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NMSI’s Impact Nationwide

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NMSI’s Impact Nationwide

Braedon Harris, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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In 1991, an idea to raise the quality of schools in Texas was born. The result of the lack of qualified scientists and engineers for a government project in rural north-central Texas led to a program that continued well after it had been cancelled. By 2007, the program had grown nationwide. Based in Dallas, the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) works to provide students with challenging courses that will prepare them for the rigorous classes in their near future.

 

“NMSI is the National Math and Science Initiative that’s being sponsored by Texas Instruments,” counselor Jacob Garza said. “Their goal is to try and bring students in the math and science area to become better students in that area. They recently added English, and the only course that isn’t included is Social Studies.”

 

In 2016, over $35 million went into NMSI program services, operation and fundraising. The vast majority of this money, over $30 million, fell under the program services category. This includes expenses such as  content-specific training, ready-to-use classroom and lab materials for teachers as well as expert-led study sessions, lab and classroom supplies and Advanced Placement (AP) exam fee subsidies for students.

 

“They provide extra tutoring that’s given on Saturdays to the students,” Garza said. “They also provide extra resources to teachers just to give them the best opportunity to be able to help the students do better on the AP exams.”

 

NMSI has a great impact on high school students. According to data released in the 2016 annual report, NMSI has raised qualifying scores in College Readiness Program (CRP) partner schools by 67 percent, which is 10 times the national average. The CRP is a program aimed directly towards improving student performance on the AP exams given by College Board in the spring.

 

“Whenever I see an incentive such as NMSI, I try, and I study harder,” senior Emilio Rogalla said. “With these books we just got from the physics class, it helps me understand what I need to study instead of aimlessly figuring out what I need to do.”

 

The AP exams by College Board are cumulative exams given at the end of the school year with the potential for college credit if a passing score is earned. AP courses and exams allow students to get a jump-start for college, even if they aren’t in honors courses or special programs. In recent years, the number of students enrolled in AP courses and registered for exams has increased. In 2017, there were 2.7 million students registered to take nearly 5 million tests over 38 different subjects. These numbers display a massive increase in the program from the 645,000 students who took an exam in 2006. Programs like NMSI influence this trend, as they promote AP courses, offer incentives and better prepare students for AP tests.

 

“We’ve seen quite a few increases, especially in [AP classes],” Garza said. “Students who excel in that area realize that they can not only get the college credit but also earn money from [Texas Instruments] for doing well on the exams.”

 

NMSI also aims to aid teachers in their classroom instructions and better prepare their students for the tests. Over 50,000 teachers are supported by NMSI, receiving training from over 300 expert educators. Teachers receive training that helps them give their students the necessary information needed for the courses they instruct.

 

“They provide extra resources for teachers to give them an opportunity to help the students to do better on the AP exams,” Garza said.

 

Over 2 million students across more than a thousand schools have been supported and transformed by NMSI and their efforts  nationwide. With the hope of boosting students access and achievements, the program is growing and will continue to have an impact on many schools.  

 

“NMSI is a great way for students to achieve higher scores and become better students,” Rogalla said. “It allows students to gain better insight that the classroom just doesn’t provide.”

 

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Braedon Harris, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Class of 2019.  I'm In MST and the Engineering program.  I didn't even choose to be in Newspaper, but it turned out pretty good.

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