Our goal is to provide teachers a tool that engages students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) in a way that defies logic by having access at their fingertips using smartphones. iEDAPTS has been developing content and testing our concept on medium sample sizes on middle and high schoolers, AP students, and EC students. In our first symposium in 2017, we tested the Saving Our Students (SOS) concept with Administrators, Curriculum staff, teachers, and the PTA with great success. With over sixty percent of the individuals present that day, they continue to provide feedback to propel this concept forward. Our executive staff has a vast amount of experience in Educational Leadership and Administration, Curriculum Development, Behavioral Health, and A.V.I.D to make a better STEM learning model for underserved minorities.
A major problem is monitoring individual student participation, competencies, and academic progression. As experienced educators dedicated to Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT) pedagogy, we know the current educational system is failing to support children with alternative education solutions, a fact highlighted by the Coronavirus pandemic. There is a dire need for innovation in teaching STEM to historically marginalized and at-risk students. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (2015), wide gaps exist among racial groups: in mathematics, 32% of white students and 47% of Asian students achieved proficiency, compared to 12% of Hispanic students and 7% of black students. Our strategy is to provide a multi-side platform that works for teachers and parents while benefitting student engagement and proficiency.
Moreover, the STEM Index indicates the number of white students earning STEM degrees increased by 15% in the last five years, while the number of black students earning STEM degrees fell by roughly the same margin (U.S. World News & World Report, 2016). With approximately 49.9% of non-Hispanic White students who make up classrooms across the United States, one way to motivate and engage them is through culturally responsive teaching (US Census Bureau, 2018). In a study by Gay (2010), she found that classrooms that were more culturally relevant to the needs of the students served, allowed them (students) to become more engaged, which led to a higher academic achievement rate. When students had a personal interest in the subject or content of the material, it allowed for a connection.
The software accommodates different learning styles with narratives, storytelling, and discussions for verbal learners; graphics and games for visual learners; and multimedia presentations for musical learners that are exactly right for them. Having the convenience and usability of our business model; aid underprivileged students using their method of learning to close the cultural gap because it is available online and on smartphones, which are more easily accessible in our minority communities. This platform also makes it possible for less fortunate minorities to build their education knowledge and close the wealth gap that is critical in this unprecedented time because there are many options for obtaining the product. We offer different innovative packages such as a year subscription, a la carte, and pay it forward solution for individuals to give less fortunate students free access to content.
Based on statistics retrieved from the National Center for Education Statistics, during 2015, approximately 50 million students were enrolled in 98,500 public elementary and secondary schools for the beginning of the fall term (NCES, n.d. 2). However, between 2014 and 2024 the number of STEM occupations in the U.S. will grow by 8.9%. According to ACT (2017) data, not enough U.S. students will be equipped for those STEM opportunities—now or in the future. There are hands-on opportunities available in case you don’t want to go to college. The main reason for the student and parents’ non-participation in today’s educational system is due to a lack of engagement in cultural content and communication between both parent and teacher. Our unique ability to connect with the minority community during this pandemic is vital while creating a reduced entry into STEM.