A group of middle and high school students are keeping math skills sharp over the summer through a program that helps students strengthen what they learned previously in preparation for the new academic year.

Soft SkillsStudents from Campbell, Cupertino, and San Jose, California have been working with the Elevate Math program from the Silicon Valley Education Foundation. Program organizers state that Elevate Math has the aim of helping students who are below grade level or maintaining a C average prepare for high school and college level math courses. Topics covered include linear equations, variables, graphs and other basic concepts for algebra and geometry.

Students heard Oracle Research Labs employee Randall Smith tell how to visualize numerical data, and apply math concepts to careers. “I want the students to learn the importance of statistics and visualizing data,” Smith said.  He had students toss bean bags, measure the distance between them, and collect the data to be put on a spreadsheet.

“This game gets them invested in the concepts they are learning,” he said.

Elevate Math was started in 2008.  Currently there are over 3,500 students enrolled in 40 school districts. In addition to California, there is also a program in Oregon.

“Our program is proven to deliver effective intervention that increases math learning and prepares students for the rigorous challenges in high school and college,” said Silicon Valley Education Foundation CEO Muhammed Chaudhry. “With one in four jobs of the future requiring strong math skills, it’s critical that students have a good math foundation. It’s our responsibility to prepare them for the workplace and the future needs of our global world.”

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