What does it really take to become a successful mathematician, engineer, programmer, or scientist?
Ask what it takes to become a professional musician, and no one will say it's about being good at scales in band class. Ask what it takes to become a professional athlete, and no one will say it's about being good at dodgeball in gym class. But ask what it takes to become a professional scientist, and some people will say it's about passing high school algebra—a misleading message given especially to underserved students.
The secret that's kept from these kids is that high school algebra—indeed, most high school classes—are just not enough preparation for a STEM major. Professional scientists, engineers, and programmers all studied advanced material at enrichment programs growing up. For them, it wasn't a slog: they fell in love with it. They weren't just excited about the vastness of space—they found joy in learning how to find the distance to Alpha Centauri. They didn't just memorize the Pythagorean theorem—they found beauty in the way geometry, logic, and algebra combine to prove it. Yet underserved students never get access to this same learning. They aren't even told they should have it.
BEAM is a program that brings advanced enrichment learning to low-income students. We inspire joy in kids who hunger for this opportunity and are ready to excel—if only someone gives them the chance.
What does that look like?
Watch our five-minute video to get an inside look at BEAM.