Ruhana Amin, ‘17
The Student Math and Science Center, located in the library, is open daily for tutoring. The tutoring center was created February of the 2013-2014 academic year. Originally known as the Math Center, it became the Math and Science Center in the winter of the 2014-2015 academic year. “The Student Union realized that it should not only be limited to math but expanded to science as well”, said Professor Walk, the Student Union advisor and coordinator for the Math and Science Center.
The program was created after Dr. Rosenbaum, who used to staff the Math Center, switched to teaching full time. The Student Union was concerned that there were now less opportunities for students to receive tutoring. “Students wanted math tutoring but their professors were not always available. So, the Student Union discussed starting a peer tutoring program to help give extra math help,” said Professor Walk. Finally, at the beginning of this academic year, the Student Union decided that the Math Center should not be limited to math tutoring only, but should include science as well. Currently, students can get help in biology, chemistry, physics, and math, among other subjects.
Most of the tutors at the Math and Science Center are volunteers who are selected after being approved by their math and science professors. Tutors are available every school day, during school hours. When asked about any future plans, Professor Walk replied that “we are trying to get tutors who are willing to volunteer before school begins and after 3:20”.
The Center raised some concerns, including whether peer tutoring violates BHSEC’s academic integrity policy, and whether tutoring from a student would be as helpful as tutoring from a teacher. However, when these concerns were mentioned to student tutors, they responded saying that the best part about the center is the academic and social effect it has on tutors and tutees alike. The tutee may gain a better grasp of the subject through a peer who has once taken the same class, than if tutored by a professor, they claimed. The tutor’s understanding of the subject also increases dramatically.
Jade Baptiste, a 9th grader who is a regular at the Math and Science Center agreed, saying, “This was a useful resource. Getting peer tutoring is helpful because it clarifies your confusion in a subject with a person who is around your age. Also, you can get a simpler explanation on the topic from a tutor than [from] your teacher. I went for math help. The Math and Science Center is cool!”