What Can We Do to Boost Math and Science Statistics?

According to the National Math + Science Initiative, only 42% of fourth grade students and 35% of eighth grade students performed at or above the proficient level in mathematics in 2013. The National Math + Science Initiative also reported in the same year that only 44% of U.S. high school graduates are ready for college-level mathematics and only 36% of U.S. high school graduates are ready for college-level science. What do these statistics mean? It’s alarming that less than half of the United States’ population is performing at grade level and less than half are prepared for college-level math and science courses.

What can we do to help improve these statistics? The Junior League of Minneapolis (JLM) is actively working with students and parents through the H.O.M.E.S. (Hands-on Math, Engineering and Science) project. Students in grades K-5, along with their parents, are encouraged through positive learning associations and resources to explore STEM (science, technology, engineering & math) activities further at home. By increasing the interest in STEM among students and parents, this is addressing the achievement gap in Minnesota.

One of the easiest ways to help improve these staggering math and science statistics is by helping students have a positive association with math, science and engineering. When students are excited and curious about a subject, they are more inclined to work harder and have a passion for it. The STEM projects set forth by H.O.M.E.S. are hands-on, creative and a lot of fun! JLM members are encouraged to sign up for a shift. It’s the perfect way to spark the love of STEM learning with students and to help decrease the achievement gap in the Twin Cities.

By Katie Runman

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