IBM Service Corps empowers JUMP Math’s transformation

By | 3 minute read | May 27, 2020

IBM Service Corps program is an IBM leadership development experience focused on delivering social impact for communities facing critical challenges.

 

During my graduate studies, I was so passionate about helping students excel in math that I dedicated my master’s thesis to learning abstract symbolic mathematics through video games. When I learned about the IBM Service Corps project with JUMP Math, I decided to apply right away!

As IBMers working in the IBM Cloud and Cognitive business, we are regularly engaged with cloud, data, and AI technologies on a day to day basis. Just as much as we care about innovation and advancing technology, we are concerned with social good and the well-being of our society, particularly in education. By partnering with JUMP Math for an IBM Service Corps assignment, we were able to use our skills to benefit both educators and students in our communities.

Our partnership with JUMP Math

Based in Toronto, Canada, JUMP Math is an award-winning non-profit organization with a mission of building confidence and a joy of learning math in both students and teachers. Their core belief is that new intellectual abilities can emerge in even the most challenged students from a series of small advances, using a method based on a balance of discovery with feedback, scaffolding, assessment, and explicit instruction. Through this joint project with IBM, the goal was to improve their users’ experience and their digital presence.

Our IBM Service Corps team included former educators, math tutors, and dedicated parents who all share a passion for improving our education system and helping kids excel in learning math. So when this opportunity came up, we signed up right away and felt very fortunate to be selected.

Applying IBM Enterprise Design Thinking methodologies to the project

Our team jumped in with Enterprise Design Thinking. Over four weeks, we conducted intensive user interviews, ran a two-day workshop with the JUMP Math team, developed prototypes, and did user testing. At the end, we delivered a vision prototype of a new JUMP Math website, taking into account a new content strategy that was based on research and users’ needs. The most important outcome of the project however was to help the JUMP Math team learn about design thinking, empathizing with their users and creating content based on their user needs.

Impact of the global pandemic on our assignment

Something that we certainly didn’t anticipate to happen over the course of this project was the global pandemic. Even though we couldn’t physically gather in a room to collaborate, we quickly  adjusted the sails and adopted a new way of working using tools such as Slack, Webex, and Mural. We didn’t let the restrictions stop us from delivering human-centered outcomes and instead used this opportunity to deliver a prototype that also enabled digital education, which is much needed in our world today given the pandemic.

What’s next

Our hope is to empower the community to invest more into their students’ education and to see the positive impacts that delivering education resources, and reaching out digitally can have on a student and ultimately the community. We look forward to the continued success of JUMP Math, as they reach even more educators and students in our communities!

 

IBMer reflections

“As a seasoned software development professional with a great interest in Enterprise Design Thinking, I am also a trained educator and a parent who witnessed children struggle learning math. IBM Service Corps JUMP Math project presented a great opportunity for me to both contribute and learn.”

Fei Huang, Development QA Lead, IBM Cloud and Cognitive Software

 

“Working on this IBM Corporate Service Corps assignment not only allowed me to help JUMP Math increase their outreach and have a greater impact on the community but also gave me an opportunity to pursue my personal passion for empowering others to learn and succeed. This assignment would truly be one of my most rewarding experiences at IBM.”

Piyush Gupta, Team Lead (Java Performance Measurement & Analysis), IBM Runtimes 

 

“As a parent myself and already actively engaged on education-related initiatives in our local community, I am passionate about improving children’s education, especially related to digital education resources (my Master’s thesis was even related to this theme!). This project became even more relevant as COVID-19 social distancing and stay at home policies were put in place, and we quickly saw how important it is to improve on digital education strategy and deliverables. I am grateful to both our IBM Service Corps and the JUMP Math team for the opportunity to work on this important initiative.

Anita Huang Teshima, Program Director, IBM Cloud Architecture 

 

 

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