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Argonne to host joint meeting on transforming science, engineering education


Argonne National Laboratory will be abuzz November 2 and 3 with 500 to 600 university students and faculty members, and computer information sciences professionals engaged in science and technology education during a joint meeting of the 18th Annual Argonne Symposium for Undergraduates in Science, Engineering and Mathematics; The Central States Universities, Inc., Research Conference; and the Computer Information Sciences and Engineering (CISE) Stakeholders Summit.

“A major objective of the summit is to build a stakeholders network that can catapult changes in how we teach science, technology and engineering in the Midwest,” said Linda Phaire-Washington, senior program leader in the Division of Educational Programs at Argonne and co-chair of the symposium. “And the goal of the joint meeting is to provide budding undergraduate scientists with the opportunity to present their research findings at a prominent research organization before working scientists and other students.”

“Science, technology and engineering education are critical to uphold U.S. innovation and economic competitiveness,” said Harold Myron, director of Argonne’s Division of Educational Programs. However, Phaire-Washington points out “science, technology and engineering education today may not necessarily be relevant to the workplace.”

Argonne Director Robert Rosner will open the joint meeting. Charles Catlett, chief information officer and director of the Computing and Information Systems Division at Argonne, will give the Friday morning keynote address on “ Argonne’s Digital Laboratory Initiative,” which is aimed at enabling science through the aggressive and strategic use of information technology resources. James West, a research professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and co-inventor of the electret microphone, will give the afternoon keynote address entitled, “Where Credit is Due; The Black Heritage in Technology.”

Other highlights at the joint meeting will include:

* A talk by William Valdez, Director of the the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists, on DOE programs for workforce development. DOE is the largest sponsor of physical sciences research in the United States.
* A panel discussion on “Trends in Technology and Staffing: A View from the Top.”
* Breakout sessions on education, emerging technology trends, information security and Chicago metropolitan industry trends.
* More than 200 student presentations spanning multiple scientific disciplines including biochemistry, molecular biology, material sciences, and physics.
* Tours of the Advanced Photon Source, the Argonne Tandem Linear Accelerator System and the Engineering Research Exhibit.

Argonne runs several programs that provide a wide range of educational opportunities for faculty and students from leading national universities to local junior high schools, Myron said. “Interestingly, more people attend educational programs at Argonne than any other Department of Energy national laboratory.”

Reporters interested in attending Friday’s activities should contact Angela Hardin at (630) 252-5501 by Thursday afternoon to arrange for a gate pass to gain entry into the laboratory campus. A demonstration of superconductivity between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. will provide an opportunity for photographers and cameramen to capture interesting images. Lunch will be provided.


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