FONTANA, CA – Southridge Tech Middle School science teacher Pamela Matea has earned recognition as a UC Davis C-STEM Teacher of the Year for smoothly integrating computer coding into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (C-STEM) subjects.
Matea received the honor at the ninth annual Conference on Integrated Computing and STEM Education, held in November at UC Davis.
“This is such an honor, I am extremely humbled,” Matea said. “I love science, and I love being able to help students find joy in science, especially when they make the connections and find the patterns in coding. That’s when they get it, and that is a rewarding experience. It’s the best job ever.”
Matea is in her second year at Southridge Tech, teaching seventh- and eighth-grade science and acting as the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) coordinator and activities director. She is a leading proponent of using robotics and computer coding as remediation subjects, guiding students who are not meeting or exceeding state standards in math and science into a world of trial and error that revitalizes their passion for learning.
“Science is about ‘let’s try it,’” Matea said. “The idea is to encourage students to use their imagination, and if their coding fails, which it will, to stay with it until they find success. This has really resonated with Southridge Tech students.”
In addition to winning C-STEM Teacher of the Year at the conference, Matea was asked to help present a breakout session on using C-STEM curriculum to support struggling students.
Among the innovations Matea has helped bring to Southridge Tech is Robotics Friday, where a week of student coding concludes with a campus robotics competition.
“Pamela is so deserving of this honor. Her enthusiasm and passion for teaching aligns perfectly with the Southridge Tech mission,” Southridge Tech Principal Dr. Roy Rogers said. “Pamela is an inspiration to teachers and students alike. Thank you to UC Davis for recognizing her contributions to education.”
FUSD_CSTEM: Southridge Tech Middle School teacher Pamela Matea, who has inspired a love of coding and robotics on campus, was honored as a UC Davis C-STEM Teacher of the Year in November.