K-12 resource or program

Research Experience for Teachers (MRSEC)

In the summer RET program, middle and high school teachers participate in research at the Silvio O. Conte Center for Polymer Research. Participants gain experience under the guidance of an established research group by investigating a topic from a broad spectrum in chemistry, physics or engineering of polymers. Examples of projects are: nanomembranes, crystallization in confined geometries, sensors, and polymer deformation.

Commonwealth Information Technology Initiative

CITI - the Commonwealth's Information Technology Initiative - is a public/private partnership to promote IT education through strategic investments that prepares graduates to participate, lead and innovate in the knowledge-based economy of Massachusetts. Launched in 2000, CITI brings together K-12, community colleges, public universities and industry to promote IT education across the curriculum and respond to technology workforce needs.

History Institute

Since 1994, the UMass Amherst History Department has hosted events, workshops and in-service trainings for K-12 teachers in Western Massachusetts. The Department’s signature offering is “The History Institute”. A joint endeavor with the Collaborative for Educational Services in Northampton, Massachusetts, The History Institute is an annual series of workshops organized around a central theme. At each workshop, a faculty member presents on a specific historical topic. Following the lecture, teachers and scholars work together to develop strategies for applying the content to the classroom.

Practicum: Holyoke Tutorial

Offered through the campus's Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latin Studies, this practicum enables current students to work with Elementary and Middle School students in the Holyoke school system in an after-school program. UMass students work with the public school students in language arts and other activities.

Operation Military Kids

The primary component of the 4-H Military Project is Operation Military Kids (OMK) which connects children ages 5-18 with educational, recreational and social activities before, during and after the deployment of a parent. The project provides direct assistance to military children and families and educates the broader community on the effects of deployment on children to ensure that all Massachusetts military youth are safe, healthy, and supported.

4-H Sustainable Communities Project

The 4-H Sustainable Communities Project engages young people in Springfield to provide educational enrichment and promote life skills development. Massachusetts 4-H Science, Engineering, and Technology (SET) Adventures supports after-school at the South End Community Center, the New North Citizens’ Council, and the Dunbar YMCA, and 4-H Educators work closely with the UMass Student Bridges to organize specific themes and hands-on activities. Youth activities focus on topics like polymers, static electricity, chemical reactions, weather, building materials and rocketry.

Engage in STEM

Engage in STEM or E-STEM is an afterschool mentoring program that pairs college students majoring in STEM subjects with middle and high school students engaged in independent research projects. The Massachusetts Academy of Sciences runs E-STEM and provides the recruitment and training of the college mentors, provides transportation to the target schools and pairs mentors with their mentees.

Science Education Online

The School of Education, in collaboration with the College of Natural Sciences, offers an on-line graduate degree program in science education for elementary and middle school teachers. Courses are designed to prepare elementary and middle school science teachers in science content and pedagogy. The program, originally funded by a $1.2 million National Science Foundation grant, has been approved by the Massachusetts Department of Education for Professional Licensure in five areas.

Energy Thinking - Energy Action: Teaching about climate change and renewable energy

Education faculty are partnered with science educators from Hitchcock Center for the Environment, elementary and middle-school teachers, and 700 students at three schools of the Springfield Urban Schools Consortium to foster a perspective essential to sustainable living: that human needs & achievements are both supported & limited by the natural world. The project introduces students to basic ecological principles & systems thinking, helping them achieve an understanding of the natural world’s processes and the ability to think in terms of patterns, relationships and contexts.

Girl Scout Exploration Day

Girl Scout Day brings 25 to 35 middle school students to campus to meet UMass Engineering undergraduates, participate in hands-on activities, and learn more about engineering. In 2013, for example, Girl Scouts will learn about renewable energy and engineering by designing, building, redesigning, and testing solar cars. The overall objectives of Girl Scouts Day are: to broaden young girls' views about engineering; to show engineering is fun; to introduce role models pursuing careers in engineering; and to introduce engineering as a potential career.

Career Day for Women in Engineering and Computing

Career Day for Women in Engineering and Computing brings together over 400 high school young women, teachers, and counselors with College of Engineering industry collaborators, faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students.

Engineering Students Reaching Out (ESRO)

Engineering Students Reaching Out (ESRO) brings 25 to 35 middle school students to campus to meet UMass Engineering undergraduates, participate in hands-on activities, and learn more about engineering.

