DonorsChoose.org Is Recipient of $5 Million Google Global Impact Award
NEW YORK, Dec. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The College Board is announcing the AP((R)) STEM Access program, created to increase the number of traditionally underrepresented minority and female high school students who participate in Advanced Placement Program((R)) courses in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines. A $5 million grant from Google as part of its Global Impact Awards to DonorsChoose.org will make it possible for this program to invite over 800 public high schools across the country to start new AP math and science courses and to encourage traditionally underrepresented minority (black/African American, Hispanic/Latino and American Indian/Alaska Native) and female students who demonstrate strong academic potential to enroll and explore these areas of study and related careers. The College Board is collaborating with DonorsChoose.org to work directly with AP teachers in qualifying schools to help them obtain the classroom resources and professional development they need to start new courses. The AP Program offers willing and academically prepared high school students the opportunity to study at the college level, enabling them to develop the critical thinking skills necessary for college success.
Traditionally underrepresented minority and female students in the U.S. are less likely to study math and science in college or pursue related careers than their counterparts. This is partly due to the fact that these students are not receiving adequate engagement in rigorous STEM course work during high school. For example, participation in AP course work in mathematics varies widely among students who have the same high academic potential to succeed on an AP mathematics exam. In 2011, only 3 in 10 black/African American and Hispanic/Latino students, and 2 in 10 American Indian/Alaska Native students participated in AP mathematics courses. Also in 2011, there were more male students than female students taking AP Exams in Calculus AB (52 percent male), Calculus BC (59 percent male), Chemistry (53 percent male), and there were a disproportionate number of males taking AP Exams in Computer Science A (81 percent male), Physics B (65 percent male); Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism (77 percent male) and Physics C: Mechanics (73 percent male). In many cases, students did not take AP math and science courses because they were not available at their schools. In other cases, the schools offered the courses, but minority and female students did not participate and the diversity of those classrooms frequently did not reflect the diversity of the school overall.
Research shows that students who took AP math and science were more likely than non-AP students to earn degrees in physical science, engineering and life science disciplines -- the fields leading to some of the careers essential for America's future prosperity. This correlation is particularly strong among African American, Hispanic/Latino and female students.
"Unfortunately, traditionally underrepresented minority students and female students often do not have access to AP STEM course work," said David Coleman, president of the College Board. "We are very grateful to Google for its generous support and look forward to working with DonorsChoose.org to enable these students to engage in the sort of rigorous STEM course work that is essential for college and career success."
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