Mathematically Connected Communities (MC²)


"Watching the actual experience via live feed or observing in classroom was crucial for me.  The demonstration of the Number Talks and Launch, Explore, Summary lessons were also exceptional.  I have so many tools, strategies, and resources to use with my students."

-- 2015 Math Lab K-3 participant

Program Type

Curriculum/Instructional Materials
Teacher Development/Training
College Readiness

Target Audience

All Students


English Language Learner

Low Socio-Economic Status

Teachers/Educational Leaders


New Mexico


Pre-K - 5
Grades 6 - 8
Grades 9 - 12

 Promising link

Program Impact

Approximately 400 teachers and 275 students participate in Math Lab each summer and 1,250 educators receive professional development during the school year. Our professional learning community includes 75 schools and 20 districts in New Mexico.

Our vision is to improve student achievement and the teaching and learning of K-12 mathematics by building sustainable learning communities of mathematics educators, mathematicians, and public school leaders.


  • Deepen teacher pedagogical content knowledge for teaching of CCSS-M to reach all students
  • Develop teacher leaders to build capacity of schools to provide and access high quality professional learning in mathematics
  • Deepen leadership capacity among administrators, teacher leaders, and/or instructional coaches 

Program Overview

Mathematically Connected Communities (MC²), funded by federal, state and local funds, brings university mathematicians and math educators into New Mexico K-12 classrooms to collaborate with teachers to improve mathematics teaching and learning.

MC² offers Summer Math Labs where students and teachers build their understanding of mathematics. Math Lab offers elementary, middle, and high school students a week of mathematics enrichment to better prepare them for the coming school year. This is done in a dynamic environment where student ideas are central to the learning. Teachers gain insights into student mathematical thinking and new instructional practices that support students’ confidence and higher level thinking. MC² offers content workshops for teachers to deepen their knowledge of mathematics. 

During the school year, MC² staff, mathematicians, and teachers work at school sites to design Common Core aligned lessons and study strategies that support children's learning. Teacher Leaders across the state convene monthly with MC² staff and mathematicians to (1) intensely study mathematics and pedagogy and (2) design professional learning experiences that will impact MC² teachers.

How To Get Involved

MC² welcomes the involvement of mathematicians, researchers, educators, STEM professionals, and others interested in partnerships to improve mathematics teaching and learning in the classroom. 

School districts and corporate sponsors may provide funding to expand the MC² partnership with schools/districts interested in long-term professional learning for teachers and school leaders.  The approximate cost of providing Summer Math Lab for 20 students and 20 teachers plus follow-up professional learning for participating teachers throughout the subsequent school year is $90,000 which has the potential to change/improve classroom learning for 400-2,000 K-12 students. 

Funders and Partners
  • U.S. Dept. of Education  - Math/Science Partnership
  • New Mexico Public Education Department
  • New Mexico Higher Education Department
  • Local School Districts in New Mexico


Wanda Bulger-Tamez, Program Director

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Design Principles

The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against the Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy.

  • Accomplished
  • Developing
  • Undeveloped

Overarching Principles

  • Need

    Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.

  • Evaluation

    Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.

  • Sustainability

    Ensure work is sustainable.

  • Replication and Scalability

    Demonstrate replicability and scalability.

  • Partnerships

    Create high impact partnerships

  • Capacity

    Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.

STEM Principles

  • Challenging and Relevant Content

    Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience

  • STEM Practices

    Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.

  • Inspiration

    Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.

  • Under-Represented Groups

    Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.