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Las Lecciones Aprendidas (English version)

Press Release Date 
Monday, February 13, 2012

Free, bilingual math program aims to multiply Latino geek population

SAN JOSE, SILICON VALLEY, Calif., Wednesday January 11 - A unique approach to tackle the dearth of Latinos in science, technology, engineering and math is yielding steady success at The Tech Museum, where the free bilingual program is increasingly engaging hundreds of families.

Family Math and Design, designed to help children develop mathematical thinking and problem- solving skills using games and engineering design challenges, is meant to tear down the barriers that contribute to the under-representation of Latinos in the sciences while exposing the population to potential careers in the field. 
"A lack of diversity among the science and technology workforce is detrimental for innovation and limits our ability as a society to benefit from the full range of talent and minds," said Tim Ritchie, museum president. "It's imperative that we commit to inspiring, preparing and training the next generation for their own personal success but also because they are key to long-term global competitiveness."
Latinos are the fastest growing demographic in the country, and by 2030, it is estimated that Latinos will make up more than 20 percent of the population and more than 22 percent of the labor workforce. But while some of the fastest growing jobs in the country are in the sciences, Latinos are largely underrepresented in the field. In 2008, for example, Latinos represented only 4 percent of the science and engineering workforce, levels far below that of Latinos in the general population.
Family Math and Design means to turn that around. Begun in 2009 in partnership with Lawrence Hall of Science, Family Math and Design combines a challenging curriculum, bilingual instruction by 2 engineering students and enthusiastic role models to introduce science and math-and, ultimately, inspire learning and an interest in the field. The program, which targets kindergarten through 5th grade, is based on a familial foundation: At least one parent or guardian is required to attend with the children. Parents are also encouraged to be more supportive, knowledgeable and engaged in their child's general education.
Sponsored by Microsoft, Family Math and Design is offered by The Tech Museum on most Saturdays during the school year. The program has six-week sessions offered at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., with more than 540 hours of instruction per session. A new session started January 7.
The program can serve up to 2,400 families each season; last year we reached nearly 1,800-a number that has continued to climb since the program began. A 90-minute interactive class also features free admission to the museum, allowing families to explore a science in an interactive, hands-on setting. Families can register at any time.
Saturdays at 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. or 2:00-3:30
Each Family Math and Design session is 6 weeks of Saturday classes.
Sessions are offered on:
February 18 - March 24, 2012
April 14 - May 19, 2012
Free. Snacks are provided for participants.
Must register for full session.
Roqua Montez
Director of Public Relations
(408) 795-6225
About The Tech Museum
The Tech Museum is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. The museum-located in the Capital of Silicon Valley - is a non-profit learning resource established to engage people in exploring and experiencing technologies affecting their lives. Through programs such as The Tech Challenge presented by Cisco, our annual team design competition for youth, and internationally renowned programs such as The Tech Awards presented by Applied Materials, Inc., The Tech Museum celebrates the present and encourages the development of innovative ideas for a more promising future.