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Cannon children benefit from DoD STEM program

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Vernon R. Walter III
  • 27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

Col. Robert Masaitis, 27th Special Operations Wing commander, visited Clovis High School to speak on the National Math and Science Initiative program that will be integrated into Clovis Municipal Schools October 30, 2019.

The event was held to announce the $336,000 grant that the Department of Defense will be providing Clovis High School for training, technology, and more to enhance the STEM and Advanced Placement® education opportunities for all students. The program is a two-year College Readiness program, developed and implemented by NMSI.

“The main intent is to enhance the experience of military children,” Masaitis said. “The original intent is to help military children keep up with their courses as they move. But the real reason that I’m so passionate about this is that it’s not really about military kids. The fact that we have a math and science initiative can translate to anywhere in our county.”

The ceremony officially kicked-off the partnership between the NMSI and Clovis High School. It educated staff and students about why the program is in place and the exact amount being utilized for their schools.

“NMSI is systemic across the United States for military kids,” said Jay Brady, Clovis High School principal. “But what this does is offer advanced classes for every kid. We get training for our teachers, new materials and equipment for our classes, and it benefits everyone.”

Educators from Clovis High School have already gone through training with NMSI over the summer. In addition to teacher training, NMSI works with schools towards easier access to advanced classes, supplies, new technology, and more.

Brady noted that NMSI standardizes AP® courses so that military children will not have to restart a class if they have to move to a new school. With NMSI’s help, Clovis High Schools have made more AP® classes available to all students.

“The schools were eligible for the grant because over 100 military children were attending Clovis Schools,” said Sarah Williams, 27th Special Operations Force Support Squadron child and youth education school liaison. “This was a fantastic opportunity to not only enhance the schools Cannon’s kids are in, but to help the community by taking the opportunities available from our partnership.”

NMSI supports education programs to more than 255 public schools in 33 states through their Military Families Mission with a focus on AP® courses. After one year in the College Readiness Programs, students at those schools have shown a 74 percent increase on AP® exams. These exams show a mastery of college-level material and make students eligible for college credits to help them in their future academic endeavors.

“We’ve implemented three AP® statistics classes as a result of the grant,” Brady said. “We also added a computer science class, AP® computer literacy class, and it also ramped up AP® Physics. We have record numbers of kids in those classes.”

For questions about the NMSI program, contact Ed Veiga, NMSI growth and development senior director, at 254-291-2174.