Symmetry Software, specialists in payroll withholding tax solutions for the internet and corporate intranets, is donating scientific graphing calculators to low-income schools during the 2012-2013 school year to boost math and science achievement. For every 50,000 visits to its flagship website, paycheckcity.com, Symmetry will donate a calculator to a school in need. Inspired by the work of Teach For America in Symmetry's headquarters state of Arizona, Tom Reahard, founder and CEO of Symmetry Software launched 'Calculators For Kids' in order to help give low-income students the tools they need to be successful in their mathematics coursework and ultimately in life. Symmetry is collaborating with Teach For America, the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates and professionals who commit to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in expanding educational opportunity, to identify classrooms in need of this technology. The United states ranks 25th in Math and 17th in Science out of 31 developed countries and there is an achievement gap between low-income students and their more affluent peers. Over twice as many Caucasian students take the AP Calculus exam in our country each year as African American and Latino students. Understanding these high stakes and recognizing the need for both individuals and businesses to support education, Reahard stated, 'Our hope by providing graphing calculators to students is that their interest in mathematics and engineering will be peaked, ultimately leading them to pursue a career in a mathematics-related field.'
To inspire others to join in the work, Symmetry created a brief video to highlight the partnership. To view the video, simply visit PaycheckCity™ and click on the 'Calculators For Kids' image.
Kristen Metherd, a Teach For America corps member and Math Department Head at Arizona Charter Academy, describes the impact the calculators have had on her students. 'The impact of these calculators is unbelievable. Suddenly, the students in my low-income school have the tools necessary to compete with their more affluent peers on a level playing field. We are now able to take the ACT and SAT with the proper tools, and the wide world of trigonometry has been opened. These calculators have created endless opportunities to advance our mathematical knowledge, but more importantly to advance our opportunities in life.'
Graphing calculators help students visualize mathematical concepts leading to a better understanding on topics such as functions, variables, solving algebra problems in applied contexts, and interpreting graphs. According to Texas Instruments, teaching with graphing calculators using the techniques identified as successful has been shown to yield average learning gains in the range of 14% to 50%. Access to graphing calculators also improves students' attitudes towards math, which could make students more likely to choose mathematics as a profession.
For additional information on Calculators For Kids, visit www.paycheckcity.com/calculators-for-kids.htm
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