Tag Archives: math

Microsoft Invests in STEM for Young Black Girls

Kimberly Bryant

Microsoft, the world’s biggest maker of computer software, announced a partnership with Black Girls Code and the Technology Access Foundation to bring STEM education to students of color. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced the $500,000 partnership.  (STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.)

Black Girls Code provides programming and technology education to young and pre-teen girls of color. The curriculum is provided through clubs  and taught by women engineers of color. BGC can be found in 13 cities across the U.S. and, with the funding from Microsoft, will launch their 14th chapter in Seattle.

Founder of Black Girls Code, Kimberly Bryant, explains her mission;  “By launching Black Girls Code, I hope to provide young and pre-teen girls of color opportunities to learn in-demand skills in technology and computer programming at a time when they are naturally thinking about what they want to be when they grow up.”

Trish Millines Dziko

  Technology Access Foundation provides STEMbyTAF. Former Microsoft executive Trish Millines Dziko founded STEMbyTAF in 1997. The program is an out-of-school program that teaches technology skills, provides internships and college prep to students of color in the Seattle area.

Since its launch TAF has opened its own school and become a model for creating learning environments that erase racial disparity in academic achievement. STEMbyTAF is focused on duplicating their successful formula in other schools. TAF has partnerships with Amazon, Comcast, Expedia, Google and Boeing.

Black Girls Code also has partnerships with several of Silicon Valley’s top technology companies including Google, Oracle, Adobe, Verizon and AT&T.


Intel Drops $4.5 M on HBCUs to Increase Retention in STEM College Majors and Careers

Written by Robin White Goode for BlackEnterprise.com, June 27th, 2017


Intel Corporation announced the Intel HBCU Grant Program, a three-year, $4.5 million initiative, to help retain students in STEM pathways at six historically black colleges: Florida A&M University, Morgan State University, Howard University, Prairie View A&M University, North Carolina A&T State University, and Tuskegee University.

“The key goal of the program is retention, in college as well as in STEM careers,” Barbara Whye told me, Intel’s chief diversity and inclusion officer and vice president of Human Resources. “We’re working to increase retention rates in partnership with the universities.”

This is not an easy goal. The New York Times has previously reported that black people make up 1% of the tech workforce at Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Twittermaking this demographic the least represented of all underrepresented groups.

Intel’s Commitment to Diversity

In January 2015, Intel announced its goal to reach full representation in 2020, across all categories, from entry level positions, to the senior vice president, as well as among the Intel Fellows—which is the highest technical role at the company—Whye says. “Full representation” is determined by what’s available in the employee “market.” For example, if 25% of those with engineering degrees are women, Intel’s goal is to employ 25% or higher women engineers by 2020.

Intel is one of 80 companies that agreed to a White House pledge last year to increase diversity; of those companies, it’s been reported that only seven have released data about their progress, of which, Intel is one.

“We are serious about this commitment,” Whye says. “We’re one of the few still monitoring and reporting transparently about our progress. We’ve committed $300 million to invest in diversity and inclusion in our Intel workforce.”

The Intel HBCU Grant Program

The Intel HBCU Grant Program may hold promise in supporting the company’s achievement of its goals. The six HBCUs were chosen because they grant degrees relevant to Intel—in computer science, electrical engineering, and computer engineering.“These degrees fit within our relevant space. About 80,000 workers at Intel have engineering degrees,” Whye says, who also has a B.S. in electrical engineering.

She also explained that the program was developed with input from the schools themselves.“We spent nine months on the ground with the university presidents, in conversation. A lot of times, companies design programs for universities instead of having conversations with those universities, but we talked through its development.”

Another great aspect of the program is that it’s based on what research has shown to contribute to student success. Whye explained that, in order to increase retention for STEM students, key success factors are access, awareness, opportunity, role models, hands-on research, a quality curriculum, and knowing how this work makes a difference. “The program is designed around these key success factors,” Whye says.

The three-year program will also bring professors from the six campuses to Intel, so they can engage in annual workshops, and take back what they learn to their schools.

Internships and two-year scholarships are integral to the program. Black employees at Intel will also have the option of getting involved, by “adopting” one of the six schools or mentoring a student.

