MCLA announces Region I Science Fair speakers


NORTH ADAMS, Mass. - Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) has announced that two guest speakers will address students at the annual Massachusetts Region I High School Science and Engineering Fair on Friday, March 12, on the MCLA campus. They include the 2007 Fair winner and a Drury High School graduate who is an applications engineer and lab manager in the semiconductor industry.

The public is invited to attend both talks, which will begin at 3 p.m. in the Amsler Campus Center gym. The public also is invited to view the projects from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., in the Campus Center gym.

This year's keynote speaker will be 1990 Drury High School alumna Jennifer Bailey.

For the past 10 years, Bailey has worked as an applications engineer and lab manager for Sonoscan, a Chicago-based manufacturer of acoustic microscopes. She performs material analyses, supports and trained customers, and manages the Northeast office, which she founded in 2001.

Prior to her position at Sonoscan, Bailey worked as a contract chemist, developing adhesives and primers at 3M; as a knowledge analyst and researcher for chemical and material sourcing at Teltech; and as a gas chromatograph operator performing water and soil sample testing at EnviroTech.

Bailey received her Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry from Carleton College, Northfield, Minn., in 1994. There, she participated in liquid chromatography research and was awarded the 1993 Minnesota Chromatography Forum Undergraduate Research Award. She is a member of the American Chemical Society, Sigma Xi, and the International Microelectronics and Packaging Society (iMAPS).

In addition, Molly Sullivan, the 2007 science fair winner and former Pittsfield High School student will talk about her project, how participating in the Region I Science Fair was a major influence in her life, and what it is like to be in college, according to Monica Joslin, dean of academic affairs at MCLA.  Sullivan is a sophomore at Framingham State College.

"There is a national as well as a regional need to fuel the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) pipeline. Participation in the science fair is one way to engage students in sciences, and an opportunity for students to connect with experts in their field of study and to learn about career opportunities in the STEM fields," Joslin said.

Student participation in the Fair has grown steadily since MCLA first began hosting it in 2005.

According to the event's co-chairs, Lisa Provencher, Berkshire STEM Pipeline coordinator, and Lauren Moffatt, Ph.D., coordinator of the Berkshire Environmental Resource Center, the Fair will provide the top science students from 15 schools the opportunity to explore and share their personal scientific and engineering endeavors with their peers. Nearly 250 students are expected to participate.

More judges than ever before are needed, Joslin said. She estimates that approximately 80 judges will be required.

The Region I Planning Committee invites those who have a degree and/or work experience in behavioral and social science, biochemistry, botany, chemistry, computer science, earth and space science, engineering, environmental science, mathematics, medicine, microbiology, physics, and zoology to serve as a judge for this event.

Overseen by the Berkshire STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Pipeline Network, the Region I Science Fair is organized by a committee of business representatives, teachers and community members who come together out of common interest for the advancement of science. The Fair has been held at MCLA since 2005.

Those interested and willing to judge should contact Sharron Zavattaro at (413) 662-5332 or or Denise Johns at (413) 236-2125 or for further information.  Deadline for response is Friday, March 5.

For more information, go to region1scifair .