American Canyon Middle School

Success Story: Students Shine on Common Core State Smarter Balanced Math Test


C-STEM curriculum is meeting the skills and needs of the students and 21st Century Skills.

Tammy Lee, Math Teacher, American Canyon Middle School


The C-STEM program provides engaging math curriculum that integrates computing and robotics to enhance students’ interest and improve their performance in math. In classes with traditionally low pass rates, like Algebra, the C-STEM curriculum increases students’ ability to pass and boosts scores on standardized tests. One school that has experienced success from the C-STEM Program is American Canyon Middle School in southern Napa County, California.

American Canyon Middle School in Napa Valley Unified School District has been involved with the C-STEM program since 2012. Tammy Lee, an 8th grade math teacher at ACMS, has used the C-STEM curriculum  with Computing and Robotics with great success for many years. Additionally, teams from American Canyon middle and high schools have triumphed at the C-STEM RoboPlay Challenge Competition three years in a row.

For the 2016-2017 school year, Lee’s math class scored outstandingly on the mathematics portion of the Smarter Balanced Assessment. The Smarter Balanced test is required for all California students and assesses their ability to meet Common Core mathematics standards. 33% of students in her district and 38% in her school scored  “Standard Exceeded or Met”.

In Lee’s math class, 94% of students scored “Standards Exceeded” and 6% scored “Standards Met”. No students scored “Standards Not Met” or “Standards Nearly Met”. 37% of the class scored a perfect 2082, which is the highest score possible on the test.

For the comparison group of all students in other four middle schools in the district taking a similar math class, 53% of students scored   “Standards Exceeded”35% students scored “Standards Met”, and 12% students “Standards Nearly Met”.

“C-STEM curriculum is meeting the skills and needs of the students and 21st Century Skills,” said Lee.

Students perform well when they can apply the abstract concepts they are learning to real-world situations. This is why programming and robotics complement math harmoniously. With C-STEM curriculum, students can watch a distance vs. time graph come alive before their eyes and in turn solidify the math that allowed them to do it. Lee’s 8th graders’ incredible achievement on the Smarter Balanced Assessment reveal the power of C-STEM curriculum to meet and exceed student needs.

In 2017-2018 school year, more schools from Napa County, including American Canyon MS, Redwood MS, American Canyon HS, Valley Oak HS, Vintage HS, and St. Helena HS, will implement the C-STEM Integrated Math 1 with Computing and Robotics course with seed funding from NapaLearns for county-wide implementation.

For more information see articles below

  1. 6/6/2019, American Canyon schools win top honors in robotics competition
  2. 11/8/2018, Napa Valley educators recognized for work in C-STEM for students
  3. 9/19/18, NapaLearn uses grant to bring UC Davis C-STEM program for math and coding to Napa County
  4. 5/29/18, American Canyon students excel at robotics competition
  5. 3/6/2018, NapaLearns receives $1 million gift from Trinchero Family Estates to expand C-STEM program in Napa County.
  6. 12/26/2017, American Canyon educators honored for pioneering robotics program.
  7. 8/25/2017, NapaLearns seed-funds county-wide implementation of C-STEM Integrated Math 1 with Computing and Robotics in Napa County.
  8. 5/24/2017, American Canyon students shine once again at robotics competition
  9. 6/1/2016, Students, especially girls, benefit from using robotics to learn math
  10. 6/4/2015, American Canyon middle, high school students win big in robotics competition
  11. 6/3/2015, King of the nerds
  12. 5/20/2015, Girl (Programming) Power