One in five Houston area students do not graduate from high school; our Houston signature program addresses this statistic by supporting math education through student peer-to-peer tutoring, supplemental instruction and professional development for teachers. Houston is the home of our headquarters, and improving math education is a way for us to help equip our community’s students for future success.
Applied Math Program (AMP!)
The Applied Math Program (AMP!) aims to improve science and math teaching in Houston-area middle schools by providing intensive professional development for teachers and helping them create engaging learning experiences for their students.
Developed through collaboration between ConocoPhillips and Rice University, the cross-disciplinary AMP! curriculum helps teachers strengthen the skills they need to inspire, motivate and engage students in the classroom, improving student performance by building connections between math and science concepts.
The AMP! program is closely modeled after the successful ConocoPhillips Rice Elementary Model Science Lab. Fifteen pairs of Houston-area eighth grade teachers—1 math and 1 science teacher from the same school—complete an intensive 40-hour training session at the AMP! Summer Institute held on Rice University's campus. The training sets the foundation for the year-long professional development program, in which the pairs work together to address the interdependency between their subjects and to develop students' conceptual knowledge by providing more opportunities for them to cultivate effective reasoning skills.
"(Students) don't see the connections between their math and science classes which often impacts their ability to be successful."
Dr. Carolyn Nichol, director of the Rice Office for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Engagement
"We've done quite a lot of research about connecting math and science, and much of it shows that students see their schools as very compartmentalized," said Dr. Carolyn Nichol, director of the Rice Office for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Engagement, which developed AMP!. "They don't see the connections between their math and science classes which often impacts their ability to be successful."
Over the course of the academic year, teachers will meet 6 times to continue to explore connections between mathematics and science and develop skills to enhance learning in their classrooms.