MAST Institute

The Mathematics and Science Teaching (MAST) Institute, established in 1987, provides leadership and coordination for projects and programs to improve mathematics and science education, within the University, the state, and nationally.

The MAST Institute is situated in the College of Natural and Health (NHS), and collaborates with faculty from NHS's School of Biological Sciences, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Department of Physics and Astronomy, School of Mathematical Sciences, and the Science Education Program. Faculty from the collaborating academic programs and the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences participate in Institute projects, working in partnership with K-12 educators, faculty from other higher education institutions, government agencies, and business/community representatives.

MAST Institute Affiliated Faculty

Nearly fifty UNC faculty members in the College of Natural and Health Sciences and the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences have been involved in MAST-related projects over the past twenty years. 

Growth of the Institute

Since its inception in 1987, the MAST Institute has grown by obtaining several million dollars from external funding for research, and through the pre-service and in-service training of teachers of mathematics and science of grades K-16 throughout Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region. The Institute has coordinated joint efforts among the departments of the University, other Colorado Institutes of Higher Education, and numerous school districts within state and region.

MAST Institute Goals

  • To promote science and mathematics for all
  • To enhance today's teachers
  • To facilitate faculty development
  • To support collaborative partnerships
  • To support research and development
  • To prepare tomorrow's teachers


News Highlights

2016 Summer Support Initiative (SSI)

Dr. Julie Sexton and Molly Jameson received a $6,000 award to fund their project entitled "The Role of Mathematics in Undergraduate Geoscience Programs"

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Dr. Julie Sexton

Dr. Sexton has received the 2016 Journal of Geoscience Education Outstanding Reviewer Award. This Award celebrates outstanding peer-review contributions by reviewers of the Journal of Geoscience Education. She will be recognized at the National Association of Geoscience Teachers luncheon at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in September and in the November 2016 issue of the Journal of Geoscience Education. The award includes a plaque and a $100. 


Assessment Mini-Grant

Dr. Lacy Cleveland received a $1500 award for her project entitled "Developing and Validating a Survey to Uncover Students' and Faculty's Perceptions of Flipped Learning.”  Dr. Nissa Yestness will assist Dr. Cleveland on this project.

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Dr. Julie Sexton

Dr. Sexton has been invited to give the opening presentation at a technical research session at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in September. Her talk, titled "Mixed Methods Study to Investigate Sexist Experiences Encountered by Undergraduate Geoscience Students," will kick off the session titled "Methodological Decision Making in Geoscience Education Research."



Diversity Workshop

Workshop Title: Building Diversity Awareness to Promote Student Success – A Workshop for Science Faculty
Date: Monday, October 3, 2016, 4-6pm
Location: 3265 Ross Hall.  
Dinner will be provided by the Dept. of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. Please RSVP to by September 28, 2016.
Workshop Facilitators: Julie Sexton, MAST Institute, and Cindy Shellito, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences
Description: We cordially invite faculty in UNC science programs to a participate in a workshop focused on broadening participation and diversity of students majoring in science at UNC. In this two-hour session, you will consider the factors that support diversity in the sciences. You will examine institutional data regarding the current climate for diversity in science programs and learn about research showing how the social climate faculty create can support or weaken efforts to increase diversity among our students. Finally, you will develop a personal plan of action for small things you might do every day to facilitate an inclusive environment in your program and in your classes. This workshop is sponsored by InTeGrate (an NSF-funded STEP Center grant) and hosted by the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.