Science & Engineering Saturday Seminars         Fall, 2009  

-        Designed for science teachers; new teachers are especially welcome        

-               Five Saturdays each term; 8:30-1 at UMass Amherst

-               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



Sept. 12. Nanotechnology. Lederle 1033. Mark Tuominen, Physics Department and Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing. Another in a series on nanotechnology; previous attendance is not required. Nanotechnology deals with materials on the scale of 1 to 100 nanometers; a nanometer is one-billionth of a meter, or about 10 atomic diameters. Such materials have many important and novel properties. Topics will include going down the powers of ten scale, creating nanofilms, why size matters and nanofilters for clean water.

Oct. 3.  Illuminating Life:  What's New and Noteworthy in Luminescence Spectroscopy and Imaging? Lederle 1033. Pat O’Hara, Chemistry, Amherst College. Many of today’s advances in biotechnology and medical imaging have been made possible through clever coupling of mature ideas from physical chemistry and new advances in molecular biology. Over 100 years ago, physicists such as Stokes and Rayleigh provided a framework for understanding such phenomena as the fluorescence of light from excited molecules and the scattering of light from large particles in solution.  Today these ideas and others have been co-opted by incredibly clever molecular biologists who have put them to work for in vivo tumor imaging, or to understand disease morphology in Tay-Sachs or Alzheimer’s disease.  This workshop will explore several of these technological breakthroughs and use them as a vehicle for exploring the foundational physical and chemical ideas that make them possible.

Oct. 17. Using Ecology: Making Science Real. Location to be announced.  Steve Brewer, Biology Department Ecology is the science of organisms interacting with each other and their environment.  Ecology activities can offer an opportunity for students to practice hands-on science in their local environment.  Global climate change and a renewed focus on the limitations of the environment to support endless growth are topical means for students to study fundamental ecological principles.  Workshop participants will explore a variety of ecological problems and generate ideas for making observations, posing problems, collecting data, and developing persuasive presentations of their findings.