May 2010

A Holistic Approach to Math and Science Education


Are there ways to enhance math and science educational experiences for K-12 students to ensure that there is a pipeline for the future STEM workforce, while simultaneously addressing the knowledge, interests and needs of their parents, their educators and the community at large? Yes, there are. The way to do it is to build a math and science education infrastructure that extends beyond the traditional classroom setting or state mandated standard. The infrastructure includes a continuum of learning: inside and outside of the classroom and formal and informal learning opportunities. Creating that continuum is why, in 2009, my business partner, Tokiwa T. Smith, and I established the Project Equilibria Mathematics and Science Educational Consulting Firm, LLC (Project Equilibria), based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

We believe there are three factors (or phases) that determine student achievement in mathematics and science: the student; the family and the community. If one component is out of phase, then we don’t have balance (or equilibria) and our students are not going to achieve success in math and science. Project Equilibria believes balance can be attained by: 1) engaging students: allowing them not only to achieve but to have fun while learning; 2) engaging parents: providing support and education about creating an environment for learning at home; and 3) engaging the community: developing innovative and exciting math and science curricula for K-12 students and making the larger community aware of opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Our holistic approach involves developing innovative programs and services for each phase.

The Student

Our student programs include after-school (the “Next Phase”) and summer enrichment (“Connecting the Phases”) programs that provide opportunities for hands-on learning and skill development in math and science. Our “Transition Phase: Academic Enrichment Workshop” student workshops are designed to encourage and promote self accountability for education and life as well as science, technology, engineering and mathematics career exploration.

The Family

Our family programs consist of interactive workshops that show how to create a supportive learning environment at home, and foster children’s interest in math and science. Our “Parent University” is a year long course for parents and guardians. After completing the course, parents receive a certificate and become eligible to apply for the “Parental Support Educator Training Program.” This program is a year long, and, upon completion, the individual is certified as a “Parental Support Educator” and is eligible to apply for a paid contract position.

The Community

Our community programs and services are available for school districts, youth service community organizations and homeschoolers. We provide them with customized curricula, which can be based on state curriculum standards, that provide hands on math and science activities, standardized test preparation and scientific literacy skill development. Professional development workshops are available for K-12 educators (private, public or home-school), where the educators learn hands on math and science activities that can be easily implemented in their classrooms. School districts and community organizations can request any of our parent or student workshops to be conducted at their site. Local colleges and universities, corporations and government agencies that are looking to implement their corporate social responsibility or community outreach projects can also contract us to develop and implement those programs in their community.

Project Equilibria is doing its part to ensure the U.S. becomes a leader in inventions, engineering design and scientific breakthroughs by helping to create a math and science educational infrastructure that allows students to achieve academically and pursue STEM careers.

For more information, visit, or email us at

Saphronia R. Johnson ( is chief executive officer of Project Equilibria Math and Science Educational Consulting Firm, LLC.

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