About This Project


Our goal is to implement a new approach to teaching math and science to address the alarming failure rates in these subjects in high schools around the world. Over the past seven years of work in rural Nicaragua, we noticed that students lost interest in STEM because it was presented in an abstract way. To address this, we have collaborated with high school students, teachers, and administrators to develop classroom content that relates math and science to village life.


Our unique approach involves fieldwork with students, teachers, administrators, healthcare providers, and other villagers to understand socioeconomic activities (like agriculture, carpentry, pottery) and local public health issues (like dengue, malaria, Hepatitis A). This fieldwork helps us observe issues in rural areas that can serve as platforms for explaining math and science concepts. With this fieldwork, we collaborate with local high schools to create lesson plans and educational videos.

Through this initiative, students are gaining confidence in their math and science knowledge, creating a remarkable boost in motivation. This enables them to build skills necessary to succeed on the math university entrance exam, which only 4% of students in Nicaragua currently pass, and access their professional aspirations. For the community, these projects have created a low-cost library while advancing a new pedagogical approach, in an area where families live on $2 a day.

Sofia Essayan-Perez




Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Public Service Center Fellowships

MIT Baker Foundation Fellowship

MIT Public Service Center Grant


Mentors and Advisors 

Professor Alexander Slocum (MIT)

Dr. Alison Hynd (MIT)

Mr. Graham Gordon Ramsay (MIT)

MIT Experimental Study Group


Photo Credits

Sofia Essayan-Perez

Ms. Amalia Liogas (Home Page Image)