A decade of math inspiration through the Bruce W. Woolpert Algebra Academy
Posted by Graniterock on Jul 22, 2019
WATSONVILLE — Algebra ROCKS just as much as the beach on a sunny afternoon.
Just ask the more than 140 motivated middle school students who are gearing up to join Graniterock’s 10th annual Bruce W. Woolpert Algebra Academy, located at the company’s headquarters and Driscoll’s Cassin Ranch facility in Watsonville Aug. 5-9 from 9 a.m. -3:30 p.m. each day.
Students, representing middle schools throughout Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito counties, will sharpen their math skills by completing the week-long immersion camp, which aims to make algebra fun through hands-on games and interactive learning.
The academy, created in 2010 through the efforts of Graniterock’s former President and CEO, the late Bruce W. Woolpert, and Vice President Kevin Jeffery, has grown through the years to more than 140 students each summer.
The academy is a partnership between Graniterock, Driscoll’s, school leaders, local universities and businesses, and serves as a model for helping youth reach their full potential in the classroom. The goal is to help students excel through expert instruction from university professors and mentors that focus on making the subject relevant and connected to future career opportunities. The camp aims to motivate eighth-graders to go on to take advanced math classes in school and possibly pursue the subject in college as well.
The program is taught by local university professors Nandini Bhattacharya and Justin Lake from UC Santa Cruz and Hongde Hu and Matthew Jew from CSU Monterey Bay. The academy seeks to build confidence within young students and demonstrate how math is useful and important in daily life.
In addition to instruction by university professors, Graniterock employees volunteer to speak to students about how they use math-related concepts in their work. And up to 8 alumni of the program, who are currently juniors and seniors at local high schools, will return and serve as mentors for the middle school participants in the program.
The academy graduation is scheduled for Aug. 10, when parents will watch students walk across the stage at the Watsonville Mello Center.
Participating schools include Aromas School, Calaveras School, Cesar Chavez Middle School, E.A. Hall Middle School, Lakeview Middle School, Pajaro Middle School, Rancho San Justo Middle School, Rolling Hills Middle School, San Juan School, Tres Pinos School, Marguerite Maze Middle School, Hollister Dual Language Academy and Hollister’s Accelerated Achievement Academy.
Since 2010, more than 600 students have graduated from the academy.
Some graduates have been admitted to CSU Monterey Bay and gone on to intern and work at Graniterock.
Kevin Jeffery, Graniterock Vice President and BWW Algebra Academy Board Chair
Christy Zepeda, BWW Algebra Academy Executive Director
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