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Math Pioneers In Rapid City

Rapid City, South Dakota, is the site of one of NSF’s Math Science Partnerships. It’s called PRIME: Promoting Reflective Inquiry in Mathematics Education.

As elsewhere, the goal is to improve all students’ math skills. But in Rapid City, there’s a special focus on helping Native American children close the achievement gap with their non-Native American fellow-students.

So in May, 2007, Project PRIME hosted an expert conference to discuss and synthesize promising strategies for meeting the needs of Native American learners in mathematics. Participants in this event included mathematics educators and researchers from universities and tribal colleges, educators from school districts with high Native American populations, state-level policy makers, and educational researchers.

Later in 2007, Project PRIME served as a supporting partner to the South Dakota Department of Education to host the 2007 Regional Indian Education Summit. The conclusions of PRIME's expert conference were shared during a special keynote within the Summit with over 175 participants attending. PRIME also brought back nine of the national experts to facilitate sessions focused on mathematics, making up 40 percent of the Summit breakouts.

Project PRIME includes Black Hills State University, Technology and Innovations in Education (TIE) of the Black Hills Special Services Cooperative, and the Rapid City School District.

The program provides 100 hours of professional development in a combination of content-based workshops at the district level and building-based activities involving modeling of effective lessons, peer mentoring, and coaching, and lesson study.

Resources and Publications

America COMPETES Act of 2007

Evidence: An Essential Tool - A Math and Science Partnership Program Publication

NSF's MSP at a Glance

National Science Foundation Issues Impact Report on Math and Science Partnership Program

Student Results Show Benefits of Math and Science Partnerships

Closing the Achievement Gap in Math and Science


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