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Help MASTERthese Supply Urgently Needed PPEs to Battle COVID-19

In News by Jiehui (Jackie) FuLeave a Comment

We are supplying urgently needed PPEs, including masks and googles, to hospitals in hot zones, and we need your help …

Doctors, nurses, and others are risking their lives to help us during this pandemic crisis. In many cases, they do so at a significantly higher risk caused by the shortage of PPE’s.

Motivated to help with this urgent problem, members of MASTERthese have repurposed resources and efforts. In particular, MASTERthese is raising funds to purchase N95 masks (and other PPE’s) for donation to hospitals. MASTERthese procures masks in a way that does not compete with hospitals for those same N95 masks.

Med school students ensure N95 masks get to where they are most urgently needed. Likewise, retired firefighters get all other kinds of masks to where first responders most need them.

MASTERthese is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. All donations are 100% tax-deductible.

Your contribution can save lives. We welcome any amount. Please take action by sending your donation today.

Send Checks To:
MASTERthese
28241 Crown Valley Parkway, Suite F330, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

Wire Transfer Info:
Routing number: 122239270
Account number: 49061138
Name on account: masterthese
Recipient address: Opus Bank, 19900 McArthur Blvd, Irvine, CA 92610

Click here for a copy of this flier.

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MASTERthese Announces New “Smart in a Box” Project

In MASTERthese Announcement by Victoria DozerLeave a Comment

At MASTERthese, the main goal of the curriculum we offer to Title 1 schools is to improve the math, reading, and science skills of students that have previously given up on academic success due to repeated failures in their normal school system. The curriculum is based off of the research of Carol Dweck, a psychology professor at Stanford and researcher in educational psychology, as well as numerous other educators, and designed to gain student interest in future STEM careers. The main way that MASTERthese has started to implement this curriculum is through the Smart in a Box project. The Smart in a Box starts students out with baseline math material, refining academic skills in multiple areas as the curriculum becomes normalized in the classroom. This normalization involves cooperation in the classroom between students and educators, as well as coordination with parents and administrators. The material values mistakes and growth, rather than the perfection of reading, math, and science skills of every single student. And it’s all real: the material that a classroom gets in a Smart in a Box is tangible. Administrators or teachers can purchase a Smart in a Box through MASTERthese and have the material shipped to their school, including instructions on how to get students started and course guidance. The boxes are designed to be effective for students of all performance levels, as well as affordable. Though the Smart is a Box is low cost, classrooms can input a profile on the MASTERthese profile page requesting funding or donations for a Smart in a Box. And, those who want to fund a classroom can donate through the same program. This way, every classroom should be able to use the curriculum.

In addition, the curriculum comes with incentives for the students. As students make progress, they are rewarded with “Smart Gear”, which includes stickers, t-shirts, and other fun small prizes. Though some of the Smart Gear can be purchased on the MASTERthese website for anyone, special edition Smart Gear will only be issued to participants in the Smart in a Box program. The idea is that students will be able to answer the question: “Can Smart Gear make you smart?”

Once the project is complete and curriculum has been implemented in a number of Title 1 schools, MASTERthese staff will be refining the curriculum to make it even more accessible and successful in the classroom. The staff will be working with the Cal State San Bernardino educational psychology research team to structure questionnaires and determine the impact of the curriculum on students. The questionnaires will allow MASTERthese to use feedback to refine the Smart in a Box material and develop it to better fit the needs of the specific students using it. The staff will also be working with the Cal State Long Beach Math Department collecting data for statistical analysis. The data collection will allow MASTERthese staff to quantify the success of the Smart in a Box material and continue to improve on it.

As Joseph Ingalls, program administrator for the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE), told the MASTERthese staff when discussing the project: “You can never stop learning!”. The MASTERthese staff takes this to heart – the goal is not only to improve the STEM and reading skills of students, but for educators and MASTERthese staff to learn more about the learning of students from the application of new curriculum. MASTERthese believes that the Smart in a Box project can do both of these things.

