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Neff Outreach Fund Awardees

Announcing the 2023 Neff Outreach Funded Projects

  • Project Institution: Chaminade University of Honolulu
  • Project Director: Lori Shimoda
  • Project Summary: The I Am A Scientist (IAS) program is a unique free STEM outreach program where professional scientists and university undergraduates teach science & math concepts and skills to students in their own school. Using innovative and career relevant hands-on activities, students experience success using math and data in an exciting and supporting environment outside their standard classroom curriculum. Our project is a collaboration with the Data Science, Analytics and Visualization Program at Chaminade University of Honolulu, the United Nations CIFAL Center Honolulu, Hawai‘i public schools, and community organizations. We prioritize serving students in underserved communities on the neighbor islands and on Oahu where STEM resources are limited.
  • Project Institution: Kansas State University
  • Project Director: David Auckly
  • Project Summary: The Navajo Nation Math Circles project is an outreach program for students and their teachers in the Navajo Nation. There are three components for students that for the basis of this Neff project. These are mathematical festivals, regular math circle sessions during the academic year, and a signature summer math camp for students in grades 6 - 12. The camp includes two 90-minute math circle sessions per day where students collaborate to explore open-ended mathematical questions. It also includes cultural, physical, and social components as well as indigenous STEM role models.
  • Project Institution: Pace University
  • Project Director: Shamita Dutta Gupta
  • Project Summary: The American Mathematics Competitions (AMC) are a series of competitions in middle and high school mathematics and administered by the Mathematical Association of America. The aim is to strengthen the skills of the next generation of mathematicians, thinkers, and analysts using classroom resources that culminate in a friendly competition. Pace University will work with Pace High School to offer an after-school AMC training program which will help students develop proficiency for mathematics and analytical thinking beyond classroom mathematics. We will make deep dives into topics of mathematics, through multi-tiered problems. With this approach the students will make deeper connections between topics and start connecting the dots improving their skills enough to find the AMCs, though challenging, an enjoyable and satisfying endeavor. Thus, they will become lifelong learners of mathematics. The program will also be open to other area high schools.
  • Project Institution: West Virginia University
  • Project Director: Vicki Sealey
  • Project Summary: Our project works with middle school students in rural counties in West Virginia. We will host Math Game Days for middle schoolers and their parents/guardians, where we will spend the majority of our time playing math games with students. During and between games, the project team will interject with mini math lessons that are related to the games to help students build fluency and flexibility with numbers and operations. All middle school students and math teachers who attend the event will leave with their own copy of the games that were played, so that the fun and the learning can continue after the events end.


Read About Previous Awardees




  • Project Institution: University of Hawaii
  • Project Director: Monique Chyba
  • Project Summary: Our project builds upon existing collaborations with the department of Mathematics and the Center on Disability Studies at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa (UH), the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education (DOE) and selected Hawaiʻi's Middle Schools. Our focus is to work the Native Hawaiian student population both on Oahu and the neighbor islands. Inspired by the current Covid-19 pandemic, the project is to introduce middle school students to "Computational Modeling and Simulation of Epidemic Infectious Diseases". UH undergraduate students will work at the schools in collaboration with the teachers and students for a semester to prepare them for a State Math Challenge: “808 Math Island Style” to take place as a culmination of the work done during the academic year. The students will be introduced to a discrete version of the now well-known SEIR compartmental models, and existing online platforms to run disease spread simulations. Their knowledge will then be applied to data from the Covid-19 pandemic in the State of Hawaiʻi. This will provide them with computational and data sciences skills that are becoming critical for College degrees.
  • Project Institution: Arkansas School for Math, Sciences and the Arts
  • Project Director: Sara Brown
  • Project Summary: At Arkansas School for Math, Sciences, and the Arts, the goal of student development is to create a living-learning community that connects students beyond the classroom, assists in developing them as a whole person, and prepares these future leaders for successful and fulfilling lives through building sustainable skills and mindsets. ASMSA’s Outreach Department will create a path for middle school students across Arkansas to participate in the Math Olympiad program. The Math Olympiads program is one of the most influential and fun-filled math competition programs throughout the world. Connecting mathematics to every other discipline teaches creativity, flexibility, and practicality in problem-solving. It prepares future generations for college and career pathways.
  • Project Institution: Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming
  • Project Director: Shalese Gentry
  • Project Summary: For over a century, Girl Scouts have given girls the opportunity to unlock their full potential and make the world a better place. Even though girls continue to break down barriers, specifically within the STEM pipeline, there is still a huge gender disparity of women working in STEM professions. Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming is dedicated to providing countless opportunities for young girls to jump into STEM, specifically math, and explore their interests and passions with fun and challenging activities. Through Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming’s in-school and after-school programming, girls K-8th grade will experience the great outdoors while learning math concepts with their Math in Nature program. By combining these two concepts, girls will learn about symmetry, geometric shapes, fractals, the Fibonacci Sequence, the golden rectangle, and tessellations found in nature.
  • Project Institution: University of Kentucky Research Foundation
  • Project Director: Margaret Readdy and Richard Ehrenborg
  • Project Summary: The Kentucky Math Carnival is a one-day event for middle school students from Lexington, Kentucky and its six surrounding counties. Engaging hands-on activities supervised by University of Kentucky graduate students and faculty will introduce participants to new areas of mathematics outside the standard curriculum, as well as educational and career opportunities. A non-competitive and collaborative environment will be in place to encourage all participants, especially underrepresented groups. The overall goal is to boost the enthusiasm for mathematics at a stage when middle schoolers often disengage, and to provide outreach training and experience for graduate students.
  • Project Institution: Chaminade University
  • Project Director: Lori Shimoda
  • Project Summary: Chaminade University's I Am A Scientist (IAS) program is a unique STEAM outreach program where professional scientists and university science students teach science concepts and skills to students in their own school. The FREE mobile STEAM outreach program delivers a selection of engaging, hands-on science lessons, designed by Chaminade researchers. Drawing on the strengths of Chaminade’s STEM degrees and research, IAS promotes equity of access to quality science & math education; increases science & math literacy and awareness in Hawaii’s students; supports the science standards set by the Hawaii Department of Education; demonstrates the everyday relevance of science and math to students; and increases student awareness of STEAM education & career pathways.


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