Oct. 17, 2018
NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) announces its lineup of activities for educators and students of all ages as the campus participates in the Commonwealth’s inaugural STEM Week, Oct. 22-26. STEM Week at MCLA will include a General Dynamics Engineering Expo, a Regional Science Resource Center Open House, a lecture on the science of learning, opportunities to engage with MCLA’s avatar-based education simulator, as well as a hands-on experience with the engineering design process.

STEM Week was created by the Baker-Polito Administration to boost students’ interest and raise awareness of STEM education so that educators at all grade levels may participate by planning STEM-based lessons, events and activities throughout the week. Students from pre-kindergarten through high school and postsecondary institutions are encouraged to take part in hands-on learning that aligns topics across STEM subjects and connects to other curricula.

Monday, Oct. 22

STEM Week at MCLA will kick off on Monday, Oct. 22, with “Powerful Teaching: Unleash the Science of Learning with Pooja Agarwal, Ph.D.” This lecture, to be held at 3:30 p.m. in MCLA’s Feigenbaum Center for Science and Innovation (CSI) in room 121, is free and open to the public.

Agarwal, an expert in the field of cognitive science, has conducted rigorous research on learning in K-12 public schools for more than 15 years. She is the founder of, a hub of resources and strategies for teachers based on the science of learning. A former K-12 teacher, she is an assistant professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.

Tuesday, Oct. 23

On Tuesday, Oct. 23, from 9 to 10 a.m., MCLA will hold a Mursion Lab Open House in Murdock Hall, room 321. A project of Mursion, a startup company based in San Francisco, Calif., TLE TeachLiVE™ is a mixed-reality classroom that allows MCLA’s education students to develop their pedagogical practice in an avatar-based education simulator.

Mursion Lab Coordinator Barbara Kotelnicki will showcase the technology and give visitors a chance to explore it themselves. Educators who wish to set up a specific time or group should email Shannon Zayac, STEM Program Manager, at

Also on Oct. 23, MCLA will hold a Regional Science Resource Center Open House in its CSI Atrium from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The Regional Science Resource Center at MCLA houses a number of scientific teaching tools that are available to educators free of charge. During this open house, these tools and resources will be on display to give educators a chance to see what the center has to offer, network with one another, and discuss the best way to use these tools in their classrooms.

Wednesday, Oct. 24

On Wednesday, Oct. 24, the General Dynamics Engineering Expo will take place in the CSI Atrium from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Then, General Dynamics will host an onsite engineering expo to explore different forms of engineering, allowing students to travel through interactive stations, completing fun activities and learning about engineering along the way. Students will receive a “future engineer” certificate upon completion. This event is open to children of all school ages. To register in advance, visit

Thursday, Oct. 25

On Thursday, Oct. 25, MCLA will present “Who Said it had to be a Go Cart?: Going Places with  FabMaker Studio,” in CSI room 124 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. During this event, Paul A. Reynolds, award-winning author and co-founder of FableVision, as well as the Reynolds Center for Teaching, Learning and Creativity in Boston, will share how his own journey has been fueled by creativity.

Along with sharing anecdotes and original media, he will share the book “Going Places,” illustrated by his twin brother, Peter H. Reynolds. The story helps celebrate the most critical 21st century skills: communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity.

Following Reynolds’ talk, students will join Andrea Calvin ’04, vice president of the Reynolds Center, for hands-on experience with FabMaker Studio. During this workshop, students will put the “Going Places” message in action and create their own unique vehicle and use the engineering design process to develop their paper prototype in Fab@School Maker Studio.

Reynolds’ awards include the Oppenheim Platinum Toy Award, Borders Books’ Original Voices 2003 Award, and the Christopher Medal, as well as the American Library Association’s 2005 Carnegie Medal of Excellence, for his book, “The Dot.”

STEM Week is a collaborative effort with the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council, which is working to generate interest from the business community for STEM Week activities around the Commonwealth, and foster partnerships with school districts. The state’s Regional STEM Networks are planning and coordinating activities for STEM Week in conjunction with the STEM Advisory Council. Regional STEM networks connect educators, community leaders, and industry partners in order to foster opportunities for students in STEM fields.

For more information about all the events happening for STEM Week in the Berkshires visit

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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