South Los Angeles STEM programs

Black Women for Wellness (BWW) targets South Los Angeles, Inglewood, Compton, Long Beach, Gardena and other communities in Southern California to improve wellness and life success. As economic status is highly correlated with physical health, BWW seeks to reduce disparities and improve educational and career outcomes for women, girls and families. PATA has partnered with BWW for its Daughters And Sons In Technology (DASIT) project.

Project Activities

DASIT focuses on three STEM activities: Tutoring, Mentoring, and Math Skill Enhancement.

    1. Tutoring: Supplemental Tutoring for Middle and High School Students
      • College students and knowledgeable high school students are recruited to tutor middle and high school students in basic math skills. During twelve (12) 90-minute sessions, tutors emphasize a particular math concept, and explore the relationship between each math session, highlighting the importance of how each concept build upon on the others. BWW partners with the local National Society of Black Engineers and other organizations to identify knowledgeable college students and proficient high school students to assist in mentoring and tutoring.
    2. Mentoring: Peer to Peer Mentoring for College Freshman
      • College sophomores who have successfully completed Calculus I, Calculus II and Physics will lead seven (7) structured mentoring sessions for freshmen. Each two (2) hour session is divided into a 60 minute presentation, followed by a 60 minute discussion on fundamental concepts in Calculus or Physics, such as derivatives, integrals, logarithms, Newton’s First Law, and the Work-Energy Theorem.
      • Students participating in mentoring may have dropped or did not pass Calculus or Physics, or it may be their first exposure to the subject. For the second hour participants:
        • Discuss subject matter from a current class they are taking
        • Review difficult concepts from a previous class
        • Complete problems to re-enforce concepts discussed in the first hour
    3. Math Skill Enhancement: Math Skills Development for Interns and Staff
      • College students and recent college graduates facilitate eight (8) sessions to increase the math skills of the BWW interns and staff. Microsoft Excel is be used to re-enforce math skills (formula bar/function for addition, subtraction and other mathematical expressions to calculate contents of cells; summation function; graphing function). Additionally, specific needs of interns and staff are addressed.

Measures of Effectiveness

  • Pre- and post assessment will demonstrate 25% increase in math and science skills
  • Pre- and post surveys will demonstrate 25% increase in knowledge of STEM careers

Community Impact

DASIT strengthens the STEM pipeline in minority communities by encouraging youth to enter the pipeline. It provides a resource to families who need math and science assistance for their children. Additionally, parents in underserved communities are provided with a positive learning space for their children.

Additionally, BWW reinforces STEM knowledge among college students, who receive a small stipend for their effort to “give back” to others in the community, thus strengthening their skills and sharing their knowledge with others.

Finally, DASIT increases the number and visibility of STEM role models, providing a platform to increase retention leading to an increase in STEM graduates and professionals, and resulting in a larger pool of qualified interns, and permanent candidates for local corporations.

Pan African Technical Association

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