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Calculator Grant Expands Access to High School Math

photo of calculator

Shopping for back to school supplies is fun. Folders are nineteen cents. Pens are ten for a dollar. Fun!

Until you get to the graphing calculators. 

Just the mention of “TI-84” or, for older parents, “TI-86,” is enough to bring back some stressful memories of buying new calculators to replace the $100 one they just bought that their child can’t find. And for many families, it's an expense they either can't afford or really struggle to fit into their budget.

Last fall, in the interest of family and teacher-student harmony, the high school math department decided to do something about that. Teachers Tim Farmer, Mary Elderkin, Maggie Edison, Mike Dykstra, Brian VanderBee, Erik Lundeen, Andrea Brisboe, Madelyn Myers, and Elisha Murphy applied for a $2,860 grant from the Foundation to purchase a set of graphing calculators for students to share.

"We have found that several students are not either able to afford or acquire graphing calculators, leaving them at an extreme disadvantage in the math classroom,” Murphy says. “Other students may forget to bring their calculators to class. 

“From Advanced Algebra on, graphing calculators are a required tool. The addition of graphing calculators in the classroom, with the EGRSF grant, has greatly helped those students without access to one to engage on a daily basis. High school math classrooms now have equitable access to graphing calculator which empower students to visualize, analyze, and conquer complex mathematical concepts with precision and efficiency."