Science and Engineering Saturday Seminars

Spring 2004


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.

Online seminar registration (required):

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-       Designed for science teachers

-       New teachers are especially welcome

-       Five Saturdays in the spring 2004 term; 8:30-1,  at UMass Amherst

-       Free educational materials, refreshments, parking, PDP’s

-       Advance registration is required; capacity is limited

-       4 PDP’s per half day session

-       An option to register for 3 graduate credits at reduced cost with additional assignments

-       Funded in part by the Raytheon Corporation and the National Science Foundation



February 7.  Energy Conversion in the Everyday World.  Lederle Grad Towers 1033. We will build chemical cells, electric motors and loudspeakers, and will experiment with simple electrical generators. Chris Emery and Steve Murray [Rescheduled for April 3.]


February 28. Project CASA. Gunness Lounge, Marcus Hall. Project CASA is a new, large NSF funded project that will create a network of small weather radars. It has a k12 outreach component that will involve many schools. We will introduce the physics and engineering of weather radar, and will include some simple hands-on electronic activities appropriate to middle and high schools. Chris Emery, Noah Salzman, and an engineering professor.


March 6. Turning on the Light: Fluorescence Illuminates Science.  Lederle Grad Towers 1033. The study of light and matter is a central theme that cuts across scientific disciplines. We examine discovery-based experiments developed for physics, chemistry, earth science, and biology classes. Pat O’Hara, Chemistry, Amherst College


March 27. Bird Biology. Location to be announced. A series of activities and exercises, centered on observations of animals that address key elements of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for science.  Bruce Byers, Biology


April 3. Makeup day for February 7 workshop, Energy Conversion in the Everyday World.

April 10. Weather makeup day if needed.


May 8. Note change in date. Recall for those enrolled for graduate credit. Hasbrouck 113. Projects not due until May 15.

May 15. Global Warming and Ozone. Note change in date.  Location to be announced. The “greenhouse effect” keeps the earth warm enough to be habitable, but if it increases, the earth could get much warmer. We examine the causes of global warming, and learn how to measure its main cause, carbon dioxide. Ozone also has good and bad effects; we will measure ground level ozone at various sites. Steve Schneider, Astronomy.


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.


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

Online seminar registration: Required for everyone.

Registration for graduate credit: Register for Education 651O with Continuing Education by phone or web.