sesf_logo_smTo assist parents and teachers increase student math and science skills as they prepare for TechTestJr,  TechTest, and futures in science and technology;  we will posting a series of educational resources that parents can use to help students sharpen their math and science skills. Teachers are also welcome to use these tools, if they find them useful:

On-line Tutors (K-12):

  • Khan Academy (K-12 ): Practice Math Skills from addition to calculus and every thing in between. Over 3,600 short videos which can be played over and over again until the student is ready to move to the next level. In addition, the Khan Academy has interactive sample test for students preparing for state level testing. Using these testing resource will help students achieve higher scores.
  • KERA Educational Resource Center (4-6) About Math Can Take You Places.  This is a comprehensive algebra-readiness program for students in grades 4-6. The KERA Educational Resource Center, in partnership with Travelocity  has developed a unique array of educational opportunities to help students learn and appreciate mathematics.
  • ($) )K-12):  At, students  get a professional online tutor whenever you need help. They work one-to-one with a tutor in an online classroom for the students specific homework problem until it’s done.  There is an To Go™ for the iPad, iPhone & iPod Touch. This is a free mobile companion for Connects to a live tutor for one-to-one help, review past one-to-one tutoring sessions, store documents or photos in your Locker, or browse the resources in our SkillsCenter™ Resource Library.

Critical Educational Resources

Learning to use a spreadsheet:

 “The personal computer spreadsheet launched the PC revolution in the early 1980s.  Since that time this app has been the most widely used and hailed productivity tool for professionals, consumers, and students.  The modern spreadsheet – e.g. MS Excel™ – is easy to use for tasks such as developing household budgets and numerical calculations for problem solving, to making to-do lists and simple databases for keeping track of everything from gift giving to business inventories.  Modern spreadsheets also let you insert formulas for more sophisticated calculations that a professional or science student might use to analyze data, compute the results of an experiment, or solve problems.”

 “Today being able to use the spreadsheet to do such things has become a fundamental skill.  For students heading for STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) careers in middle and high schools, the spreadsheet is doubly important because it greatly simplifies homework, and forms the easy and natural first step in learning a programming language.  Knowing a programming language is a must for all entry level STEM majors entering college today.”   George Rebane, PhD, SESF Director of Research

Free spreadsheet Tutorials:

•   Internnet4Classrooms This site has multiple tutorials for students K-8th grade. This is a link to the Excel Tutorial.

•   Free Microsoft Word Tutorials, These are video tutorials on multiple MS products, please select the Excel Tutorial.

Learning to write code is vital to a future job.

“I’d like to advocate for computer coding to be an institution in the public school systems right next to biology, chemistry, physics, etc. If we want to spur job growth in the US we have to educate ourselves in the disciplines where jobs are available and where economic growth is feasible.“  Ashton Kutcher, Actor 

“I think everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think.” Any child with an imagination can learn to write computer code … now is more important than ever before, that’s why more students in K-12 should be exposed to computer science.” Steve Job, Former Apple CEO.

Free Coding Tutorials:

•  CODE supports multiple interactive coding tutorials that cover multiple learning levels, including the Khan Academy and Code Academy.  The interactive Scratch program can captivate even the youngest code writer.

•  HTML This tutorial on how to write HTML code for web pages was developed by Alan Levine, instructional technologist at the Maricopa Community Colleges.  is sponsoring an Hour of Code,  a self-guided activity anyone can do, to introduce themselves to the basics of computer science. Several hour-long tutorials will be available.

On-line University Courses:

  • Coursera is a consortium of 33 universities that provide free college level courses in 20 different categories.
  • edX is a not-for-profit enterprise of its founding partners Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that features learning designed specifically for interactive study via the web. UC Berkeley, University of Texas, Wellesley, and George Town University have joined edX.
  • Marginal Revolution University: On-line education, most of all in economics, is the focus of Marginal Revolution University.  Development Economics is the topic of our inaugural class. Supported by George Mason University and the Mercatus Center. The Mercatus Center is the world’s premier university source for market-oriented ideas—bridging the gap between academic ideas and real-world problems.

Getting in to College

The California State University system has laid out a recommended path to ensure that when the time comes to apply for college, parents and children will be ready. Recommendations and requirements for students and parents are broken down by age in an easy to follow format.

•    Middle school:
•    9th Grade:
•    10th Grade:
•    11th Grade:
•    12th Grade:

H/T to State Senator Joel Anderson, 36th District for the above links.

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