NSF grant to help West Philly kids do science

Math and science programs in West Philadelphia schools will get a $1.5 million boost thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant, which is approximately $500,000 a year for three years, will fund Access Science, an academically-based community service project involving faculty, undergraduate and graduate students.

Access Science both tutors students and helps teachers design hands-on learning activities.

According to Dennis DeTurck, the Penn mathematics professor in charge of the program, this focus on activity-based learning has greatly improved math and science learning in West Philadelphia schools. “One of the students said this was the first time he ever felt like he was doing math, instead of just learning math; he felt like he was engaged and involved in mathematics, as opposed to just being told… [And] that’s the fundamental philosophy [of this program].”

The program is supported by Penn’s Center for Community Partnerships.

Originally published on April 17, 2003