Introduction: A Growing STEM Program
New York City Charter High School for Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Industries (AECI), is a charter school located in the south Bronx. The school has approximately 125 students per grade level, with extremely high graduation rates at 96% while the borough-wide rate remains at 65%. AECI was recently named best Charter High School by the US News and World Report for the second straight year. As such a high performing school, the administration began to recognize a need for implementation of STEM curriculum. Assistant Principal Colin Healy discovered Edhesive last year while searching for online blended learning curriculum. After working with the Edhesive school partnership team, AECI began to offer our Introduction to Computer Science course last year. This year, they’ve added AP Computer Science Principles and AP Statistics, as well, utilizing our Professional Development course for adequate teacher preparation. With a master’s degree in math, ten years of Statistics teaching experience at the collegiate level, and a few computer science courses under his belt, Teacher Brian Egan was chosen as instructor of all three courses.
Implementation and Success at AECI
When Egan began to work within the Introduction to Computer Science course last year, he found that he was able to jump in easily. “The operation was pretty intuitive. I had no issues getting started,”Egan stated. The addition of the AP Statistics course this year was no different. “I taught Statistics at the collegiate level for ten years. It’s set up very well. The videos are a great tool for students who need to catch up on instruction they’ve missed, whether from illness or other absence from class. The pre-made quizzes are a great help, as well. It’s great that the materials already align with College Board standards,”Egan offered. The teacher mentioned that the students have been successful in the course so far, appreciating the ability to rewatch videos and digest content within the online structure.
Egan also noted that students benefit greatly from taking AP Statistics courses in high school. “It’s a great opportunity to get college credit for a math course, especially in a course that is not heavily involved in algebra. Students find that it’s easier to be successful. They start to experience real world connections that they hear about all the time in a new way. For example, during elections or in news reporting, they begin to understand how the percentage of a candidate’s approval rating is calculated, or how a margin of error is established. It’s important for students to be able to make these relations in their outside lives.”Egan added that STEM curriculum overall, including computer science, is highly beneficial to high school students.”
Today, AECI is offering three of Edhesive’s STEM courses to their students, including Introduction to Computer Science, AP Computer Science Principles, and AP Statistics. Students are being exposed to STEM curriculum before graduating high school, giving them more opportunity for career success down the line. To other schools considering Edhesive’s AP Statistics course, Egan says “I highly recommend this course. The ease of use and flexible platform have been lucrative for AECI.”
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