Effective October 1, 2009, USPS launched METEOR, a Women’s Educational Equity Act program. Project METEOR (Math Excellence Through Education, Opportunity, and Rigor) is designed to improve the academic outcomes and opportunities for young women by preparing them to succeed in advanced math and science courses and to pursue enrollment in a four-year college and future careers in STEM fields.

Although California Department of Education data show little or no discrepancy between standardized (CST) test scores of girls and boys for Algebra I, a significant participation and achievement gap appears in advanced math and science courses. Without rigorous academic preparation and motivation women will continue to be underrepresented in careers that utilize skills and knowledge of math and science.

To address this gender gap in STEM careers, the METEOR project supports activities to enable students to achieve proficiency in mathematics and science. Eighty participants from four target schools (Comstock, Cook, Mountain Shadows and Roseland) have been selected from eighth grade algebra classes. The program service plan provides:

  • tutoring at after-school METEOR centers
  • field trips and motivational workshops
  • a summer residential math academy at a college campus
  • opportunities for job shadowing to develop motivation and understanding of STEM careers

Susan Wandling, Director of Early Academic Outreach, says the idea behind the WEEA project is that “when women don’t take the advanced math and science courses or major in engineering or computer science in college, it’s not because they can’t do the work, but it is likely they don’t get the encouragement or that they don’t have a concrete idea of what scientists or engineers do.” METEOR participants will explore a range of opportunities in STEM fields and receive the tools and encouragement to be successful in these fields