Extracurricular Activities

As part of our “whole student, whole success” strategy, MyEdMaster offers students exciting extra-curricular activities.  These activities are designed to help students develop new skills and experiences they normally would not have and build their resumes as they apply to colleges and elite high schools. We’ve learned that students need to stand out in life in order to get ahead, and our programs are designed to help students do just that.

AI-based educational software:

AI-based educational software is a student-created technology company that creates educational software that uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, and voice technologies to enhance the learning process.  We are currently working on Algebra I and reading software.  Our immediate goal is to build a commercial software project for Algebra I. This is an accomplishment that most high school and middle schoolers do not achieve and we’ve seen many of our participating students get into Ivy League and other top colleges as well as Thomas Jefferson and Academies of Loudoun.  Academy of Engineering and Technology even told one of our students “We selected you because of your involvement with AI-based educational software.”  Students with interests in computer programming, developing math curriculum, creative writing, or business are welcome to participate.  We have an excellent team led by Dr. Leddo, who has worked in the field of AI and education for 30 years and Yihong Sun, an MBA.  They are complemented by the head of a small software development company (that is helping us develop the product), a professional product manager and two masters degree graduates of the computer science department of George Washington University and one from George Mason University.  Any parents who want to help mentor kids are welcome to participate as well.

To date, we have three outstanding success stories.  We have compared the effectiveness of our software against Khan Academy’s (the leading online educational software with over 10 million users) and Pearson Education’s (the world’s largest textbook publisher). Even though we had our students competing against leading companies, staffed with full-time professionals, our software won decisively both times.  Students using our software performed 80% higher than those using Khan Academy’s and 300% higher than those using Pearson’s.  Our results were published in several scientific journals and presented at an educational technology conference.  After beating Khan Academy, the students at AI-based educational software were hired by a local company to build an AI-based training system for cybersecurity for which they were paid. Many students received recognition for their success through these publications and commercial success, and, as I mentioned above, got rewarded by admissions to top colleges and elite high schools.

Tuition is the standard $37 per hour for tutoring.

Scientific Research and Publishing in Scientific Journals

Many of our students are interested in STEM careers.  The heart of STEM is research and sharing that research so others can build on the work.   While students in school learn the science we already know, professional scientists make new discoveries and share their findings by publishing in professional journals.  Our scientific research program teaches students how to do original research, then they conduct experiments and publish their findings in scientific journals. MyEdMaster created this program because most high school kids applying to college do not publish scientific papers and those who do typically get into top colleges, and we’ve seen no middle school student outside our centers publish scientific papers, so this creates an opportunity for our middle schoolers to stand out.  To date, we have had over 200 students successfully conduct research and publish their work in scientific journals.  Their papers have been read by some 60,000 scientists from around the world.  These kids are making a difference.  Many have published more than one paper, and we’ve seen as many as five publications from a single student by the time he applied to college.

The scientific research program is conducted like a mentorship program the way that university graduate schools do.  Dr. John Leddo, who has published more than 90 scientific papers himself, personally mentors each student throughout the entire process.  Together, the students have had some exciting success stories.  In addition to the projects described above where students created educational software that beat two industry leaders, other significant publications include:

- Showing that a Nobel prize winning theory of economics is wrong and what the correct theory should be
- Showing that playing videogames cooperatively with others boosts teamwork skills while playing them competitively hurts teamwork skills
- Helping clarify a debate in the scientific literature as to what type of homework is most effective for what type of student
- Helping clarify a debate in the scientific literature as to what type of homework is most effective for what type of student
- Showing the proper role of teachers when students try to teach themselves new subjects
- Three projects, each resulting in publications, showing how to boost reading and writing scores on the SAT
- A simple method for boosting math performance in elementary school kids
- How best to teach Java programming to middle school students

Our scientific research program is conducted online on a tutoring basis throughout the school year or in-person at the Courtyard Marriott at 13715 Sayward Boulevard in Herndon any time from 1-5 pm. Tuition is $37 per hour.

Medical Machine Learning Course Leading to a Scientific Publication

From Saturday, 10/15/2022 to Saturday, 12/17/2022, MyEdMaster will conduct a course in medical machine learning for middle and high school students.

In our previous course, we worked on creating a machine-learning-based product that could take the latest research in helping people live longer and healthier. Over the summer, students collected hundreds of research articles and the team developed software that could read these scientific papers and extract out key information.  This past summer project led to two papers that were submitted for publication, each with the participating students’ names on them. In this upcoming project, we will continue our efforts and work on creating machine learning models for this scientific data and push our product closer to being ready for market.

Both the middle school and high school classes will work on this product. To assist with the development of the product, all students will receive medical instruction from Dr. Taruna Agarwal, who has been the lead teacher of the previous medical machine learning classes.  Students will learn Python programming and machine learning basics from Hrithik Jain, a machine learning specialist. We have two data scientists from New York University and a data architect who will help build the data models for the machine learning model.  Students will also be taught the basics of data science, a very hot and high paying career these days.  Ken Kaplan, who has over 30 years of experience, returns as our chief technology officer to manage the entire software development process.  In addition to the product, we will also be creating professional scientific publications with students listed as authors for this as we’ve had for other sessions of this course.  There are no prerequisites for joining this course.  All students are welcome.

This is an excellent opportunity for students to be taught by professionals, gain valuable skills in product development and build credentials for their high school and college applications. Most students do not have the opportunity to be integral parts of building an actual commercial product or publishing scientific papers.  This experience will help students stand out, which is critical to gaining acceptance to elite and highly competitive programs.

This will be a 10-week course that meets virtually through Google Meet each Saturday.   The middle school class will meet from 8 am to 10am and the high school class will meet from 10 am to 12 noon. Tuition is $400. You can register online at myedmaster.com or by emailing or calling John (john@myedmaster.com, 571-242-6986) or you can call or email John if you have any questions.

Technology Student Association TEAMS (TSA TEAMS)

One of our most popular extra-curricular activities is TSA TEAMS, sponsored by the Technology Student Association.  TSA TEAM gives students a wide-ranging exposure to different activities such as mathematics, research and technical writing, public speaking, and hands-on building.  Students compete at both state and national levels in teams of four to eight students.  Typically, we compete in the middle school division and this is a great activity for students applying to Thomas Jefferson or Academies of Loudoun.  

The course is taught by a retired engineer, with assistance from Dr. Leddo.  We typically win the top spots at the state competition and to date, all of our teams have qualified for the national competition. In 2019, we won the top five places in Virginia and our teams won 8 medals at the national championship.

The state competition class runs from January to March and the national competition class runs from April to the beginning of July.