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UMass Lowell this Week: Contests Showcase Entrepreneurship, Climate Science

Experts: Sri Lanka Terrorist Attacks, Moulton’s Presidential Run, Lessons from the Mueller Report

University Crossing
University Crossing will be the site for the 2019 DifferenceMaker $50K Idea Challenge finals, during which student teams will pitch their ideas for new products and services.


Contact: Nancy Cicco: 978-934-4944, or Christine Gillette: 978-934-2209,

This is a notice of upcoming events, photo opportunities and story ideas at UMass Lowell. For more, visit

Sources of the week 
UMass Lowell faculty experts are available to discuss: 
  • The Sri Lanka terrorist attacks as 24 suspects have been arrested in connection with the Easter Sunday bombings that killed 290 people; 
  • What U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton needs to do to capture the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination; 
  • What the Mueller report’s findings indicate about the strengths and weaknesses of American democracy.
Contact UMass Lowell media relations if you need an expert source on any subject.

Holocaust Survivor to Share Story at Program for the Community

When and where: Tuesday, April 23, 7 p.m., University Crossing, 220 Pawtucket St., Lowell

What: Concentration-camp survivor Rena Finder will share her harrowing story of how she escaped imprisonment in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II with the help of Oskar Schindler. The real-life inspiration for the film “Schindler’s List,” the businessman is credited with saving more than 1,000 people from genocide during the Holocaust. The free event is open to the university community and public. Members of the public who would like more information should contact

Student DifferenceMakers Vie for Seed Money in Contest Finals

When and where: Wednesday, April 24, 5 to 8:30 p.m. University Crossing, 220 Pawtucket St., Lowell

What: Baseball equipment that helps children with disabilities learn the game, a mobile app that provides information on upcoming elections and new technology that aims to prevent identity fraud are just some of the ideas UMass Lowell students will pitch during the final round of the 2019 DifferenceMaker $50K Idea Challenge. The winners, as determined by expert judges, will share in $50,000 in seed money to advance their projects. The finals cap the annual contest, which runs throughout the academic year and is presented through the UMass Lowell DifferenceMaker Program, which teaches students in all majors entrepreneurial skills they can use in business and the community. Past winners have launched products and companies, such as TopaCan LLC of Nashua, N.H., which makes portable devices that turn beverage cans into environmentally friendly receptacles for cigarette butts. The product is sold nationally at thousands of Walmart stores.

Contest Honors Schoolchildren as Climate Change Educators

When and where: Friday, April 26, 3 to 5 p.m. O’Leary Library Learning Commons Mezzanine, South Campus, 61 Wilder St., Lowell

What: Elementary through high-school students from across Massachusetts will be recognized for creating artwork that educates the public about climate change. Through UMass Lowell’s annual Cool Science Contest, the best of the students’ submissions are displayed on and inside Lowell Regional Transit Authority buses, where they raise awareness about climate science with thousands of commuters every day and help faculty researchers measure the efficacy of this approach. The event will showcase the winners’ art in a gallery exhibit and on an LRTA bus. The contest’s top winner, from Winthrop, will be recognized with the David Lustick Award, named in memory of the former UMass Lowell professor and Nashua, N.H., resident who was a nationally recognized champion of environmental education. Other winners hail from Boston, Brighton, Brookline, Lakeville, Lowell, Nahant, Rehoboth, Rochester, Roslindale and Tyngsborough.

Youth Wind Ensembles to Perform Free Concert for Public

When and where: Friday, May 3, 7:30 p.m. Durgin Hall, South Campus, 35 Wilder St., Lowell

What: Musicians in middle and high school from the Merrimack Valley, central Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire will present a free concert for the public as part of the New England Youth Wind Ensembles Program at UMass Lowell. The performance caps participants’ semester-long study of challenging wind band literature. Students return to their own school music programs with new techniques, developed skills and a more confidence in their playing. The ensembles are directed by Debra-Nicole Huber, associate director of university bands and director of instrumental music outreach and UMass Lowell graduate. Free parking is available in the Wilder Lot nearby the venue. Members of the public who would like more information may contact