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.
About Teach For America
Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding individuals of all academic disciplines to commit two years to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity. This year, more than 10,000 corps members are teaching in 46 urban and rural regions across the country, while nearly 28,000 alumni are working across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org.
About Symmetry Software
Founded in 1984, Symmetry Software specializes in payroll and payroll-related withholding tax software applications for the Internet and corporate intranets. Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, Symmetry runs four payroll-related Web sites: