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Southeast Raleigh Mathematics and Science Initiative

The Southeast Raleigh Mathematics and Science Initiative (SRMSI), is an innovative collaborative partnership between North Carolina State University (NSCU), Community in Schools Wake County, Wake County Public School System (WCPSS), Boys and Girls Club - Washington Elementary School, Strengthening the Black Family, faith communities and the Science House. Using existing, community-based organizations as intervention sites, the objective is to deliver quality inquiry-based science and mathematics after-school programs to various locations within economically depressed communities. Students from underrepresented groups will participate in applied experiments and learn how to draw conclusions based on scientific evidence. Participation in SRMSI’s inquiry-based science and mathematics after-school program will help enhance the development of higher-order cognitive processes and social competence among elementary students, aligning the SRMSI programming innovation of theoretically driven, after-school intervention with state and national standards. The evaluation research on after-school programs indicates that after-school programs usually do not typically include the family in the intervention efforts and that after-school programs usually do not explore how low-income parents access familial and community social support networks.

The SRMRI (PSY 499-034) service learning course provides undergraduate students the opportunity to gain applied learning experiences through mentoring and tutoring students in the community. The learning objectives for this course require mentors to reflect, challenge and deepen their understanding of the psychosocial and physical environments of individuals from diverse backgrounds. It also underscores the impact of social location and ecological factors that contribute to the current societal conditions in the United States. The readings for the course highlight the policy debates regarding child development, education, parenting and poverty. Therefore, policy briefs from the most influential think tanks in the country (e.g., Children’s Defense Fund, Cato Institute, Heritage Foundation, Urban Institute, and others) and empirical journal articles are utilized to capture the complex and multifaceted relations between individuals and policy.