To increase the number of minority and female students in advanced science and math courses, grants ranging from $1,200 to $9,000 are being offered to teachers at 13 high schools in the South Bay, Peninsula and Monterey Bay area to expand advanced-placement course offerings.

The grants, funded by a $5 million donation from Google, are being offered through the College Board, which administers AP tests. The board has invited more than 800 schools nationwide, including 139 in California, to apply for grants. Teachers may use the grants for professional development and classroom materials. As an incentive, teachers will receive a $100 gift card to the online charity DonorsChoose.org for every student who scores a 3, 4 or 5, on the 1-to-5 scale, on the AP exam.

Grants are available to start biology, calculus, chemistry, computer science, environmental science and physics classes. The deadline for signing up for grants is March 1.

Eligible high schools include Castro Valley, Mountain View, Santa Cruz, Watsonville and Wilcox in Santa Clara; American and Washington in Fremont, Independence in San Jose, Mills and San Mateo in San Mateo, Sequoia in Redwood City and Westmoor in Daly City.

-- Sharon Noguchi, staff writer



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