Dr. Adrian Mims, founder of the Calculus Project (left), and Dr. Karl Reid, executive director of the National Society of Black Engineers. Photo courtesy of Lucy Martirosyan/WGBH News.
The Calculus Project, an initiative of Mott MacDonald's Cambridge Education division, was recently featured by the Orlando Sentinel and by WGBH News in Boston.
According to the Sentinel, Orange County school administrators are focusing on getting more seventh-grade students to pass algebra 1, giving them a strong foundation to take as many as two Advanced Placement calculus courses in high school. Beginning with 23 students in 2014, the Calculus Project has now enrolled 2,500 students in a four-week summer program to prepare them for the coming school year.
The article quotes Robin Brown, principal of the Meadowbrook middle school, as saying, "Amazing things can happen." Paul Cottle, a physics professor at Florida State University, said that 45.7% of Orange County's middle school students took and passed algebra 1 this year: a higher percentage than any other school district in the state. He said that seventh-grade success was a particular standout.
On July 26, the Calculus Project hosted a panel at Emmanuel College in Boston. The program was attended by about 60 people, mostly middle-school and high-school Calculus Project participants.
Speakers included Dr. Adrian Mims, creator of the Calculus Project, and Karl Reid, executive director of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). Cambridge Education is partnering with NSBE to meet its goal of producing 10,000 black engineers by 2025. The Calculus Project plays a big role because literacy and fluency in mathematics are major barriers to achieving this goal.