Poly celebrates partnership with math and science school for girls


December 2007 marked the year-and-a-half anniversary of Poly’s partnership with the Urban Assembly Institute of Math and Science for Young Women. To celebrate the milestone, President Hultin, members of Poly’s faculty and staff, and Poly trustees, visited the UA Institute which prepares girls for college with a rigorous and engaging curriculum that Poly helped to develop.

The visit gave Poly a chance to see how the school has come along since it opened. “We are extremely pleased by the progress made thus far,” noted Noel Kriftcher, Executive Director of Poly’s David Packard Center for Technology and Educational Alliances, which manages the partnership. “The classes are interesting and well-attended.”

Poly acts much like a mentor to the UA Institute, providing guidance as it grows, and contributing intellectual and physical resources for its students and staff. Kriftcher describes the relationship as an “evolving” one that so far includes curriculum advising, demonstrations in Poly labs for students, guest lectures by Poly faculty at the UA Institute, and roundtable reviews of student projects. In the future, Poly students will serve as on-site mentors and UA Institute students will take advanced classes at Poly.

Part of the UA Institute’s mission, which Poly proudly helps it to achieve, is to “empower young women through a rich and rigorous math and science education…[and] connect students with role models and mentors that will inspire them to not only to challenge their self-perceptions but also the stereotypes that currently exist for women in math and science today.”

The UA Institute was born out of the small-school movement which seeks to provide public school students with more individualized learning experiences and a personalized environment. Currently, it has full fifth and sixth grades. Each year, another grade will be added to eventually reach a projected total enrollment of 500 students in grades six through twelve.

A science class working on a seed germination research project.