Students start tutoring academy aimed at teaching comp sci and economics

October 15, 2018 — by Jeffrey Xu

New club offered provides students with an opportunity to recieve help on Computer Science

As a freshman last year, Henry Weng took AP Computer Science and excelled in it. But his experience was not universal since some of his friends and classmates struggled and dropped out of the class.

To help deal with this problem, he came up with the idea of a tutoring program that uses a peer-to-peer teaching model to support the learning of the difficult subject. He named the program DeltaX Academy. It has become an official non-profit under the state of California and was recently certified under the Presidential Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) system.

Besides acing the AP Computer Science class, Weng competes in the USA Computing Olympiad at the Gold level, making him a highly qualified teacher.

After self-studying both AP Microeconomics and Macroeconomics and receiving 5s on both last May, Weng decided he wanted to tutor in economics as well.

At first, Weng planned on running the organization by himself, but when he found out that the Saratoga Fire Station, his planned host location, required two people teaching at all times, he realized he needed to find a partner.

In what he called a “fortunate stroke of serendipity,” Weng said he ran into junior Felix Chen at a Chinese noodle restaurant over the summer. Weng said that Chen, who has ample CS experience from excelling in APCS and was willing to teach, was the perfect partner.

As for coming up with the name DeltaX, Chen said that the word “delta,” meaning change, represents how different DeltaX is  from other tutoring organizations, since it is completely student-founded and student-run.

“And X just sounds cool,” Chen said.

DeltaX has begun advertising and has already had its first class this past summer, called AP Computer Science Prerequisites. Weng said that the first course, taught by him and Chen, was “an incredible success,” with four students from SHS and 10 from other schools signing up at the cost of $75 per student. Weng said that they plan to donate all proceeds to charity.

The organization is PVSA certified, meaning that DeltaX can now give the Presidential Award to volunteers who have reached the volunteer hours quota.

As for the structure of the their first class, Weng said it was 12 hours total and was broken down into eight 90-minute sessions.

After the success of their initial course, Chen and Weng decided it would be a good idea to expand the organization and bring more tutors on board.

Currently, their staff includes Chen, Weng, freshman Bill Yuan and Aditya Nair and juniors Lintao Cui and Callia Yuan.

Weng said that they anticipate 35 to 50 students in the spring for their computer science and economics courses. They are not teaching a course in the fall due to conflicts with other activities and adjusting to the new school year.

Weng said that the student mentors, who excel in either CS or economics, provide high quality tutoring when they teach that subject.

“Because our teachers are high school students, they have gone through the same experience as their students and can provide effective methods of learning,” Weng said.

As for the student teachers, Weng said, DeltaX serves as an opportunity to gain teaching experience. Additionally, Weng said that the organization allows student teachers to effectively earn 103.5 volunteering hours per course.

All in all, both Weng and Chen look forward to the future of DeltaX and hope that they will be able to reach more and more prospective students and teachers alike.

“I hope that DeltaX Academy will become more integrated with SHS, establishing itself as an avenue for students who are passionate about a certain subject to share their passion while gaining volunteer hours and leadership skills,” Weng said.

 
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