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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

  • Prepare tomorrow's teachers
  • Enhance today's teachers
  • Facilitate faculty development
  • Support collaborative partnerships
  • Support research and development
  • Promote science & mathematics for all

News Highlights

Great news for the LPSEF! 

The LPSEF nominated 24 middle school projects for Broadcom MASTERS at the 2018 fair on February 13. Three students completed their Broadcom registration: Kaitlyn Walsh of Eaton MS in Eaton, Ashtyn DeNovellis of Frontier Academy in Greeley, and Kelly Clingan of Walt Clark MS in Loveland. One was chosen as a Top 300 MASTER!

Kelly Clingan (8th Grade) from Walt Clark Middle School, Loveland, Colorado
Can We Prevent Concussions in Youth Sports and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopthy (CTE) in Later Life? An Evidence Based Analysis of Collision Impulse Reduction and Protective Headgear Effectiveness.

The Top 300 MASTERS are honored for their work with a prize package that includes an award ribbon, semifinalist certificate of accomplishment, Broadcom MASTERS backpack, a Broadcom MASTERS decal, a one-year family digital subscription to Science News magazine, an Inventor's Notebook courtesy of The Lemelson Foundation, a one-year subscription to Wolfram Mathematica software courtesy of Wolfram Research, and a special prize from Jeff Glassman, CEO of Covington Capital Management. In recognition of the role that teachers play in the success of their students, each Top 300 MASTERS designated teacher also will receive a Broadcom MASTERS tote bag, a one-year digital subscription to Science News magazine, and a special edition booklet of Invention and Innovation articles courtesy of The Lemelson Foundation. From the Top 300 MASTERS group, 30 finalists are selected on September 18. They will present their research projects and compete in hands-on team STEM challenges to demonstrate their 21st Century skills in critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity at the Broadcom MASTERS finals. Top awards include a grand prize of $25,000, trips to STEM summer camps and more.

Some facts about the 2018 Top 300 MASTERS:

  • The Top 300 MASTERS hail from 224 middle schools in 35 states and represent 120 regional and state science fairs across the U.S.
  • 78 are from California, followed by Florida with 33, Texas with 21, Pennsylvania with 18, Oregon with 12, and Colorado with 8.
  • The Top 300 MASTERS were selected from more than 5,000 nominees and 2,537 applicants. Each application received three independent readings and evaluations by distinguished scientists, engineers and educators. Nominees qualified to enter the Broadcom MASTERS by being among the top 10 percent of the participants at their Society-affiliated science fairs.  

Frontiers of Science Institute participant interviewed by The Pueblo Chieftain

Jon Pompia of The Pueblo Chieftain interviewed Maya Maes-Johnson, a junior at Centennial High School about her FSI experience.  Maya was one of 29 high school participants in the six-week FSI summer program held here at the University of Northern Colorado.  Maya goes into detail with Mr. Pompia about her project, research and presentation she completed for FSI.  She also explains how the field trips, activities and meeting other high school students with the same mindset has had an impact on her life.  The article "Local student attends science institute" found at the Pueblo Chieftain website.

Thank you Lori K. Ball, director of the Frontiers of Science Institute for helping to make a difference in the lives of many students who participate in the summer program.

 Maya Maes-Johnson    Maya presenting her research 

 Congratulations to Julie Sexton for being awarded three grants

  • Collaborative Research: How Science Fieldwork Experiences Impact Undergraduate Students' STEM Academic and Career Decisions
  • Developing the Environmental Literacy Concept Inventory
  • Math Skills and Affective Domain Interventions to Improve Success for Female Students in Geoscience Classes