Precollegiate Programs Works to Improve STEM Performance

  • Aug. 31, 2011, 9:22 p.m.

On June 15, U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced a plan to strengthen student achievement in science, technology, engineering, and math education (STEM). The plan will see the Department of the Navy double its investment in STEM education initiatives to more than $100 million dollars by 2015.

The College of Professional and Continuing Studies (PACS) is also involved in the national effort to increase emphasis on STEM subjects. The Bridges to College Math, Science and Engineering Summer Academy, offered through Precollegiate Programs in two sessions during summer, is a free residential summer academy funded by a grant from the Oklahoma State Regents that strengthens student skills in math and science.

“Bridges to College Math, Science and Engineering is a great way for high school juniors and seniors to experience collegiate life while learning some of the principles in the disciplines of math, science, and engineering,” said Chris Elliott, program administrator for Precollegiate Programs. “These principles will allow the students to see what is expected of them during their college careers.”

At Bridges, eleventh and twelfth-grade high school students receive practical lessons in areas that include probability analysis, logic, statistics, and calculus, which provide a foundational knowledge that prepares them for math-intensive fields such as physics and engineering. Students learn to present mathematical concepts through symbolic notation, and how to apply statistical methods such as constructing variable probabilities and random sampling of a population, according to program literature.

The Bridges Summer Academy is one of several summer academies provided through Precollegiate Programs, a program of PACS that offers unique summer enrichment opportunities to precollege students. Further information on Precollegiate Programs Summer Academies can be found at