Home Bootcamps Numerade opens free online STEM summer bootcamps to help MS and HS students overcome COVID learning loss

Numerade opens free online STEM summer bootcamps to help MS and HS students overcome COVID learning loss


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SSummer is a time when students explore their personal interests, and for approximately 100,000 students, free STEM bootcamps will provide a chance to expand their understanding of everything from calculus to chemistry, biology to algebra.

For the second consecutive summer, Numerad offers free summer workout classes as a way to combat pandemic learning loss. The eight-week video-based online courses are for middle and high school students, using a web-based virtual learning platform. There are 20 courses, providing access to some of the company’s over 1 million abbreviated educational videos — created with input from over 1,000 educators — covering STEM courses as well as SAT and ACT test prep.

When students enroll in free classes, they are placed in cohorts with other students. “Key to the learning process,” says co-founder Nhon Ma, “is educator-created content and a sense of community with students.” Students can interact with others in the same bootcamp through the online Discord server, ideally helping each other answer questions and discuss content. Each week, students receive a sequence of curriculum-aligned videos designed to be viewed at their own pace and at their own pace. At the end of the week, quizzes are used to track student understanding, and after eight weeks, participants can earn a certificate of achievement for completing the course.

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Continuing class offerings begin weekly, and Ma says students are encouraged to take multiple classes throughout the summer. Last summer, 30,000 students participated, and he expects about 100,000 this year.

“We give encouragement and support and the resources that students need to see their grades and confidence improve dramatically,” Ma says. “There is a positive benefit that happens for students and their community.”

The free summer program also serves as an introduction to Numerade and the $9.99 per month subscription fee to access its entire library of content.

Founders Ma and Alex Lee, both from South Central Los Angeles, began working together eight years ago after scholarship opportunities enabled Ma to attend and graduate from the Columbia University. He then worked in finance and served as a product manager for programmatic ad design at Google. It was there that Ma decided he wanted to focus on closing the gaps in educational opportunity instead.

After initially creating an online tutoring platform, the duo learned that students regularly return to recorded tutoring sessions to replay them multiple times. “What is fundamental to the learning process, especially for STEM, is repetition,” says Ma. “Students need to engage reps as much as they can, and in a safe space where they are not judged.” This idea led to Numerade, which was launched in 2019, giving students 24/7 access to short form video resources.

The free summer bootcamps started in 2020 and, “with the accumulated learning losses, we felt a huge responsibility to help students close any learning gaps as much as possible and move forward. before,” says Ma.

The desire to spark an interest in STEM has led the company to focus its videos on kids as young as middle school age. “If students don’t get the reinforcement and support they need in middle school, they often drop out of STEM altogether,” Ma says. “What we want is to make sure students have the confidence to pursue their journey.”

For summer bootcamps, classes cover physics, math, chemistry, and biology. Chemistry 101 provides an introduction to reactions, aqueous solutions, thermochemistry, electronic structure, the periodic table, chemical bonds, and gases. Chemistry 102 covers liquids, solids, solutions, kinetics, chemical equilibrium, acids and bases, aqueous equilibriums, thermodynamics, electrochemistry, and nuclear chemistry.

Biology summer camp includes understanding of cellular respiration and fermentation, cell cycle and cell reproduction, photosynthesis, cell signaling, gene expression and viruses.

Physics 101 Mechanics studies motion, energy, forces, and momentum while Physics 102 Electricity and Magnetism creates a virtual lab for understanding temperature, heat, electricity, and magnetism. A Physics 103 course focuses on the different waves, whether mechanical, sound or light, and quantum mechanics.

Math courses range from algebra to precalculus and geometry to calculus, the most popular. Summer programs also include test prep for the SAT and ACT.


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