MINNEAPOLIS - It's the first day in Ms. Sara VanDerWerf's South High School Advanced Algebra class.

There are a lot of graphing calculators from the last several decades. Some could argue these are crucial for ACT and for SAT test takers with eyes set on college.

But they are not cheap.

Ms. Van says many of her students have smartphones or tablets, so she is teaching them to use a free app that they can download from the app store onto their device called Desmos.

"It's beautiful, it's free, it's intuitive and students prefer it so that's what's cool," VanDerWerf said. "What kids naturally do on phones and how they interact with phones is how this technology works. That's what I am passionate about in the day-to-day in the classroom is getting students excited about math and feeling like they can do that and when they have the tools that everyone else has they are on the same playing field."

Ms. Van is accepting tech donations for her classroom. If you would like to help, you can donate old smartphones, old tablets and old chargers, to South High c/o Ms. Van, 3131 19th Ave. S. 55407.