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Helping Students Find Their Sine

Funds from the Equipped 4 Success school supply drive are used to purchase graphing calculators for Alameda public high schools.

Geometry can be challenging enough in itself. But imagine having to make calculations using a giant grid of trigonometry calculations and then using these calculations to multiply or divide to solve for a missing side length. Whew! It is surely as tedious as it sounds and it puts the emphasis on not making a math mistake rather than learning necessary geometry standards. But that is the case for many Alameda high school students who cannot afford to purchase graphing calculators, which retail for around $125 each.

However, thanks to the success of the summer Equipped 4 Success school supply drive, graphing calculators were purchased with funds from the drive and distributed to Alameda public high schools, including Alameda, Encinal and ASTI (Alameda Science and Technology Institute). These calculators will be available for students who cannot afford to purchase one of their own.

According to Encinal High School math teacher Zach Raher, “With these calculators I can even the playing field and provide a meaningful lesson rather than have students focus on the arduous task of decimal multiplication and division with the trig tables.” The calculators are used for classes in geometry, algebra II and above.

Equipped 4 Success was a community-wide collaborative school supply drive sponsored by the Alameda Education Foundation; the Alameda Unified School District; the Alameda Point Collaborative; the Alameda Boys and Girls Club; and the Alameda Collaborative for Children, Youth and Families. The drive collected backpacks and supplies to support low-income students served by these organizations. Over 900 stuffed backpacks were distributed prior to the start of school. Additional supplies have been distributed directly to local schools to support other students in need. Funds from this drive were used to purchase 30 graphing calculators.

View the original story as published on the Alameda Patch here.

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