The Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center (KAMSC) was conceived in 1981 by what was then The Upjohn Company and established with much cooperation from the schools of the Greater Kalamazoo Area.
After five years of planning, KAMSC opened its doors in 1986, a gift to the Kalamazoo area marking the centennial of The Upjohn Company. The charter ninth grade class of KAMSC included 68 students from 12 school systems, including both public and private schools. KAMSC is a four-year program capable of accommodating up to 300 students.
The goal of the Center, reflecting the Upjohn Company's concern over the growing national problem of scientific illiteracy, is to provide accelerated instruction in mathematics and science to qualifying secondary school students in the Kalamazoo area.
Administered by Kalamazoo Public Schools and funded with a grant of two million dollars from The Upjohn Company, KAMSC operates by means of an unusual, creative partnership between the public and private sectors. While KAMSC is a school, the Center continues to draw on the resources and counsel of private industry.
KAMSC emphasizes direct exchange between professionals and KAMSC students through its formal mentorship program. KAMSC's scientific and computer equipment is of the highest quality available due to the participation of Upjohn and other businesses. This addresses one of the most severe limitations confronting school systems attempting to teach advanced concepts and methods in mathematics and the sciences.
Partly because of the advisory role of Upjohn scientists, KAMSC's curriculum is oriented toward the major issues in contemporary mathematics and science, while ensuring the teaching of basic skills and concepts.
A strong outreach program provides opportunities to enrich existing school programs and to deliver professional development seminars for mathematics and science teachers in the area.
Students who attend KAMSC come from public and private schools all over the Kalamazoo area. The primary applicant pool covers the Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency (KRESA) service area.