For more information about the Intel HBCU Grant Program, visit this website.

Free Online Homework Help for Black Students

canstockphoto12791520African-American students of all grades are back in school. And school means homework and studying. Your child or maybe even yourself will need help with homework.  One of the great things about the Internet is that whatever the subject or the problem you can find homework help online.

Black parents understand that our children will have trouble in school. Its not always for lack of effort but sometimes the system does not work for us. Black parents should understand the urgent need to address this in our communities. We also need to focus on spending time helping with homework and paying attention to the classroom. Visit your child’s school, sit in class and get to know their teachers. It will help in the log run.

And please do not hesitate to seek out help for your child. There are resources and a lot of it is free. For example you can check with your child’s school or local library for homework assistance. 

Use the Internet. Lets face it, we all have busy lives and sometimes you or your child or both of you will hit a wall. Regardless of the subject you will need help. Let’s look at the best online sites for homework help.

There are a lot of homework help websites. Some offer excellent one-on-one help for students but that help can be expensive, as much as $35 an hour and up. I know a lot of parents with children in school. Very few really want to pay $35 an hour for a tutor but sometimes you need to. 

But you have options. You can go online to find the help you or your child needs. The sites listed below are all free and offer an expansive list of topics from the pre-school to college and graduate school. Keep in mind this is just a sample.

logoHippoCampus.org – This site is free and offers help for subjects and students from middle school to college. HippoCampus provides multimedia help using videos, animations and various simulations. This assistance is offered to teachers as well as students and its free. Teacher can use the website in class by assigning tasks for computer lab work. Students can access the site at home. The site does not require students to register or log in  which is a big privacy benefit. Make sure your computer is up to date since the website video works better on a high speed connection and you will need the latest Adobe Flash software on your computer.

FreeMathHelp.com This site pretty much covers all the math subjects  you can think of from kindergarten to 8th grade. The site offers help with algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics and even sports math. One of the things I like is the current discussion section that allows students to join in on the topic. There are math lessons that include trigonometry and various calculators to choose from. Student can also find math games like Addition Aliens Attack and Sodoku. Students can also take advantage of the various subjects in the forums sections.

Khan academy Khanacademy.org – This one of the more highly thought of websites dedicated to education. This site is non-profit and has the goal of transforming education in order to provide the best education possible for any student or person anywhere in the world free of charge. Students can find help from kindergarten to college level on just as many subjects. A tour of the subjects menus will reveal topics from differential calculus to pre-historic art. If you need a coach you can set your student up with an account to access this service. The one thing I don’t like about the site is that you can log in with your Facebook or Google account. That is a tip off that there is some tracking and ad targeting  aimed at the user. That means your child is being tracked by this and other sites. This is a serous privacy concern as far as I’m concerned and as a parent you should be concerned too. But the site is very good at helping students, has great purpose and objectives and it takes donations.

logoStudentQuestions.com – This site offers both paid and free help. You can find help in subjects from math to medical subjects. The help comes from tutors who answer posted questions. That is the free help. If you want to get more customized help then the prices start at $2.00. The site calls it a commission and the question is emailed to the tutors. Some of the tutors are other high school students or college students. Tutors are rated by the users so you can see how good the help really is. By the way,  those are the ones that get paid. The site requires the user to register and login to use.

path_main_bannerPATH or Pupils Ask Teacher’s Help – PATH is a another excellent website for homework help. One of the really nice features is that students can get live help through the site. That is, if there are teachers available. Otherwise there is a message board. Another feature of the site that I have not seen on other sites is the special needs boards. I was impressed with this as there are many parents who are searching for help with their special needs students. Parents who home school their children can also find help here as well. Students can find help from junior high school to college subjects and even career counseling.

Black parents need to pay special attention to this information. Every action you take in helping your child succeed in school pays off big in the future. Schools simply do not have the resources to really get in depth with your child on an individual level. You have to take up the slack. In the age of the Internet and the abundance of information you have the resources to really help your child or yourself. Especially if you are taking classes for your personal growth or career. There is absolutely no need for you or your child to feel lost or stranded. There is plenty of free homework help out there. Here is a site that offers the 100 Best Websites for Free Homework Help.

Now you know.