NORTH ADAMS, Mass. – Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) has announced the 13th Annual Massachusetts Region I High School Science and Engineering Fair will take place on Friday, March 10, in the Amsler Campus Center gymnasium, on the MCLA campus.

The public is invited to attend a viewing of this year’s projects, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., and to attend a presentation by the keynote speaker, Elizabeth Bocchino, a systems engineer at General Dynamics, and a member of the Berkshire STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Network Steering Committee.

According to Monica Joslin, dean of academic affairs at MCLA, the Fair presents a wonderful opportunity for high school students to connect with experts in their field of study and to learn about career opportunities in the STEM fields.

About 70 students from schools throughout the region will participate in the Fair. Participating schools include BART, Taconic High School, Pittsfield High School, Westfield High School, Deerfield Academy and Northfield Mt. Hermon.

Bocchino is the supervisor of the Engineering Leadership Program at General Dynamics Mission Systems in Pittsfield. She has been at General Dynamics for five years. Her previous roles at the company include mechanical engineer, fleet support engineer and guidance systems engineer. 

Before coming to the Berkshires, Bocchino attended Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering, with minors in environmental science and energy studies.

Upon her graduation in 2011, she began work at General Dynamics as a member of the Engineering Leadership Program. While in her first three years at General Dynamics, Bocchino completed her master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

She now manages the leadership program for General Dynamics. In her spare time, Bocchino is a member of the Pittsfield Conservation Commission, and supports many STEM initiatives in the Berkshires.

The students’ projects will be judged on several criteria, including scientific approach, innovation and creativity, and presentation. Forty finalists will be selected to advance to the Massachusetts State Science and Engineering Fair, to be held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in May, where they will have an opportunity to advance to the International Science and Engineering Fair.

The top two projects from the Region I Fair will be selected to attend the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Top-scoring projects at the Region I Fair also will be selected for special awards and prizes from government agencies and businesses.

The Region I Science and Engineering Fair is a program of the Berkshire STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Pipeline. The goal of the Pipeline is to build a connection between higher education, local schoolchildren in grades K-12, businesses and non-profit agencies, and to see that all students are educated in STEM fields. The Pipeline also aims to enable youth to pursue post-secondary degrees or careers in these areas, and to raise their awareness of the benefits associated with an increased statewide focus on STEM.

For more information, contact Barbara Kotelnicki, STEM program manager,

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth's public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA graduates are prepared to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens.

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