STEM Center Tutors Expand Reach During COVID

Published: January 22, 2021 | Author: Kierstin Pitcher-Holloway | Read Time: 2 minutes

STEM Center responds to COVIDThe STEM Center for Teaching and Learning at Southern Utah University has been serving the southern Utah community by tutoring K-12 grade students since 2017. With the changes and challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to education, the STEM Center tutors have been able to expand their services to reach an even larger student population.

“When coronavirus hit last spring, we started our first online tutoring and were able to serve 45 students,” said Charlene Busch, STEM projects coordinator. “Then this academic year, we decided to only offer online tutoring because we have a bigger reach that way; our numbers are already growing.”

By the end of the first month, concentrating on online tutoring alone, the STEM Center had helped 75 students. The STEM Center currently serves children from Millard, Beaver, Washington, Iron, Kane and Garfield counties, but will accept online students from anywhere.
Since beginning online tutoring, the STEM Center has had to overcome obstacles, from finding the best

video conferencing platform to simply getting the word out about free math and science tutoring.

“We have made improvements along the way,” said Busch. “I think probably one of our biggest challenges that we're trying to address is families that don't have enough technology at home to access the tutoring.”

Even after education normalizes again, the STEM Center has decided to continue offering online tutoring for grades K-12. Currently the only in-person, socially-distanced tutoring available is held at Cedar High School for 9th-12th grade students. Other students are encouraged to sign up for online tutoring.

Student qualifications are minimal, requiring only parental permission and that the students come to the tutoring sessions prepared with the homework they would like help on. The current tutoring schedule is Monday-Thursday from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Wednesdays from 2:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. To sign up, students and parents should visit the SUU STEM Tutoring Page.

When parents sign their student up for tutoring, they will be scheduled to meet with a tutor who will be able to help them succeed.

Whether it’s offering free tutoring to any student, bringing STEM resources and equipment to teachers through an extensive lending library, or showing students the far reaches of the universe in their mobile planetarium, the STEM Center strives to expand the world of students, creating opportunities that will benefit them for a lifetime.

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