About the Author

Victoria Dozer

Administrative and Board Member at MASTERthese, student at Orange County School of the Arts


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MASTERthese adds distinguished advisory board member

In MASTERthese Announcement by Skylar Ruffner

“Education has always been a passion ….”   — Kevin Nagle

We are ecstatic to announce that Mr. Kevin Nagle is joining our MASTERthese team as an advisor. Kevin Nagle was the chief executive officer and co-founder of EnvisionRx, and a founding member of the Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council. He possesses a M.A. in Business and Public Administration from the University of Southern California, and a B.A. in Political Science and Communications from the California State University at Long Beach.

As a board member of St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California, Mr. Nagle stated that “Education has always been a passion of [his]”. We are elated to work with such an influential figure who possesses such a grand depth of wisdom, and we are eager to present him with such a wonderful community of teens and adults working to make a difference in education.

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New MASTERthese Adviser Plans to Help Guide Building Passion for Reading

In MASTERthese Announcement by Brian KimLeave a Comment

Ms. Michelle Morris is on board as our literature and publishing advisor. As a communications professional, she will integrate her expertise in publishing and connecting software developers’ innovative ideas to our students’ goals as trailblazers, guiding the way to educational success.

Her current position at Mobilitie, where she works with technical writers to create an educational app spanning all academic genres, fits well with our comprehensive goal to increase scholastic achievement and launch service projects, offer complimentary presentations, and share inspiring, personal experiences.

Ms. Morris’s confidence in providing solid counsel aligns with our mission to guide students comprising of elementary to high schoolers to have a more thorough comprehension on their aspirations.

Michelle Morris, MASTERthese Advisor
About the Author

Brian Kim

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MIT Women’s Initiative Sheds a Positive Light on STEM

In MASTERthese Announcement by Xuzheng LangLeave a Comment

The week of MIT Women’s Initiative presentations and learning activities at schools in south Orange County by the team of MIT engineering students has ended with great success. Based upon the positive feedback from student participants, we are able to look back at this remarkable and distinctive offering, knowing that this event placed STEM in a positive light for those students who attended this event. With the large number of schools and students involved, the work for the MIT team was grueling, but they never complained. They eagerly accepted additional presentations and gave as much time as possible to the students.

Each session began with a presentation by the team of two MIT engineering students to the entire student group. Students were then broken up into two groups who then participated in two different hands-on learning activities. Then the two groups rotated to the other learning activity. 

During the initial presentation, each presenter shared her own background prior to entering college, enabling students to better relate to her. Then the presenters painted pictures of their lives as engineering students and researchers at MIT. They discussed both personal and academic aspects, further enabling students to relate to them.

Anyone walking past this event and observing would notice all student attention completely focused on the presenters during the presentation, and one hundred percent student engagement during the hands-on learning activities.

We thank MIT for establishing this MIT Women’s Initiative Program, the MIT engineering students, Jane and Tooba for their efforts, SAMPE for funding the program, HUNTER Programs for helping organize the event, and the schools for helping organize and getting the word out to students.

About the Author

Xuzheng Lang

Tenth grade student at JSerra High School, San Juan Capistrano, CA, USA | Founding Member of MASTERthese | Aspiring to become medical school student

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MIT Women’s Initiative Update: Latest Plans Reveal Program Well Received by Schools.

In MASTERthese Announcement by Xuzheng LangLeave a Comment

Fortunately, with all involved entities working so well together, we were all able to connect the pieces necessary to place this program in so many schools in such a short time. I am looking forward to helping the schools make the most out of this great opportunity.Raymond Hunter, CEO HUNTER Programs Education Services, and adviser to MASTERthese

MASTERthese has now secured dates in January 2018 during which the MIT Women’s Initiative Program will take place at specially selected schools in south Orange County, California. Two female MIT engineering Ph.D. candidates will travel to these schools to conduct exciting presentations and learning activities designed to get girls more excited about majoring and seeking careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

MASTERthese founding member, Logan Purcell said, “I was really glad to hear that MIT approved our schools since it signaled that our teamwork over the past several weeks with SAMPE and HUNTER Programs Education Services really paid off.” Logan explained further, “It was very competitive in getting MIT to very graciously include us in it’s wonderful Women’s Initiative Program. MIT gets applications from schools nationwide. As you can imagine, there are not very many female Ph.D. candidates in the first place, and yet, the idea is to use female Ph.D. candidates to encourage a greater number of females in STEM. It’s a kind of catch twenty-two. We are very excited to be included, and we will do everything we can to ensure it runs smoothly and makes a great impact.”

