Schools receive expert teaching help from NSA Topics include math and science COUNTYWIDE

September 28, 1992|By Sherry Joe | Sherry Joe,Staff Writer

Mathematicians and scientists from the National Security Agency have begun teaching regularly in Howard County schools this year under an educational partnership.

Beginning this school year, about 10 mathematicians and scientists from the NSA's Mathematics Education Partnership Program are each working one hour a week with stu

dents in math and science.

NSA officials applauded the partnership.

"The quality of education of the general population is an issue of national security," said NSA math adviser George Alberts.

"Everybody can do [mathematics], and everybody should do it."

The agency formally established its partnership with the school system during a breakfast meeting held last week at the Waterside in Columbia.

The partnership will enable Howard County students to benefit from the expertise of mathematicians, said Kay Sammons, elementary

math supervisor.

"It's someone knowledgeable in mathematics," Ms. Sammons said.

"The kids look forward to him every week, coming with challenging problems."

Last year, NSA mathematicians taught in a handful of Howard County schools, said Paula Blake assistant to the superintendent, school/business relations. So far this year, eight schools are participating, she said.

"We would like NSA employees at every school, not only with kids in the gifted and talented program, but with kids who may need a little extra spark," Ms. Blake said.

But Mr. Alberts noted that students are not the only ones who will benefit from the partnership.

"We tend to be introverted as a group," Mr. Alberts said of mathematicians.

"The folks who go off and do this come back energized."

Under the program, some mathematicians will develop "one-on-one" relationships with students, while others will tutor students in small groups.

Howard County schools began establishing educational partnerships in 1987.

The NSA program is the school system's 121st partnership.

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