Science and Technology Enrichment Program for Underrepresented Populations (STEP-UP)
The Science and Technology Enrichment Program for Underrepresented Populations is a cooperative effort between the University of South Carolina at Aiken, Aiken County Public Schools and the State Department of Education to provide assistance to schools in the areas of science, mathematics and technology. The purposes of the STEP-UP program are to improve the preparation in mathematics, science and technology of teachers who teach in Area 4 schools of Aiken County; to expand the mathematics, science and technology experiences of the students; and to increase the involvement of parents and the local community in their childrenŐs education.
STEP-UP is a seventeen month long program that will involve teachers, parents and community leaders working together to design and implement courses and other activities that will motivate students to learn more science and mathematics. There are four components to the program: staff development activities for teachers, a four-week summer program for students, Family Math and Family Science cycles, and the HOST project.
The staff development for teachers will include two tuition-free computer technology courses for all teachers, two tuition-free science and math courses for elementary and middle school teachers and an opportunity to team teach with a colleague. These activities will span from February 1996 through June 1997. All courses will be conducted in Wagener at a school site. Teachers and students from other Areas of the school district may participate as space allows.
In July 1996 the STEP-UP summer enrichment component for students will enroll fifty rising seventh, eighth and ninth graders in communications, mathematics and science classes. The use of Macintosh computers will be integrated into the three subjects. In addition, students will take field trips; interact with scientists, engineers and other professionals; and perform in academic, career and cultural competitions.
Beginning in the summer of 1996, STEP-UP will sponsor Family Math and Family Science cycles where parents can learn fun ways to help their children improve academically. Parents of children involved in the program will have opportunities to enjoy the discovery of important science and mathematics concepts through games and non-routine activities with their children.
The Help One Student To Succeed (HOSTS) program, currently offered at A.L. Corbett, will be extended to the elementary school level. The program will use high school students and community volunteers as tutors for elementary students having difficulties in math or reading.
The STEP-UP program is offered at no charge to participants. It is supported by services of the CSRA Hub at USCA, the Area 4 Administration, and local community groups. It is partially funded by the Eisenhower Professional Development Competitive Grants Demonstration Program. STEP-UP is co-directed by Gwen Johnson and Gloria Allen.