Joe Ingalls, SAMPE Foundation Program Administrator said, “The people at SAMPE are very pleased with this outcome. With composite materials becoming such an important part of the future and yet something that is not yet taught in K-12, females pursuing university studies in this field will have a major competitive edge. We sure hope to influence more women into materials, and into STEM in general.”

Ray Hunter, CEO of HUNTER Programs Education Services and adviser to MASTERthese, said, “I am really glad SAMPE reached out to us for help with this. The MIT Women’s Initiative Program is wonderful and it’s a good fit with what MASTERthese is all about. Fortunately, with all involved entities working so well together, we were all able to connect the pieces necessary to place this program in so many schools in such a short time. I am looking forward to helping the schools make the most out of this great opportunity.”

HUNTER Programs Education Services (HPES) has agreed to hold follow up meetings after the MIT presentations. In the follow up meetings, HPES will help parents and students understand the differences between applying to colleges as STEM majors versus non-STEM, applying to private colleges versus public colleges, and HPES will also answer any other related questions parents and students may have.

The MIT Women’s Initiative Program will be in schools January 22 – January 26, 2018. The following high schools will have presentations on their own campuses: Aliso Niguel High School, Capistrano Valley High School, Dana Hills High School, JSerra Catholic High School, San Clemente High School, San Juan Hills High School, and Santa Margarita High School. The following middle school will have a presentation on its own campus: St. Mary’s and All Angels. The following middle schools will be combined into a single presentation hosted on the Capistrano Valley High School campus: Aliso Viejo, Arroyo Vista, Don Juan Avila, Bernice Ayer, Capistrano Home School, Marco Forster, Carl Hankey, Ladera Ranch, Las Flores, Fred Newhart, Niguel Hills, Shorecliffs, and Vista Del Mar. The following middle schools will be combined into a single presentation hosted on the Santa Margarita High School campus: Serra, St. Edwards, St. Anne, St. Johns, The Mission, Our Lady of Fatima.

About the Author

Xuzheng Lang

Tenth grade student at JSerra High School, San Juan Capistrano, CA, USA | Founding Member of MASTERthese | Aspiring to become medical school student

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MASTERthese Becomes Official Nonprofit Corporation

In MASTERthese Announcement by Joseph PurcellLeave a Comment

After many months of behind the scenes planning and prepping, MASTERthese finally made the leap from hope, idea and plan to reality, concrete, and action. It is a very exciting time for MASTERthese, and MASTERthese has wasted no time in moving forward once the state of California approved it as a California nonprofit corporation.

Just as with so many other things, the journey and results are superior when planning and prepping is done right. Thanks to the seasoned advisory board members willing to put time and effort into this nonprofit startup, the planning and prepping were fruitful, with proof of this in the subsequent successful organization growth in terms of membership, executive recruitment, and project initialization.

In the articles of incorporation filed with the state, “charitable” and “educational” were identified as the purpose for operating MASTERthese. This gives MASTERthese flexibility to operate as desired by its designers as a sort of “open-source” organization. Also, this organization is run entirely by students for better math, reading, and science. To the designers when combining these two ideas it creates an environment in which students can creatively design and implement creative programs under the MASTERthese nonprofit umbrella.

We look forward to seeing all of the exciting and positive things we can accomplish!

About the Author

Joseph Purcell

Student at St. Margaret's Episcopal School | Chairman of MASTERthese | I Hope to Become an Engineer

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MIT Women’s Initiative Comes to South Orange County

In MASTERthese Announcement by Xuzheng LangLeave a Comment

I have seen the MIT women presentations at schools in the past, and it is very exciting and engaging –something that you just have to see for yourself to understand the positive impact it makes on young students.Joe Ingalls, SAMPE Foundation Program Administrator

MASTERthese is excited to announce that the MIT Women’s Initiative Program is coming to south Orange County, and that we are the main organizers of this event.

