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Dr. Maria Santisteban Aids Science Learning in Public Schools (2016)

Dr. Maria Santisteban and Moore County teachersDr. Maria Santisteban (holding bottle) and Moore County school teachers enjoy a light moment

For the past two years, professors at UNC Pembroke have enriched the science curriculum for Moore County schools.  Dr. Maria Santisteban is one of a handful of UNCP professors involved in the Math Science Partnership that brings Moore County teachers to campus for two weeks in the summer. On campus, 55 teachers from elementary and middle schools (17 of Moore County’s 23 public schools) rotate through hands-on activities in the life sciences, earth sciences, and physical sciences.

Dr. Maria Santisteban demonstrates photosynthesis exerciseDr. Santisteban demonstrates a photosynthesis exercise

Dr. Santisteban shares her expertise in the life sciences, and she develops instructional materials and kits that enable teachers to develop lesson plans and student activities. Preparation of materials demands a big investment of her time. Dr. Bill Brandon and Prof. Sailaja Vallabha (Chemistry and Physics Department) handle the physical sciences, and Drs. Martin Farley and Daren Nelson (Geology and Geography Department) handle the earth sciences.  Dr. Santisteban and other faculty members disseminate more information during the academic year by visiting partner schools and by participating in seven workshops held at the Community Learning Center in Carthage. As Director of the UNCP COMPASS Scholarship Program, Dr. Santisteban provides a host of out-of-classroom STEM experiences for COMPASS scholars.

Dr. Martin FarleyDr. Martin Farley provides instruction in the earth sciences

The Math Science Partnership is the result of a three-year grant “More Alignment of Science Standards (MASS),” which is designed to bolster teachers’ knowledge of content and to improve student success in the classroom.  The UNCP campus was a natural choice for the partnership, given its strong science programs and its existing ties to Moore County Schools. 

Top two photographs are courtesy of Mildred T. Bankhead-Smith Ed.D. Bottom photograph is courtesy of Maria Santisteban. 

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