Holyoke School Food Plate Waste Project

This data-gathering program on the Holyoke Public Schools’ food service programs will evaluate the nutritional and flavor profiles of school food when it is served and also examine what foods are consumed versus thrown away. A report will be authored by Holyoke Food and Fitness and shared with the Holyoke Public Schools (HPS), so HPS will have metrics and anecdotal feedback from students on what food is eaten, versus served and thrown away. Areas of improvement will be identified, and this research can be used to achieve a healthful, high participation school nutrition program in HPS.

Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program

EFNEP is a federally funded nutrition education program for low income families and youth that has been in existence for almost 50 years. Nutrition education is delivered by paraprofessionals (supervised by professionals) in low income communities in all states and territories. In Massachusetts, we currently have offices in Springfield, Worcester, Lawrence, Brockton, and Fall River.


Eureka! is a month-long summer day camp, in partnership with Girls, Inc. of Holyoke, to encourage 8th grade girls to pursue post-secondary education and career paths in mathematical, scientific and technical fields. Eureka! is particularly notable because girls join the program for 5 years, from 8th through 12th grade. This program is committed to finding a solution to the leak in the leakage in the STEM pipeline.

STEM Education Institute Tuesday Seminars

STEM Ed seminars are held at 4PM on the first and third Tuesdays of each month during the academic year in Hasbrouck 138. Everyone is welcome; no reservations are needed, and there is no charge. Parking is available in the Campus Center Garage. Topics relate to science, math, technology, and engineering education. Some address K12 issues, and others higher ed.

Community-based Assessment of Needs for Vietnamese Americans in Springfield

This project aims to identify the needs of minority language children who speak Vietnamese as a home language. We ask (1) What are the first and second language skills of Vietnamese American children living in Springfield? What are their language needs? (2) What school and community programs target Vietnamese American youth? How effective are these programs in promoting language development? Methods include parent surveys, child language screenings, and secondary analysis of state and local education data.

Flirting with Danger Film Screenings and Discussions

Community, high school, and college screenings and discussions of, "Flirting with Danger: Power and Choice in Heterosexual Relationships," were presented. The film explores consent and coercion in sexual and romantic relationships and is based on research by Lynn Phillips. It was shown locally at Amherst High School, Amherst College, Amherst Cinema, UMass Amherst Residence Life, UMass Amherst general screening (as part of the Coalition to End Rape Culture's Week of Action Against Rape), and will be shown at Greenfield Community College, too.

Falmouth Academy Science Fair

Falmouth Academy is a private school located in Falmouth, MA, which hosts an annual science fair which all enrolled middle school and high school students are required to participate in. Scientists from the local community are recruited to serve as judges for this event, including those from UMass Amherst.

Teck John Baker Youth Leaders Service to Science Evaluation

The Teck John Baker Youth Leaders (TJBYL) program was started in 2009 in order to confront the contributing factors and thereby reduce youth substance abuse and its consequences for the students of the Northwest Arctic Borough School District in Alaska. Using the foundation of Comprehensive Health Education Foundation’s Natural Helper curriculum, the TJBYL program has been adapted to conform to the Alaska Native/Inupiaq culture. Participants in the program are nominated by peers, being identified as those that other youth seek out for support or leadership.

Engaging Massachusetts Middle and High School Students in Engineering and Computer Science: After School

College of Engineering undergraduates worked with middle school students at the Holyoke Boys and Girls Club and the North Side Community Center in Springfield in an after-school program where they created “e-textiles,” interactive wearable crafts that teach engineering design and programming. The Diversity Programs office received a grant from Google to support this project through its RISE - Roots in Science & Engineering program.

OWL (Online Web-based Learning) Chemistry

100,000 students annually at over 100 universities use Chemistry's Online Web-based Learning (OWL) modules. OWL is an electronic learning environment, providing both automatically-graded study questions and interactive modules. OWL was selected as one of 100 Innovations from Academic Research to Real-World Application by the Association of University Technology Managers.

Chemistry Olympiad

The Chemistry Department at UMass Amherst hosts the annual Chemistry Olympiad for High School students. The U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad is a multi-tiered competition that bring together the nation’s most talented high school students to test their knowledge and skills in chemistry.

Chemistry Demo Show

Each Spring, the Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering host a fun-filled evening of a public educational spectacle of chemistry demonstrations. Geared toward K-12 students and their parents, the Chemistry Demo Show contains exciting explosions, colorful chemistry, and even a little magic!