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SMArT, Science and Math Achiever Teams, is a mentoring program which provides college students with the opportunity to share their interests in science or math with middle school students. This uniquely successful program pairs college students one-on-one with fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth graders to complete a math- or science-related project of their choice over the course of one semester.

Volunteers meet with their partners once a week for about two hours to work on their project. In addition, there is usually at least one field trip each semester in which all volunteers and students are invited to participate. These trips have been to the Beardsley Zoological Gardens in Bridgeport, Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Sleeping Giant State Park in North Haven, and St. Raphael's Hospital in New Haven.

At the end of the semester, the students display their projects at the Science Expo, an open house to which parents, faculty, administrators, community members, and the media are invited. This also provides time for the volunteers and students to learn about and discuss the projects that other pairs have completed.

Program SMArT's design allows the middle school students to explore an area of interest with personal attention and ample resources, which often are not available to them in the regular classroom setting. The middle school students learn that through planning and commitment they can achieve their goals and have a finished product. They also see that learning does not require being lectured at or being forced to do something, but rather that learning can be fun and rewarding. Program SMArT creates an environment of cooperative learning. Interacting in such an environment is a unique experience for most students in SMArT.

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Page last updated 9-9-01
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