A calculus project encourages seventh graders in advanced math, paving the way to lucrative careers in science, technology and engineering.
In Orange County, Florida, the Calculus Project started in 2014 with 23 students. Now, 2500 students are enrolled. The focus is on seventh graders, and getting them to pass algebra early. When they have done that, they have an opportunity to complete two Advanced Placement calculus courses before high school graduation. The courses are the equivalent of a full year college course. Students who started in previous years are preparing for algebra 2, geometry, and pre-calculus.
The original project began at the Meadowbrook and Meadow Woods middle schools. Those campuses serve mostly black and Hispanic students. Presently, the program is in all Orange middle schools and K-8 campuses. Students of all ethnic and racial backgrounds are served.
The Calculus Project targets decent math students who do not show stellar ability. Usually they passed their last state math exam, but did not ace it. The reason is that students who score high are steered toward algebra anyway.