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STEM Ed Announcement: Science/Engineering Saturday Seminars

This is a UMass STEM Ed program
 Science & Engineering Saturday Seminars       Spring, 2014 
 If you are interested in this program, please register now.
 If we lack a quorum by Dec. 15, we will have to cancel the program.
 Designed for science teachers; new teachers are especially
 Five Saturdays each term; 8:30-1 at UMass Amherst, Lederle
 Grad Towers 1033 (except as noted)
 Educational materials, refreshments, parking, PDP's included
 Advance registration is required; capacity is limited
 Cost $30 per session, $120 for all five sessions
 4 PDP's per half day session; option for 3 grad credits at
   reduced cost with extra work 
 January 25. Going Down the Powers of Ten Scale.  Rob Snyder, STEM Ed;
 Jennifer Welborn, Amherst Regional, Mark Tuominen, Physics; Jonathan
 Rothstein, Mechanical Engineering. Students find it easier to go up
 the powers of ten scale than down. How can they visualize microscopic
 and submicroscopic objects? We will explore hands-on ways to "see"
 and measure down to the nanoscale, including modeling an atomic force
 microscope. We will also discuss applications of nanotechnology to
 computers, solar energy, and medicine.
 February 1. The QuarkNet Data Portfolio: Using Data from 21st Century
 Experiments to Teach Entry-level Physics and Physical Science. Tom
 Jordan, Fermi National Accelerator Lab and Guest Researcher, UMass.
 21st century physics can seem obscure and esoteric. Experiments at
 the Large Hadron Collider have written 75 petabytes (75 x 10 15
 bytes) of data in just three short years. "Big Data" is in the public
 eye in news stories about Amazon, Google or the NSA. QuarkNet has
 partnered with experiments at Fermilab, CERN, LIGO and others to gain
 access to datasets and created a Data Portfolio: a suite of
 investigations that allow students to explore the data and the
 physics encoded in them. Students can explore momentum conservation,
 mass-energy equivalence, pattern recognition, histogramming, and
 other topics using these data. The investigations range from simple
 to complex, from using paper-and-pencil to web-browsers, and from
 tens of minutes to days. The investigations allow the students to
 explore 21st century data and appreciate that they can study some
 aspect of even the most esoteric experiments. They can access Big
 Data and ask their own questions. 
 February 8. Unleashing the "T": Social, Mobile & Connected, Enhancing
 STEM with Technology. Sarah Dunton, Girls Inc. of Holyoke. Students
 will engage with technology and web-based programs that will enhance
 and enrich STEM lessons in their classroom, on fieldtrips and in
 informal educational settings. Technology should work for us and
 deepen our experiences as teachers, while acting as a tool that
 scaffolds learning for students. Using tablets, laptops and
 smartphones participants in this session will try some new online
 tools, consider the potential of social networking in STEM education
 and explore ways to utilize the "T". Participants will create an
 exploratory lesson plan that will include the use of one or more of
 the hardware or software tools explored in this workshop.
 Participants should bring smart phones, lap tops and tablets (iPads)
 if they have them. We will have a limited number of iPads. 
 March 1. The Biological and Technical Bases of Plant Engineering.
 Alice Cheung, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  Plants are
 probably the most manipulable and manipulated higher organisms on
 this planet. For centuries, farmers and scientists have bred plants
 in the hope of obtaining new species with more desirable qualities.
 In the last half century, studies on the fundamental biology of
 plants and the microbes that affect them for one reason or another,
 e.g. for symbiosis or as disease agents, have revolutionized how
 plants can be engineered to the advantage of world agricultural
 needs. I will discuss the molecular basis of how plant engineering is
 achieved, the physiological basis that underlies the success of the
 molecular manipulation, and the genetics that ensure preservation of
 the introduced qualities. There will be some demonstrations of the
 experimental processes and some on-hand activities. Materials for
 classroom exercises will also be made available to teachers upon
 request and the necessary material transfer agreements between
 March 22.  Seeing Beyond the Visible. John Pickle, Concord Academy;
 Rob Snyder, STEM Ed; Don Blair, Physics; and Stephen Schneider,
 Astronomy.  A bit less than half the light from the sun is in the
 visible part of the spectrum. Most of the remainder is in the near
 infrared, and a few percent is in the ultraviolet. We will explore
 how your eyes and a camera can "see" beyond the visible. Bring a
 laptop and a digital camera if you can. If your computer does not
 already have the Google Chrome browser, please install it and get the
 Webcam Toy app.  Also, download and install the Analyzing Digital
 Images software from www.umassk12.net/adi. 
 March 29. Weather Makeup if needed.
 April 26. Recall for those registered for graduate credits. Hasbrouck
 Graduate credit option: There is a charge of $300 for 3 graduate
 credits plus a $45 registration fee; register for Nat Sci 697A  (Cont
 ed) or 697 F  (University). This is in addition to the $120 STEM
 Education Institute 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. We will have
 Continuing Education registration forms at the first seminar.
 Questions: Mort Sternheim, mort@umassk12.net, 413-545-1908,
 Online seminar registration and payment:
 www.umassk12.net/sess/register.html. Required for everyone whether or
 not they are registering for graduate credit. 

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