This is discussion about Academic Preparation Squad.
As an intervention, does this mean it is a program targeted towards students who are having a challenging time with STEM related subjects? How would you recruit the students for this program? I think a specific targeted audience is great; there are a lot of kids who get turned away from STEM-subjects because of the approach or atmosphere of a particular experience. This sounds like a great way to turn some kids' perceptions around, I would like to know more about some of the specific things that can be done to create a positive association!
Hello Jen Ko, I am pleased that you are interested. To answer you question, this program is intended to help change students attitudes about their ability to learn and enjoy mathematics. By practicing foundation math skills in a cooperative fun filled environment, students receive the support and encouragement they need. In order for students to be successful in advanced mathematics, they must first have mastery of the foundation or prerequisite skills. To put it another way, imagine trying to write a sentence, paragraph or a thesis without full ownership of the alphabet. How can we expect students to succeed in algebra or any advanced forms of mathematics, without ownership of basic foundation skills? Can you imagine building a high-rise building without first pouring a solid foundation? How many stories do you think you could build before the building collapsed? Students who own the prerequisite math skills have no problem learning and following formulas, or applying the theories and concepts used in advanced mathematics. Once our students have mastery of foundation skills they will feel confident and be eager to take on the challenges of STEM related subjects.
It's exciting to read about the potential your initiative has to reach a large audience and provide tangible outcomes. I'd love to hear more about your business plan for scaling the program beyond your initial investment. Are there games this like already in schools? What sets this apart?
I have a full blown business plan that won 2nd place in a business plan competition sponsored by the graduate school of business at California State University Dominguez Hills in 2009. You can read about it on the university web-site on-line. I have also completed peer reviewed research called Using the Math Maze game system to change attitudes and engagement in mathematics. The research will be published and in the University library this summer.
There are no other games like the Math Maze game system being used as far as I am aware. Math Maze is however, being used in a pilot test involving 35-40 schools in Los Angeles California. Math Maze is also being studied by the U.S. Military. This game is different from others in that is was designed specifically for the purpose for which it is being used. Math Maze was developed for system-wide k-12 intervention. Math Maze was designed to be culturally responsive, it incorporates the use of sociology, psychology, and learning theories.
Because it can be scaled up virtually overnight, the Academic Preparation Squad project can make a major contribution to advancing mathematics achievement world-wide. The Math Maze game (the intervention tool) is being used in After school programs, by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and by the United States Navy. The Math Maze game can be produced in any language so that it can be used in any country. The Academic Preparation Squad project will be sustained by some of the profits generated by sales made by my for profit company Math Maze USA. The Academic Preparation Squad project is being operated under the fiscal management of Visions Made Viable a California 501(C)3. If the Change makers community helps launch this project it will fly on its own. Additional information regarding the Math Maze Game can be found at http://www.kidscardgames.org Thank you for your consideration,
R.C. Glymph, Project Director and inventor of the Math Maze game.
The lack of financial support will not stop the Academic Preparation Squad project. We have decided to move straight ahead with the community-wide mathematics intervention project without financial assistance. We are currently training student volunteers from Redondo Beach High school and L.A. Works to work with elementary, middle schools and local churches. We are providing the games and training at no cost. We know that we will have a life changing impact on the students and their families. We will not wait for financial help, we will move on faith. Soon our project will involve thousands of people.
If we waited for donors to help us, we would have never started.
If you know an individual, organization, or foundation that you think might be interested in supporting the work of the Academic Preparation Squad, please ask them to see our program information at visionsmadeviable.com and donate to the Academic Preparation Squad Project. We need sponsors to help us with Math Maze Tournaments planned for 2012. Our work is focused on preparing elementary and middle school students for success in advanced mathematics. All donation, are tax deductible. We are a California 501(c)3 non-profit organization.