The province is testing a new online resource to help students and families improve learning and be more successful in mathematics. Students and teachers at Oxford School in Halifax learned today, June 25, they will participate in the Mathematics Engagement Pilot Project. Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Ramona Jennex was joined by education supporter Jim Spatz, Southwest Properties Ltd., to announce details of the pilot that will launch in September. Close to 300 Grade 7 students and their mathematics teachers, from four school boards in Nova Scotia, will participate in an innovative research pilot that complements Nova Scotia’s mathematics curriculum, enhances teachings and develops technology skills. “This is a great example of how putting kids and learning first helps engage and motivate students to learn,” said Ms. Jennex. “The online resources being used in this pilot provide innovative ways to strengthen students’ mathematics skills while incorporating today’s technology into their studies. Ensuring children have a strong foundation in both mathematics and technology will help prepare them for the future.” Students, their families and teachers involved in the project will be given portable computers or devices, technical support, and information on digital citizenship. A pilot lead will be assigned to provide guidance while collecting research data. Using online resources, students and teachers will participate in the year-long research pilot that will study levels of student engagement, achievement and attendance. “I’m excited about this project because it will have a focus on improvement and time management for school work,” said Levi Mertens, a Grade 6 student at Chester Area Middle School, one of four schools taking part in the pilot. “Kids might learn faster and learn more. It’s awesome!” Partial funding for the research pilot is being provided by Mr. Spatz, John Risley of Clearwater Seafoods Ltd., and other provincial businesses. “We are delighted to partner with the government of Nova Scotia to help students and teachers enhance learning and skill development,” said Mr. Risley. “Similar online resources have received positive results in other jurisdictions, so I’m confident that our students and teachers will experience higher achievement with this pilot.” The four schools selected for the pilot are from Annapolis Valley Regional School Board, Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, Halifax Regional School Board, and South Shore Regional School Board.