University of Massachusetts STEM Ed Institute presents:


Spring 2011 STEM Tuesday Seminars


STEM seminars are held at 4PM on the first and third Tuesdays of each month during the academic year in Hasbrouck 138. Everyone is welcome; no reservations are needed, and there is no charge. Parking is available in the Campus Center Garage.




February 15

Rachael Manzer

Pathfinder 7 Astronaut Trainee, STEM Coach at STEM Magnet School at Annie Fisher, Hartford, CT


“Of Dreams and Heroes”


Have you ever thought about going into space or would your students like to?  Within the this decade going to space will be an everyday occurrence.  Come and learn about the Commercial Space Flight Industry from a Pathfinder7 Teacher Astronaut Trainee, Rachael Manzer.  Mrs. Manzer was one of 7 educators selected from across

the nation to fly into space on commercial spacecraft. 


March 1


Teresa Jones

Renewables Program Director

Greenfield Community College


"Renewable Energy Certificate Program at Greenfield Community College"


The RE/EE program at Greenfield Community College is a brand new cutting edge degree that offers a wide range of courses to provide the knowledge and skills needed for entry level employment opportunities in the growing RE/EE field. The program aims to provide news skills for those already in the building and energy trades as well as for those pursuing a higher degree, such as architecture or landscape design. The RE/EE program has been designed to address the needs of a variety of people and the diversity of students taking the courses creates a dynamic learning environment offering many opportunities for networking. Come here about this exciting new opportunity at GCC.



March 15

David Cedrone

Department of Higher Education


“Massachusetts Plan for STEM Education - Implementation of V1.0 and planning for V2.0”


In September the Governor's STEM Advisory Council released A Foundation for the Future: Massachusetts Plan for Excellence in STEM Education. The focus is now on implementation and later in this year will consider key topics for inclusion in V2.0 of the plan. In this session you will learn how to engage and support the Regional STEM Networks implementation initiatives and contribute to the development of the next iteration of this plan.

April 5

Patsy Beffa-Negrini

Department of Public Health



“The UMass Online MPH in Nutrition Degree Program: An Interactive Approach to Professional Development”


The new online Master of Public Health in Nutrition degree was designed based on a

decade of experience developing asynchronous interactive online programs. For

interaction and collaboration, the MPH in Nutrition uses Blackboard Vista, Moodle,

and Wimba Live Classroom. Students consider issues from their work and community in

individual or group projects and case studies, while reflecting on achievement of

Public Health Nutrition competencies using discussions and e-portfolios. The program

has rapidly grown to include 50 nutrition and health professionals participating

from all over the world. Formative evaluation (n=29) conducted in September of 2010,

indicated that most students have applied the coursework in their current positions,

including for grant-writing, research, and evaluation.  Most students appreciate the

flexibility of online learning and many cite the student-student and

student-instructor interaction and relevant coursework as program strengths.

However, some students do find the time commitment to be challenging, and recommend

timely feedback from instructors.  Overall, almost all students agree that the MPH

in Nutrition is meeting their professional development needs and learning goals.



April 12


Raymond S. Bradley

Climate System Research Center

Department of Geosciences

University of Massachusetts, Amherst


“Where do we stand on Global Warming?”


Global temperatures have risen by ~1°C since the end of the 19th century.  This increase has not been linear, as there have been periods when temperatures were stable for short periods before rising once again.  The reasons for these changes in the rate of temperature rise are related to anthropogenic factors (sulphate aerosol pollution versus greenhouse gas inputs to the atmosphere) as well as to natural factors (volcanic eruptions, solar irradiance variations, El Niño/Southern Oscillation [ENSO] fluctuations, etc).  Over the last decade or so, temperatures have not risen at the same rate as in previous decades, and this has led to speculation that global warming is over.  This view was reinforced by the unusually cold winter that many parts of the United States and western Europe experienced in recent months.  However, such a conclusion was premature.  January 2010 was one of the warmest Januaries on record when the entire globe is considered, subsequent months broke records for high temperatures, and the last decade was the warmest, globally, for many centuries.  Extreme events this year have been common.  Nevertheless, many politicians who do not favor controls on carbon emissions insist on presenting a one-sided view of the situation to the public.  This effort has been reinforced by a relentless campaign to find and publicize a few errors in the IPCC 4th Assessment Report, to shake the public’s confidence in that Report’s main conclusions.  Meanwhile, while the political bickering goes on, the levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continue to increase, more heat accumulates in the oceans, sea-level keeps rising as glaciers and ice caps melt, and phenological indicators from many regions demonstrate disruptions to the seasonality of biological activity.  And as these changes occur, world population keeps increasing, at a rate of ~240,000 people per day, most of whom will grow up to be subsistence or small-scale agriculturalists, who will be just as vulnerable to climatic anomalies as late prehistoric/early historic societies were.  Climatologists, and other environmental scientists have a responsibility to ensure that the public, and the politicians they elect, fully understand these issues so that they can better appreciate the consequences of inaction over controlling greenhouse gas emissions.

April 19


Karyl Resnick

Coordinator, 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program

MA Department of Elementary & Secondary Education


A Shared Vision for Learning


Emerging education reform efforts rethink the notion of learning time. These efforts include afterschool and summer learning programs like the 21st Century Community Learning Centers. These reform efforts align academic and enrichment activities that add value to both in and out-of-school time. Karyl Resnick, Coordinator of the 21st Century

community Learning Centers at the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education will discuss the impact this program has had on school day learning.