Northwest Local School District, Cincinnati, OH

Success Story: Improving Math Scores and Attitudes in Middle Schools


Middle school students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades in 18 classes in Cincinnati taking part in a Straight-A project, funded by Ohio Department of Education, had higher math achievement scores after just one semester of using the UC Davis C-STEM Math-ICT Curriculum. Additionally, students are changing their attitudes around math. 11% more of the C-STEM students were predicted to be proficient in math on state tests as compared to a control group with a similar number of students who did not receive the C-STEM intervention. 

Curriculum Supervisor for the Northwest Local School District (NWLSD), Leslie Silbernagel notes, “[Students] are moving past being afraid that they are not good at math and finding out that they might actually enjoy it.”

Applied mathematics teacher Scott Fortkamp says, “They are learning to problem solve. They are learning to collaborate and to persevere and figure things out.”

“As one seventh-grader watched his on-screen robot execute the required circle, he shot his arms up in the air and celebrated. ‘I am a genius!’ he said.”

Darrell Yater, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, highlights the academic success students are achieving in with NLSD’s C-STEM program. “Students and teachers like the project, and the district likes the results. He said 11 percent more of the 328 C-STEM students were predicted to be proficient in math on state tests as compared to the control group of 349 like students with no C-STEM intervention.

Updated Final Results:  In 2016-2017 school year, 14 % more C-STEM students scored proficient or higher on the Ohio Computer Based Assessments for Math, comparing the data from 2015-2016 school year. 77% of the students in the Applied Math class using C-STEM curriculum passed the 8th grade Math AIR assessment
versus 16% of the students in Applied Math who passed in the previous year (not using C-STEM curriculum).

For more information see articles below

  1. 5/8/2017, Northwest Local School spark student interest in STEM fields with first-ever robotics competition 
  2. Spring 2017, Contest Corner: Narrowing the Achievement Gap with C-STEM Curriculum
  3. 3/26/2017, Math scores should improve with C-STEM robot class
  4. 6/29/2016, Math-challenged? Robots may be the answer