Elementary Science & Engineering Saturday Seminars                   Fall, 2012 

-        Designed for elementary teachers; new teachers are especially welcome        

       -        Five Saturdays each term; 8:30-1 at UMass Amherst, Lederle Grad Towers 1033

       -        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

September 15.  Fun with Color and Carbon Dioxide.  Steve Schneider, Astronomy; Debbie Carlisle, Education; Rob Snyder, STEM Ed. Come and learn some fun and creative ways to teach the science of color change through inquiry activities involving carbon dioxide detection. In this workshop, art and science are effectively combined to enhance student learning and engagement. For example, your students can investigate the question "can your breath make a liquid change color?" A simple and readily available chemical indicator (BTB) is used to detect the presence of carbon dioxide in breath and air samples that students collect. Students enjoy seeing dramatic color changes produced by air samples. They can learn how to use a digital camera as a scientific instrument. Free software can analyze the colors in digital photographs of the air sample students are testing. The color analysis provides an opportunity for students to explore primary and complementary colors. Throughout the activities, simple experimental design is reinforced. Bring a digital camera and laptop if you can.


September 29.  Simple Machines. Jim Klaiber and Dave Wartel, retired science teachers. The seminar is lighthearted and demonstrates many fun and stimulating activities to bring into your classrooms.  We begin with an informative PowerPoint to introduce the six types of simple machines and show how students use them every day.  Using simple materials usually found in their classrooms, teachers can do can do numerous activities with levers, pulleys, and the wheel and axle.  You will find that buying expensive equipment from the overpriced catalogs is unnecessary.  Handouts will be provided for each activity. Exciting activities include being hoisted by a block and tackle or house jack and accepting the challenge of the two bar pulley system.  For older students there are activities that include finding the actual and theoretical mechanical advantage of simple machines such as the hammer, bottle opener, broom, and fishing pole.


October 13.  Energy and Electromagnetism. Steve Murray, elementary science specialist. Find out how you and your students can utilize Massachusetts Standards-based, inquiry science to engage students in developing the content and processes of science. Participants will engage in first-hand investigations using materials and techniques from the FOSS Energy and Electromagnetism Kit 3rd edition that will include investigations that will explore: the learning progression and core ideas appropriate for the upper elementary level students, science centered language development; assessments (formative, summative and performance); identification of STEM opportunities; science note booking techniques to help students document and make sense of their hands-on experiences; multi-sensory and collaborative group learning.


October 27.  Exploring elementary student misconceptions in science and how to engage our young students as “scientists” in our classes. Dan Bisaccio, Brown University. This workshop will focus on “uncovering elementary student misconceptions” in science and strategies to turn misconceptions into conceptions.  How do we know what our students think they know? How do we create curriculum to uncover and then develop curriculum to assist our students to get it right. This workshop will be “hands-on” demonstrating a variety of ways to engage young students with the big ideas / concepts in science.  Participants will have the opportunity to explore formative pre-assessment activities as well as ways to develop investigations for your students to engage in developing their cognitive constructs of science.


November 17.  Supporting Natural Engineers with Robotics.  John Heffernan, Williamsburg Schools. Kids are natural engineers and builders. We don't support their natural building instincts once they leave the rich hands-on PK and K classrooms. However, we still expect them to be interested in engineering when they get to high school. Learn how to keep this interest alive all through the elementary and middle school years with robotics in this hands-on seminar.

December 1. Weather makeup if needed.
December 8. Recall for those registered for graduate credits. Hasbrouck Lab.

Graduate credit option: There is a charge of $300 for 3 Continuing Education credits plus a $45 registration fee. 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, www.umassk12.net/sess.