In today’s classrooms, Algebra 1 currently serves as an obstacle for many students’ success. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s first ever U.S. education Grand Challenge, identifies partners to design solutions to make Algebra 1 “more accessible, relevant, and collaborative for students who are Black, Latino, English Learners, and/or experiencing poverty.”

The UCLA Curtis Center For Mathematics and Teaching was one of 15 out of the 416 applicants across 26 countries to be selected to participate. Each partner will receive a $100,000 planning and prototyping grant to develop, test, and refine their solution.

Below is a brief description of the UCLA Curtis Center’s proposal:

“The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Curtis Center for Mathematics and Teaching will create a mentorship program to motivate students

at the Barack Obama Global Preparation Academy (BOGPA) to improve their performance in mathematics by positioning students on small research teams investigating a mathematics problem arising in the environmental science of their community, human biology or aerospace engineering, with mentorshipby UCLA and SpaceX BlackX mathematicians of color. The mentorship program will be designed to rehumanize mathematics for BOGPA’s 98 percent Black and Latino students by engaging them as doers and creators of mathematics and by building “windows and mirrors” into their mathematics experiences to show mathematics is a socially useful endeavor for Black and Latino students. Students will present their solutions during a planned event attended by the BOGPA community and UCLA and SpaceX BlackX mentors.”