UMass STEM Ed Institute Presents: Fall 2015

STEM Tuesday Seminars


Most 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.


Kids Say the Darndest Things: Conceptual Change Theory in Science Class

September 29

David Lustick

Professor, Science Education, UMass Lowell


During this interactive session, we will explore studentsí conceptions about natural phenomenon and why they believe such non-scientific ideas.We will then discuss how such information from a conceptual change perspective can increase teacher effectiveness at fostering learning .Participants are encouraged to share stories from the classroom that illustrate childrenís misconceptions and the range of ways that were used to addressed the challenge.

Disciplinary Thinking, Computational Doing: Promoting Interdisciplinary Computing While Transforming Computer Science Enrollments

October 6

Valerie Barr

Professor, Computer Science, Union College

This talk will cover curricular changes in the Computer Science program at Union College, the infusion of computing into courses in 15 disciplines, and the overall impact on CS enrollments and exposure to computing across the institution.

To be held in the Computer Sciences Building, Room 151

140 Governorsí Drive, UMass Amherst


Parking: metered spaces are available in lot 31 across Governorís Dr., and lot 45, west of the building. Meters are in effect until 5 pm†††† Parking map:


Nanotechnology for Teachers


October 20

Mark Tuominen


(Description TBA)




Computing Education in MA: Standards and Curriculum Updates

November 3

Renee Fall, Project Manager, College of Information and Computer Sciences, UMass Amherst

Rick Adrion, Professor Emeritus, College of Information and Computer Sciences, UMass Amherst


Massachusetts is developing new K12 standards for digital literacy and computer science. What might the new standards mean for students, teachers, and school leaders? Come hear about the process, status, and implications.

How are computer science concepts being introduced in a way that engages more and more diverse students?  Learn about the Massachusetts Exploring Computer Science Partnership (MECSP) and opportunities to bring a new introductory course to high schools. 


Magnificent Minds: 16 Pioneering Women in Science and Medicine

November 17

Penny Noyce, Noyce Foundation

Penny Noyce will talk about her latest book, Magnificent Minds: 16 Pioneering Women in Science and Medicine. Noyce is a medical doctor, educator, and mother of five. She is the author of seven books for children and one text for educators. Her children's books are brainy and fun, mixing math or science with playful language and adventure.

Noyce Foundation A Resource for Science Teachers

December 1

Guy Blaylock, Associate professor of Physics University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Dr. Blaylock will demonstrate a website ( he has developed to help teachers and parents teach science. The site aims to facilitate STEM education by providing high-quality free materials for learning and teaching, in or out of the classroom. It hosts a searchable library of short science activities and lessons, which strive to complement traditional lectures with engaging in-class materials. Teachers can search for lessons according to class time, materials, budget, and student background and interests. They can also contribute their own materials through a peer-reviewed submission process. Further development of the site is now focused on producing more library content, and developing communities of contributors who might provide that content.