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Watson College News

36 Years of MarineQuest History Showcased at NC “Bridging the Gap” Conference

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Sue Kezios, director of UNCW Youth Programs, was a presenter at the 5th annual North Carolina “Bridging the Gap” conference, held at the McKimmon Conference and Training Center in Raleigh Oct. 25-26. The presentation, titled “UNCW MarineQuest – What We’ve Learned from 36 Years of STEM Outreach Programming,” included highlights of UNCW student, faculty and staff support of the program and ways it has enriched the curriculum and served thousands of student participants.

“Bridging the Gap” is an annual conference designed to strengthen K-16 education throughout North Carolina. It brings together educators, business leaders, government officials and others who play a role in STEM education to share ideas and resources. The event is organized by the North Carolina Association for Biomedical Research.

Additional presentations by faculty and program coordinators at the Watson College of Education were:

Coding in the Elementary Classroom

Chris Gordon, with Alisa Wickliff and Premkumar Pugalenthi of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, shared four activities to introduce programming basics to upper-elementary students in a format that is fun, cost-effective and accessible. Gordon is interim director for UNCW’s Center for Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (CESTEM).

The team of Gordon, Wickliff and Pugalenthi also presented on ways to extend student science learning through personal research projects and participation in regional, state and national science and engineering competitions.

Celebrating the Full Spectrum of STEM Learners

Dennis Kubasko, Sue Kezios and Amy Moody presented a STEM program they developed for learners on the autism spectrum. The program includes robotics, engineering, geology, chemistry and other sensory-related STEM experiences. The program, designed using a universal design for learning (UDL) framework, was first introduced at the North Carolina Science Festival in April 2016. Kubasko is an associate professor of science education at the Watson College and a board member of the North Carolina Science Leadership Association. Moody is director of WCE’s Center for Assistive Technology and a recognized autism specialist.

Kubasko, along with Pat Shane and Alisa Wickliff of the North Carolina Science Leadership Association, also presented on NCSLA’s leadership development program and work with businesses and government agencies to strengthen STEM education in North Carolina.

Creating a Mentoring Pipeline into STEM, Health and Teacher Education

Angelia Reid-Griffin shared her work developing a formalized mentoring system to provide support for middle-grades students, increase their involvement with STEM activities, and increase students’ career choices in the fields of STEM, health and education. Reid-Griffin is an associate professor and program coordinator of UNCW’s Junior Seahawk Academy.

Engaging Elementary Students in Fairy Tale Engineering

Kathy Ibbotson shared ways Engineering Expectations, the youth engineering outreach program at UNCW, has successfully used familiar stories to introduce engineering challenges and engage young students in the engineering design process. Ibbotson is K-12 engineering program coordinator for UNCW’s Youth Programs.

The North Carolina Association for Biomedical research organizes the Bridging the Gap conference.

For more information visit bridgingthegapnc.com.