Friday, January 13, 2017

For Immediate Release

Join MITS January 25th: Engaging Engineering &
Mathematics to Problem-solve

On January 25th, the Museum Institute for Teaching Science (MITS) Professional Development Seminar Series will begin with a behind-the-scenes look at engineering for oceanic research, followed by an inquiry-based activity that challenges participants to re-think math and measurement. The seminar, held at Clark University in Worcester, will be a full day session divided into two sections: exploration of a STEM content area and a skill-based, hands-on activity. Educators will turn real-life science into exciting hands-on, minds-on, inquiry-based activities that can be utilized in a multitude of informal education and museum settings. While designed for informal education professionals, the seminar series has also been useful to many in-service teachers.

Plunge into engineering for ocean exploration

Paul Fucile introduced Cape Cod Summer Professional Development Institute participants to Alvin.

The morning will be spent with Paul Fucile, Senior Engineer at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), who has over 30 years of experiences developing and deploying submersibles and other underwater instruments for scientists. His research has included telemetry, bio-optical measurements, and autonomous underwater vehicles, to name a few. He is also involved with several robotics youth outreach programs and is a member of the MITS board of directors.

During the seminar, Paul will describe his role as an engineer within WHOI and share stories of collaborative work with scientists to solve instrument design problems. What does it take to make and maintain equipment that pushes the limits of ocean research? Educators will find out from Paul Fucile.

Crunch numbers and compare quantities

photo courtesy of Aaron Osowiecki & Jesse Southwick

The afternoon session will be led by Aaron Osowiecki and Jesse Southwick, physics teachers at Boston Latin School and developers of Energizing Physics. Educators will join them for a creative, hands-on activity proving the importance of standard units. During this session, Aaron and Jesse will discuss the science and engineering practice of mathematics and computational thinking and introduce an adaptable and differentiable activity to use with learners in a variety of programs.

These two educators have been teaching together for 18 years, and after realizing their text-book based lessons were not enthusing students, they jointly created a student-centered introductory physics course focused on real-world applications like energy. Now the Engineering Physics curriculum that they developed is used at Boston Latin School as well as other schools throughout the country. They have been annual presenters at the NSTA National Conference and are past contributors to AAPT conferences, but this is the first time that Jesse and Aaron will be presenters for a MITS seminar.

Details for the Day

MITS Professional Development Seminar Series is held at Clark University’s Higgins University Center in Worcester, MA from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm. Professional Development Points (PDPs) are available for participants. For registration information, visit:


The Museum Institute for Teaching Science specializes in providing hands-on, minds-on, inquiry-based STEM professional development for formal and informal educators.  For more information, visit or call 617-328-1515.