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Symposium on international science education is June 9-12 at Cornell

A symposium to help science educators find ways of building programs that will encourage science students to consider international experiences as fundamental to their education will be held at Cornell University June 9- 12.

The "Symposium on International Science and Engineering Education" will give educators and others the tools to generate international interest among U.S. science students, who often lack knowledge and understanding of how science is done in other cultures.

"Science today is an increasingly international activity," said Yervant Terzian, chairman of Cornell's astronomy department, director of the Pew Science Program and a symposium organizer. "Yet undergraduate science students are some of the least likely to travel overseas, to take advantage of 'study abroad' programs. They often perceive the time away from their schools as lost time. They fear they will be out of step with their peers, falling behind in the competitive research world."

The syposium talks, in Room G10, Biotechnology Building, are free and open to the public. However, registration for the three-day symposium, including all meals, is $100. To obtain registration materials or for more information, contact Sue Chamberlain, Pew Science Program, Cornell University, telephone (607) 255-2710, e-mail chamberl@astrosun.tn.cornell.edu or fax (607) 255-1767.

"Scientists, not just world leaders, must understand other cultures if they wish to share ideas and values, transfer technology, establish personal relationships and help tomorrow's leaders in the quest for a peaceful and equitable global existence," Terzian said.

Sponsored by the New York State Pew Program in Undergraduate Science Education (a consortium of seven universities and colleges), the symposium features speakers from the United States, China, Japan, France, Latin America, Egypt, Kenya, The Netherlands, Greece and Great Britain.

The keynote address will be given by Frank H.T. Rhodes, Cornell president emeritus, at 9:15 a.m. on Monday, June 10, in Room G10 of the Biotechnology Building. His talk will be on "Unity and Diversity" in science education in different cultures.

Speakers in the first part of the symposium will examine the goals of science education in their cultures, as well as how science students are recruited. The second part of the symposium will address questions of science and technology on a global level, while the third section will explore, by discipline, the needs, values and problems of science students participating in programs abroad. The conference will conclude with future directions in international science education programs.

The Pew Program sponsors development of introductory undergraduate courses covering the entire range of scientific disciplines. It provides students with state-of-the-art research equipment, promotes collaborative research, faculty development and teacher training. New York members are: Cornell, Barnard College, Colgate University, Hamilton College, Manhattan College, Saint Lawrence University and Union College.