What is The Science Around Us?

The Science Around Us serves students at Coronado Middle School, Cuba Middle School, and Lybrook Middle School. Science activities and curricula modules are designed by the University of New Mexico (UNM) Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) team with the feedback and support of school administration and teachers. Read below to learn more about some of our most exciting Science Around Us activities!

This project was supported by the Office Of The Director, National Institutes of Health of the National Institutes of Health under Award 5R25OD010509-02. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Prevention Research Center

The mission of the (UNM) Prevention Research Center (PRC) is to address the health promotion and disease prevention needs of New Mexican communities through participatory, science-based, health promotion and disease prevention research. We fulfill this mission through collaboration, training, dissemination and evaluation activities.

Cuba High School’s Biology class learn about the Galapagos Island, skull identification, and human ancestors by visiting UNM and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

After learning about evolutionary biology, 23 Cuba High School students from Ms. Olivia Casaus’ biology course visited the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science and the University of New Mexico’s (UNM) Maxwell Anthropology Museum.

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Cuba High School’s Anatomy and Physiology class get a hand’s on experience during a visit to UNM’s Exercise Science program

Ten Cuba High School (CHS) students from Ms. Olivia Casaus’ Anatomy and Physiology class visited the University of New Mexico’s Exercise Science department on April 24. CHS students received a tour from UNM graduate students Roberto Nava and Jeremiah McCormick, both who currently conduct research in the exercise science lab.

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Lybrook Students Visit San Juan College

Lybrook Students Visit San Juan College

Students from the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades at Lybrook School recently went on a field trip to San Juan College in Farmington. Students began their field trip by visiting the college’s planetarium, a building where stars, planets, and constellations (groups of stars that make up an imaginary picture such as the Big Dipper) are projected onto a dome ceiling.

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Cuba High School Biology Classes Visit UNM Biology Lab and Museum

Cuba High School Biology Classes Visit UNM Biology Lab and Museum

Cuba High School biology students learned about DNA on a field trip to the UNM campus this week. With the help of UNM college students and their professor, Irene Salinas, the Cuba students looked at cells under a microscope and extracted DNA from strawberries by using beakers, detergent, and a filter. There are many reasons why scientists extract DNA from cells. 

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NM Museum of Natural History and Science

NM Museum of Natural History and Science

Seventh-grade students from Cuba Middle School visited the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science this month as part of their biological evolution unit in class. Students traveled through time as they went through the museum exhibits. They saw what is now called New Mexico throughout history, including a prehistoric era when it was the home of dinosaurs and an era when it was under a sea

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“Science Girl” Assemblies Get Students Excited About Science

“Science Girl” Assemblies Get Students Excited About Science

“Do you love science?!” a student asked Melissa Ober, also known as ‘Science Girl’, at the end of her assembly performance. “Yes, I love science! How about you?” “Me, too!” the Cuba 6th grade student shouted. In Science Girl’s dramatic theatrical, she conducts various science experiments in attempts to save her laboratory from a competing evil scientist (played by Ober’s younger brother). 

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Cuba Anatomy and Physiology Students Learn about Careers in Health Research and Health Care by Visiting the University of New Mexico

Cuba Anatomy and Physiology Students Learn about Careers in Health Research and Health Care by Visiting the University of New Mexico

Students from Cuba High School’s Anatomy and Physiology elective course visited the University of New Mexico’s campus to learn about careers in health research and health care. The high school students visited the BATCAVE, where they interacted with the same computer-simulation mannequins that medical students train on. The students also toured a research facility where they learned about studies that result in new medicines and treatments for diabetes and other diseases. 

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Third Annual Science Summer Day Camp

Third Annual Science Summer Day Camp

In June, students from Cuba Middle School, Lybrook Middle School, Coronado Middle School, and Lindrith Area Heritage School spent a week of their summer vacation at Science Summer Day Camp. The camp, which was held at Cuba Middle School, was a result of the partnering efforts of dedicated teachers, community members, and the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) team, which is housed at the UNM PRC. SEPA is funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health. SEPA camp was hosted by the Cuba schools and the following teachers: Kate Bagby, Olivia Casaus, and Daniel Delgado of Cuba High School; Joseph Brondo and Daisy Cortez of Cuba Middle School; and Darlene Chiquito of Lybrook Middle School. The camp was facilitated by SEPA team members Kathryn Peters, Ashlee Begaye, Alejandro Ortega, Quirin Martine, and LaShea Harris.

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Cuba High School Biology Class Visits UNM Biology Department

Cuba High School Biology Class Visits UNM Biology Department

April 2016

Twenty students from Ms. Olivia Casaus’ Cuba High School (CHS) biology class visited the University of New Mexico (UNM) campus on April 27. First, the CHS students walked through campus with two UNM students, Morgan and Olivia. Morgan is majoring in both biology and psychology, and Olivia is majoring in international relations and minoring in Spanish. Both students also work part time for UNM’s Office of Admissions, giving informational tours to school groups and families. The CHS students learned about the process of applying to college and college life while seeing the UNM library, student union, duck pond, and classroom buildings.

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Visiting Another Ecosystem

Visiting Another Ecosystem

April 2016

Students in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades at Lybrook School in Lybrook, NM, visited the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park this month to experience firsthand some of the life science they have been learning in the classroom. The Rio Grande Nature Center is located along the Rio Grande in Albuquerque. Ecosystem is the scientific word for a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment. The ecosystem at the state park is riparian, meaning it is situated along the banks of a river. Therefore, the plants and animals in the Rio Grande ecosystem like a wetter habitat than do the plants and animals in many parts of the New Mexico desert.

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Third Annual Science Career Day at Cuba and Lybrook Middle Schools

Third Annual Science Career Day at Cuba and Lybrook Middle Schools

April 2015

It’s never too early to start thinking about what kind of career you want to have! UNM’s Science Around Us project hosted a career day at Cuba Middle School on March 23 and at Lybrook Middle School on April 5. From learning about 3-D printing to making microchips to designing a playground, students were inspired to pursue higher education and tap into their inner creativity. Career professionals who visited the schools included Anthony Murphy, an electrical engineer at Intel; Elroy Keetso, a planner for Laguna Pueblo; Richard Draper, project manager for the Sandoval County Health Collaborative; and Maggie Werner-Washburne, a biology professor at the University of New Mexico (UNM). The professionals all shared their personal journeys to their current careers with the students, and they encouraged the students to find what they love and make it a career.

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