Program Profile: Calculus Project Advances College and Career Readiness

On the Emmanuel College campus, situated in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston, 130 students are busy manipulating fractions, expressing algebraic equations, and examining complementary angles. It’s a typical day at the Calculus Project site for these incoming 7th, 8th, and 9th graders, who eagerly punch in numbers on their calculators to solve equations in teams.

Photo Credit: Cambridge Education

“It is so much fun,” said an incoming 8th grader from Boston Green Academy. “I know when I go back to school in the Fall, I’ll be ready.”

At the Calculus Project site, certified academic teachers lead algebra, geometry, and trigonometry courses. To complement academic instruction, peer leaders – many of whom have participated in Calculus Project in the past and are now enrolled in college – lead the implementation of a “Pride” curriculum which focuses on college and career readiness, leadership, and establishing a growth mindset. These elements are combined when students participate in field trips to Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; these excursions challenge students to think about how math applies to real world context, college, and careers.

The Calculus Project also hosted a forum last week featuring Dr. Karl Reid, the executive director of the National Society of Black Engineers. This panel discussion challenged students to consider the intersection of STEM, careers, and their own futures. Check out a recent WGBH article covering the event.

All participating students will be invited to participate in Calculus Project’s monthly Saturday Academies during the school year, through which they can continue to hone math skills and plan for future college and career endeavors.

For recent, additional press coverage about the Calculus Project, please see this recent WBUR article.