High School Students, Teachers Headed to UMass Amherst to Gain Hands-On Experience in Science

AMHERST, Mass. - More than 850 high school students and 50 teachers from 22 schools throughout Massachusetts will visit the University of Massachusetts campus this week to learn about science and engineering during the University''s ninth annual "Science and Engineering Days" event, scheduled for Oct. 24-26. Reporters and media representatives are welcome to attend.

The program is a collaboration between the University''s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, the College of Food and Natural Resources, and the College of Engineering. It is aimed at showing high school students and their teachers the scope of scientific research conducted at the University, and how that research affects people''s everyday lives. The students will attend lectures and demonstrations on a variety of topics. The demonstrations will be followed by laboratory tours, many of which will offer students a chance at conducting hands-on experiments.

Talks and demonstrations include:

* "Underwater Exploration of the Connecticut River," 10:15 a.m. on Oct. 25 and 26, Campus Center room 101;

* "Endangered Species and Biodiversity: a Global Conservation Challenge," 10:15 a.m. Oct. 26, Campus Center room 162-175.

* "Hubble Space Telescope Peers Toward the Big Bang," 10:15 a.m. on Oct. 25, in Campus Center room 163.

* "Food Poisoning: Why are we hearing more about it?" 11 a.m. on Oct. 26, Campus Center room 162-175.

Other demonstrations and discussions will be offered on topics including the science of birdsongs, 21st-century Internet trends, and the effects of coffee and chocolate on tropical forest conservation. Laboratory tours are held at noon each day, and include presentations on topics such as lasers, glassblowing, plastics, robotics, transportation engineering, climate research, wildlife tracking, and nanotechnology.

For more information, call Mary Musgrave, associate dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, at 413/577-4712, musgrave@nsm.umass.edu. Further information is available at http://www.nsm.umass.edu/NSM_Web_Pages/scievents.htm.