500 local students to attend STEM conference

Nearly 500 middle school students will be coming to a National Science Foundation- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Connections Science Conference on June 1 at 9:15 a.m. in the Student Union Ballroom.

The students have worked all year on research projects with environmental themes, collaborating with teams consisting of their classroom teachers, 10 UMass science graduate students and six science faculty members. The students are bringing posters for a professional-society style poster session, in which they can showcase their findings and learn about other students’ research. The project themes are: The Earth as a Laboratory, Global Warming, Growth and Development, the Arsenic Project, and Bird and Fish

The participating faculty members are Julian Tyson, Chemistry; Morton M. Sternheim, professor emeritus of Physics and director of the STEM Education Institute: and Kathleen Davis of the School of Education. Sharon Palmer is the project manager.

The students are coming from some 11 schools, mostly middle schools. The schools are: Elias Brookings School, Chestnut Accelerated Middle School, Duggan Middle School, Forest Park Middle School, Robert M. Hughes Academy Charter School, and Van Sickle Middle School, all in Springfield; Fairview Veterans Memorial Middle School, Chicopee; Donahue Elementary School, Holyoke; West Springfield Middle School; and Smith Academy Middle School and High School, Hatfield.

John Mullin, dean of the Graduate School and vice provost for Outreach, will give welcoming remarks. From the Student Union, half of the students will proceed to the Lincoln Campus Center Auditorium for the science conference part of their day, and the rest will be taking campus tours led by STEM Connections fellows and participating in a number of science activities. After an hour or so, they swap places, so that everyone gets to participate in the fair and the campus activities. The poster sessions times (both at the
CCA) are 9:40-10:45 and 10:50-11:50.