The nonprofit National Math + Science Initiative’s College Readiness Programaims to increase the number of students taking and earning qualifying scores on math, science, and English AP tests. Besides intensive teacher training and mentoring, the initiative offers Saturday study sessions for students. It alsoprovides resources to both teachers and students, such as test-prep books, calculators, and mock tests. Training events include 14 months’ of special access to hundreds of lessons and resources that teachers can use all year, across math, science, and English disciplines. Teachers can preview what the open resources and lessons have to offer by downloading freeteacher lessons for use in their math, science, or English classroom. The program also pays a portion of students’ cost to take the AP tests and awards teachers $100 for each passing score, plus a $1,000 bonus if a certain percentage of students in specific classes score 3 or higher. Each student who scores at that level is also awarded $100. In addition to earning college credit, students may qualify for advanced placement in college courses if they take AP classes. The program is focused in parts of the country where science and engineering industries drive the economy.
In smaller rural schools, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education can face troublesome barriers. In our K–12 district of 730 students, we have many of the common obstacles, including limited funds, no extra faculty, and an already overloaded class schedule. These three join arms to block us from using any of the really cool programs we’d like to. Other institutions sing praises of cutting-edge programs and share their successes. Meanwhile, rural schools are trying to figure out how to educate equally deserving kids in STEM.
Google’s Kick Start challenge offers coders around the world the chance to develop and hone their programing skills through online-hosted competition rounds. The three-hour rounds feature a variety of algorithmic challenges, all developed by Google engineers so that students get a sense of the technical skills needed for a career at Google.
CovEducation, an online platform created by students from Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, pairs college undergraduate and postgraduate student mentors with K–12 students affected by school closures during the novel coronavirus pandemic.