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Sylvia Zaich
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Student Test Scores Improve Two Years Running, Study Proves
We Teach Science Foundation Expands to Berryessa School District

BURLINGAME, Calif. – November 2, 2011 – For the second year in a row, study results prove the effectiveness of Bay Area-based We Teach Science Foundation’s Remote Tutoring and Mentoring Program (RTM). Results released today showed that RTM participants’ test scores increased 22 percent more than their peers  from 7th to 8th grade as measured by the California Algebra I STAR Test. This improved performance is consistent with the previous year’s program participants.

“We are extremely proud of the participating Pacifica students and their resulting STAR test scores,” said We Teach Science Founder Aragon Burlingham. “As we embark upon our third academic year, the program continues to prove the direct impact that long-term mentorship has on students’ achievement in math and science.”

The Foundation is well on its way to achieving its mission: to inspire middle school students to excel in math and science and encourage them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) – the second fastest growing occupation group in the United States according to a recent report in the New York Times. This year, the Foundation is expanding the Remote Tutoring & Mentoring Program, launching in the Berryessa School District for the first time. Starting in a second school district will triple the size of the 2010-2011 program.

Participating students work once a week during school with specially-matched mentors on homework assignments, applying math to the real-world, and areas where they need additional instruction. The expansion of the program to in-school versus its previous after-school structure increases accessibility.

“As part of We Teach Science, I get the opportunity to show young students how STEM impacts their lives,” said We Teach Science mentor from NVDIA Gerald Luiz. “I can show them alternatives to learning from textbooks such as sports, movies and life to gain understanding.  It’s not about being 100 percent right but a desire to continue to learn.”

More than 100 mentors from companies such as NVIDIA, Cisco, Microsoft, Google, SAP, Qualcomm, and Symantec are matched one-on-one with participating students. Through a partnership with iMentor, We Teach Science is able to screen mentors, match pairs, and facilitate email communication between mentors and students using a controlled web-based platform called iMentor Interactive. The iMentor Interactive platform creates individualized “best-match” algorithms for each student based upon the mentor and student applications while We Teach Science maintains the ability to further refine match searches based on interviews.  Mentor-student matches are same gender, and based on a combination of personal, academic and career interests.

*The analysis of Pilot 2.0 program results mirrors the analytic process that CREDO developed for We Teach Science last year. To isolate the effect of the RTM program, CREDO generated a growth score based on the STAR test results after converting the scaled scores to a standardized score. Growth was calculated by subtracting the 7th grade score from the 8th grade algebra score. RTM students’ growth in math scores were also compared to those of non-participants.

To learn more about the We Teach Science Foundation, please visit, http://www.weteachscience.org/.

About the We Teach Science Foundation
We Teach Science Foundation was formed in 2008 with the mission “to motivate, inspire and mentor American public school students to achieve excellence in the disciplines of math and science.” We believe students’ interest and corresponding academic achievement in math and science can be dramatically improved when they work long-term with a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) focused mentor who has a love for the subject. We recruit, train and place engineers and scientists from the private sector as mentors for eighth grade students at local public schools. WTSF volunteer mentors come from a range of science/technology-focused industries that utilize math and science disciplines as part of their daily work.

Our core program, Algebra Remote Tutoring and Mentoring (RTM) connects Pacifica and Berryessa 8th grade algebra students with local scientists and engineers for mentoring. Using a web-based, interactive whiteboard and audio connection, the RTM program (a year-long extended learning program during school time) connects these algebra students and STEM professionals for one hour per week over the entire academic year.

We Teach Science Foundation is a publicly supported, non-endowed operating foundation.

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