2015 Mid-Atlantic Regional Learning Assistant Workshop

The STEM Accelerator Program at George Mason University will be hosting the 2015 Mid-Atlantic Regional Learning Assistant Workshop in cooperation with the University of Colorado, Boulder, and the International LA Alliance. The event will be held at Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation on February 21-23, 2015.

To register for the event, go to: https://www.regonline.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1679448

Here is the flyer for the event:

Download (PDF, 131KB)

Tentative schedule

TIMESATURDAY (Feb 21, 2015)


Deli lunch

LA Program Overview
Mary Emenike/Mary Nelson

Essentials of an LA Program
Mary Nelson


Scaling and Sustaining an LA Program / Accelerator program
Padhu Seshaiyer

Ways to Use LAs
Mary Emenike/Mary Ewell

Carolyn Sealfon, Princeton U

Poster Session
LAs from multiple universities

Informal Discussion
LAs and faculty

SUNDAY (Feb 22, 2015)


Content prep
Reid Schwebach/Mary Ewell

  Session 1
New LA programs

Starting an LA program
Mary Nelson

Measuring Student Learning
Reid Schwebach

Session 2
Active LA programs

Recruiting and supporting faculty
Claudette Davis/Kelly Knight

2yr/4yr partnerships
Mary N/NOVA faculty


Oral reviews
Mary Nelson/Claudette Davis/LAs

10:40 – 11:30
Data and Resources
Julia Nord



Oral reviews
Mary Nelson/Claudette Davis/LAs

Data and Resources
Julia Nord

Reid Schwebach/Mary Ewell

LA Pedagogy course
Mary Emenike/Mary Ewell

LA Panel
LAs from 4 universities


Planning next steps
Kelly Knight

MONDAY (Feb 23, 2015)


Travel to GMU/Observations


FOCUS camps wins a grant

The Business Women’s Giving Circle (BWGC) of the Community Foundation of Northern Virginia has just completed its inaugural grant cycle, awarding $40,000 to organizations providing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and Entrepreneurship programs to girls in Northern Virginia. The winning organizations included the STEM Accelerator Program’s  FOCUS (Females of Color Underrepresented in STEM) Camp that will receive $20,000 to run the program in Summer 2015.

See an article about the program in Washington Exec:


STEM Accelerator wins VA Program That Works

The GMU STEM Accelerator Program was selected by the Virginia Mathematics & Science Coalition (VMSC) to receive the 2015 Programs that Work Awardees in recognition of their impact on STEM education in Virginia.

The Programs That Work awards recognize exemplary mathematics, science, and integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs for which there is evidence of a positive impact on student or teacher learning.

The program was recognized at two events in Richmond on Tuesday, January 20, 2015.

The first event was held in conference Room 3 East in the General Assembly Building in Richmond from 3:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. and was an open house for anyone (including delegates and representatives) who came by to meet the teams and learn about their programs. The program was also formally acknowledged later that evening at a reception at the Library of Virginia. The 2015 Programs that Work event is sponsored by Dominion Resources and Dr. William Murray, Director of Corporate Public Policy, who presented the awards.

See an article about the program in Mason News:


STEM Boot Camp: Improving access by engaging incoming STEM majors

The new STEM Boot Camp is a week long institute for students to go through the content of one of the courses (calculus I, intro to physics, general chemistry, cell biology etc.) and also learn about how to do well in college before even they start. The goals of the camp are:

to provide COS freshmen  with an idea of what to expect during their first semester of college;
to bring an awareness of undergraduate research opportunities;
to increase retention of our COS students and;
to increase the likelihood that they will graduate with a STEM degree in four years.

The camp builds on the success of a Bio Boot Camp that was conducted last year. A quick summary of the camp can be seen in this video:


The camp received funding in part from the 4-VA consortium. To register for the camp, please go to:





Second Annual Fairfax County Elementary and Middle School & Engineering Science Fair

After a successful initiation of the 1st Annual Elementary & Middle School Science and Engineering Fair on April 5, 2014, we would like to invite you and your students to join us at the 2nd Annual Elementary & Middle School Science and Engineering Fair. The event will be held at George Mason University on Saturday, May 9, 2015.