MIT provides two specially trained female engineering Ph.D. candidates to participating public and private high schools and middle schools where they will conduct engaging presentations and learning activities with groups of female students. The goal is to excite girls about STEM majoring and STEM careers by providing girls with the latest information about engineering and other STEM disciplines, and by providing fresh insight into what real STEM professionals do every day.

Hunter Programs Education Services then does follow-up meetings at schools with students and parents to discuss applying to colleges as STEM versus non-STEM, to discuss applying to public colleges versus private, and to answer any other college questions parents or students may have.

This program is funded in its entirety by the SAMPE Foundation (Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering). In a recent interview with Joe Ingalls, Program Director for the SAMPE Foundation, Joe said, “I have seen the MIT women presentations at schools in the past, and it is very exciting and engaging –something that you just have to see for yourself to understand the positive impact it makes on young students.”

The deadline for registration is November 3, 2017, and the MIT program will take place in January, 2018. This program is not recruitment for MIT, and although it is meant to get girls more interested in STEM, boys may attend.

Check back at this website for updates, including a list of participating schools as more information becomes available.


Joe Ingalls, SAMPE Foundation Program Director

About the Author

Xuzheng Lang

Tenth grade student at JSerra High School, San Juan Capistrano, CA, USA | Founding Member of MASTERthese | Aspiring to become medical school student

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Microsoft Makes Impressive Effort to Inspire Girls to Pursue STEM

In News by Raymond HunterLeave a Comment

Microsoft’s effort, although large and well thought out, won’t be enough to overcome this problem without numerous alliances.Raymond Hunter

Microsoft’s massive mobilization of an enormous range of exciting programs all designed to get more girls involved in STEM clearly demonstrates that Microsoft stands behind it’s mantra, “Make What’s Next.”

As a fellow STEM individual hailing from generations of STEM family members, for many more years than I care to admit, I too have noted this incredible shortage of females in STEM, in college and in industry.

It is true that with every day that goes by, mankind makes advancements once thought impossible. But the lack of females in STEM is a problem that spans millenniums and goes back to the very origins of math and science.

When first hearing about Microsoft’s ambitious efforts, three thoughts came to mind. First, it’s about time that an effort of this size launched to help solve this problem. Second, Microsoft’s effort, although large and well thought out, won’t be enough to overcome this problem without numerous alliances. Third, perhaps this is something MASTERthese might wish to support?

About the Author

Raymond Hunter

CEO Hunter Programs Education Services | Advisor to MASTERthese

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Women, Grab Your Incredible STEM Opportunities Now!

In News by Rachel WinstonLeave a Comment

Women can be remarkably successful in STEM careers. While women have made some progress, many do not believe they are good enough.Rachel Winston, Ph.D.
  • Women can be remarkably successful in STEM careers. While women have made some progress, many do not believe they are good enough. There are numerous summer programs targeted to promote women in engineering, computer science, mathematics, and scientific research. Still, the numbers are low.

    In the 1980’s only 5.8% of U.S. engineers were women. That number has risen to 14%. In Canada, women in engineering has, surprisingly, dropped from 21% at the turn of the century to 17%, despite the efforts to encourage women to enter engineering fields.

    STEM fields are growing and starting salaries are higher than in other fields. According to the National

  • Association for Colleges and Employers, the 2017 graduating class was paid the highest for chemical engineers with computer, biomedical, material science, and electrical engineers close behind. Those who majored in History, English, Psychology, Sociology, and Education earned approximately half as much per year. Even accounting majors earned $20,000 less per year.

    Convincing women to pursue engineering is difficult as their classmates are mostly men and courses are significantly harder than non-STEM peers. Nevertheless, the potential for high salary, benefits, and career mobility is high. Women must make a personal choice to persevere, but the chance for innovation, opportunity, and income may outweigh the alternative for the highly motivated.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rachel Winston

CEO Lizard Publishing | Director of Mathematics, Brandman/Chapman University | UCLA Professor of College Counseling | UCLA Professor of College Counseling | Advisor to MASTERthese