science, from preservice training until 17 years later. The presentation will attend to some findings and their implications. Inter alia, according to this longitudinal study –

·        knowledge develops as a result of changes in its organization more than due to accretion of new material;
·        teachers’ knowledge and interest in their chosen areas of certification persist and facilitate growth, while in the teaching of other areas deficiencies persist;


April 15          


Mark Tuominen      

Department of Physics, University of Massachusetts

Co-Director, Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing


"Nanoscience Education: New Approaches to a New Subject"


We live in a dynamic, three-dimensional world. Shouldn't we teach in the same way? The NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center at UMass Amherst (the Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing) has a mission that includes the design, production and delivery of curriculum materials in nanotechnology. A major component of this effort includes the creation of modular and re-purposable digital videos that include a mixture of real video and 3D animation to convey a clear understanding of complex topics.  The goal is to develop curriculum that can more effectively represent real-world concepts in nanoscale science and engineering. The development is performed by a team with a comprehensive set of experience and skills. Also described is the open source paradigm by which these materials are delivered and improved.




May 6


Stephen G. Sireci

Educational Policy Res. & Admin, University of Massachusetts


"Educational Testing:  The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Unanswered Research Questions"


In this talk, Professor Sireci will discuss the benefits of educational testing, some limitations and misuses of educational tests, and the complex areas in need of future research to help improve educational assessments and enable them to have more positive impact on instruction and student learning.