Here is the flyer for the event:

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If you interested in serving as a judge for the event, please go to: http://www.fcsefair.com/




AYGS Mason 4-VA Teacher Professional Development

Download (PDF, 2.11MB)

The STEM Accelerator Program in the College of Science has recently received a 4-VA Mason grant to provide professional development to teachers across the 19 VA Academic Year Governor’s Schools in methods and strategies to mentor undergraduate-level STEM-based research to students in these specialized schools, by offering a 5-day credit bearing summer institute at Front Royal. This opportunity would allow for increased student access to STEM-based learning, enhanced student research experiences across VA, and provide a foundation for creating innovative opportunities for mentored undergraduate research experiences at the 4-VA universities.

The proposed institute will consist of four residential days at the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation Center and one day at GMU, Fairfax campus and will be held from June 23, 2014- June 27, 2014. Teachers will have the opportunity to receive graduate credits for the experience. The interdisciplinary themes of the institute for this first time will include biodiversity, conservation biology, mathematical modeling and applications to real-world problems. The participants will also learn about mentoring undergraduate research, and methods for efficiently engaging large numbers of students with community-based (e.g., citizen science) and student-team applications: these research projects will engage multiple students working together to complete the research.

For …


This year we will NOT be running the STEM MANIA camps in the summer!

College of Science Undergraduate Research Colloquium – Students

The College of Science announces a research colloquium specifically for undergraduate research students. Participating students will present a poster at the 2015 Undergraduate Research Colloquium, which is open to the university community. The purpose of this event is to showcase the variety of undergraduate research projects in the College to other students and to faculty in four categories Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Earth Sciences and STEM Learning & Education. If you are a student engaged in undergraduate research at any level in any academic unit within the College of Science you are encouraged to participate.

Important Details:

Location: Center for the Arts

Date: May 1, 2015

Time: 10:00am-1:15pm

The deadline to register to present a poster at the COS Research Colloquium (FREE of Charge) is April 1, 2015View poster details at the bottom of this page.


10:00am-12:00pm: Poster Session (Lobby)

12:00pm-12:45pm: Networking Reception/Lunch (Lobby)

12:45-1:15pm: Awards Ceremony

Register Poster Here

Registration for the College of Science Undergraduate Research Colloquium

Please submit the following information to register to present a poster at the 4th Annual College of Science Undergraduate Research Colloquium on April 1, 2015.
Name (First, Middle, Last): *
Email *
Academic Major *
Education Level *

Mentor *
Mentor Email Address *
Project Categories *
Physical Sciences …

2015 FOCUS STEM Summer Camp

A GMU College of Science Summer Camp for

Download (PDF, 1.31MB)

The STEM News

The STEM Accelerator program runs initiatives at all levels including STEM Mania (summer camp for grades 3-5 students), Regional STEM fair (a K-8 Science and Engineering Fair for elementary and middle school students), FOCUS (Females of Color Underrepresented in STEM summer camp for middle school girls), High School Mentored Research (through partnership with school districts in Northern Virginia), STEM Boot camp (a pre-interventional program for incoming freshmen to get them ready for four-years of college in STEM), Undergraduate Learning Assistants Program (that offers peer-to-peer mentoring opportunities both within the university as well as partnering community colleges), Research Experience for undergraduate and graduate students (through mentorship and experiential learning), Discipline Based Education Research (a platform for sharing best teaching practices between faculty), STEM Teacher Professional Development (PD) Programs (for engaging teachers in effective pedagogical practices through problem solving and lesson study) and many more.

Here is a summary poster of all our activities that was presented at the VA State Assembly on January 20, 2015 when the program received the 2015 Program that works award.

Download (PDF, 1.3MB)

Learn about the STEM Accelerator Program through our 2013 Newsletter.

Download (PDF, 355KB)

Change the World STEM Event

The College of Science and STEM Accelerator Program at George Mason University presented EXTREME SCIENCE STEM booth at the upcoming “Change the World” Science and Engineering Careers Fair (see attached) at Dulles Town Center Mall (Sept 27-28, 2013).

The event is co-sponsored by Congressman Frank Wolf and the National Science Foundation for middle and high school students, teachers and families. “Extreme Science” which is the COS exhibit was showcased in the main hall entrance (lower level), opposite the Cheesecake Factory.

For more details, visit Happenings: Change the World STEM Event

STEM Accelerator Program: Best Places for STEM Graduates

George Mason University’s STEM Accelerator program ranked in the Top Ten Metro Areas for STEM Graduates dedicated to attracting and graduating more STEM majors in addition to helping them find employment in the STEM fields. To read more, go to: http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/nerdscholar/2013/best-places-for


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