Philadelphia High School Students Attend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Advanced STEM Program

Philadelphia High School students in Ms. Deana Cumberland’s AP Computer Science Principles Class and Ms. Jennifer Johnson’s AP Biology Class attended the 5th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Advanced STEM Winter Program over the weekend.

Each year, Global Teaching Project holds an instructional program over the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend to affirm the link between Civil Rights and educational opportunity. This year students from Philadelphia High School gathered with Mississippi-based teachers and tutors for the winter residential instructional program from January 13th-15th in Jackson to work on AP Biology and AP Computer Science.

“The wonderful thing about the Global Teaching Project is that it showcases the potential of our students,” said Dr. Shannon Whitehead, Superintendent of Education for Philadelphia Public School District. “The Advanced STEM Access Program provides Philadelphia High School students access to mentors that encourage them to apply practical strategies for growth as they advance toward academic, personal and professional goals.”

Academic sessions were held at four Universities around the state, including Jackson State University, Delta State University, The University of Mississippi, and Mississippi State University - Meridian Campus.  Over 100 students from 12 Mississippi schools participated in the program, along with 13 college-student STEM major tutors from around the country including Harvard and Yale Universities.

All students listened to presentations by AP-certified, Mississippi-based Supervisory Instructors on the key elements of success. Students, teachers, and tutors took part in community-building exercises and listened to lectures on their respective subjects.

In addition to instructional sessions, the program featured prominent speakers such as Rep Sam Creekmore IV, Education Committee, Mississippi House of Representatives, Oso Ifesinachukwu, Yale University Biomedical Engineer major, and Professor Robert Luckett, Jackson State University Department of History, Margaret Walker Center Director.

“The access to high-quality STEM education for all students, regardless of background, is vital to academic growth. Philadelphia Public School’s main goal is to provide all students with the experiences and resources they need to succeed in STEM and in life,” said Dr. Whitehead.

Philadelphia High School was also recognized and presented the College Board AP® Computer Science Female Diversity Award for achieving high female representation in AP Computer Science Principles. Schools honored with the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award have expanded girls’ access in AP computer science courses.

“We’re thrilled to congratulate our female AP computer science students and their teachers on this step toward gender parity in computer science education,” said Dr. Whitehead.

Participants attending The Global Teaching Project January AP STEM Program included D’Kota Hudson, Sarah Richardson and Abby Peeples and AP Biology class, which included, Zavien Spencer, Xan Menchion and Ayana Hannah. Students also toured the Mississippi State Capitol Building, The Old Capitol Museum, Jackson State University, Margaret Walker Center Tour and The Civil Rights Museum.