Education Spotlight: North Valley students learning math in a new way

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- In ABC30's segment, Education Spotlight, Action News Anchor Landon Burke will talk with Merced County Office of Education (MCOE) officials about some of the biggest topics in education.

North Valley students have the opportunity to learn math in a whole new way.

Landon Burke spoke with MCOE officials about a new data science course.

Landon: Tell me a little bit about this new partnership.

Emily Tietjen: The partnership is around subjects called data science, and that's a burgeoning field. We're seeing more classes being offered at the university level but also on the high school level. It combines statistics mobility, computer science and data. So the partnership that we have exists because Dr. Joe Bowler and out of Stanford University have partnered with some of our districts to implement the course. This year, we have four districts that adopted the course and three sites that are offering it for the school year.

Lee Spivey: We feel very fortunate. This is the first year it's being offered as a full-year course. There was only a few units piloted in a new locations last year, but this is the first year it's being offered as a full-year course. My understanding is that it's being offered across 26 states. But they chose us here in Merced County to work with us for their research base and to see how the work is going with their new course.

Landon: Let's talk more about what the students stand to benefit from this course. What do you guys hope that enrolling in the course will help prepare the students for?

Emily: Something that's really important for the work and the implementation of this course is our public university institutions approved this course for fulfilling one of the requirements for math to be accepted into a CSU or UC. By offering this course, we're opening up options for students to take courses that are different that the traditional pathways of math. Not to say we're trying to get rid of the calculus pathway, that's another important option. But both these courses get our students college and career ready.

Lee: We want students to emerge with some data literacy. We are inundated with data from all kinds of sources around the world. I'm having students be able to make sense of all this data, be able to use the data, to mine the data for their own personal or professional benefits. They've used many professional platforms that having experience with will benefit them when they enter the job market. We're going to see students emerge from this class with CTE skills as well as a literacy level for their adult world that is very useful.
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