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Professor APSU funded by Google to help local students struggling with distance learning

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Charles booth

APSU, Contribution

February 23, 2021 1:50 pm

Clarksville, Tennessee During this long month of COVID-19 outbreak, Meagan Mann, an associate professor of chemistry at Austin Peay State University, shared a social media feed that parents of school-aged children are frustrated with. I noticed the theme of.

She said that if she’s just been online in the last 12 months, she’s the only one complaining about distance learning. It’s on almost every social media account. That must be really bad.

These distraught status updates have led Mann to apply for a competitive grant from Google, and this spring, a giant tech company will offer local high school students free algebra I and chemistry tutoring. Awarded her $ 40,000 for this.

A grant program, Operation: STEM Success, offers one-hour online tutoring sessions for students in need of assistance in one or both of these subjects. According to the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System, high school students struggle most with algebra I and chemistry during this pandemic.

It’s hard to teach online because they’re hard for people. She said the learning curve for those subjects was particularly high. In general, most people know how to read, so their parents are not threatened by English. They may not be good at it, but they are willing to jump in for help.

Currently, Operation: STEM Success allows high school students to get help from top Austin Peays students majoring in the STEM field. These APSU students, whom Mann calls near-peer mentors, have gone through a rigorous application process to become tutors. They also undergo background checks and work closely with mentor teachers in the school system.

APSU student mentors are paid through grants, but more importantly for Mann, they also have valuable educational experience.

She said it would make them more competitive in finding graduate and jobs. You put it together with getting paid, and it’s a really sweet deal. It is mutually beneficial for our students and the school system.

More than 50 high school students from across the county have already applied for free tutoring, and Mann says the program has room for as many as 120 high school students. For more information about the program, including how to sign up, go to https://apsu.edu/costem/operation-stem-success.php.

Austin Peay also received a Google Community grant to support the new maker space of the Computer Science and Information Technology Division’s Summer Coding Camp and APSUGIS Center. Both projects are under development.

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