Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Math Mentoring Program on Underserved 7th-Grade Students in HISD



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Math Confidence through Cubing Club, or MC3, is an after-school mentoring program housed within the Honors College’s Bonner Leaders program. MC3 is dedicated to fighting poverty in Houston’s Third Ward by working to close the math achievement gap and improve confidence in 7th-graders at Yolanda Black Navarro Middle School. Mentors visit the school twice a week and tutor math and teach students how to solve a Rubik’s cube. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated an existing education gap in underserved communities, and Navarro Middle School is no exception. This research is focused on evaluating MC3’s effectiveness as a mentoring program in our first semester of service. By using math assessments and questionnaires, we were able to compare student performance before and after participating in the program. The findings suggest a correlation between mentorship and an increase in self-esteem, which may be attributed to learning to solve the Rubik’s cube. Student math performance increased as well, specifically, the amount of tries students took to solve the math problems. Based on the results, the project plans to make changes in survey phrasing to remove any bias or misunderstanding, as well as further research the correlation between program attendance, behavior, and academic performance.