Indiana University
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Course Descriptions

Whether you are completely new to the subject or just in need of a refresher, these courses will help you understand the material presented in your high school courses. In addition, class sizes will be capped at 15 students, in order to provide more individualized attention and create a better learning environment.

We offer courses in Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Astronomy, Pyschology, Neuroscience, and Computer Science. Feel free to sign up for as many courses as you wish! During each session, classes will take place in the morning, early afternoon, late afternoon, or evening. Check the schedule to see when your class takes place.

Students may choose to register for up to 4 courses per session.

The courses will meet three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) for 2 hours a day. Courses are taught by Indiana Unversity graduate students. Course will be held online through zoom meetings. Course times are EST.

Course Descriptions

Geometry This course is intended for students who have completed Algebra 1. High school geometry focuses on applying algebraic processes, e.g., solving and graphing equations, to the measurement of and relationships between geometric objects such as line segments, angles, and polygons. This two-week course will use hands-on activities and inquiry-based instruction to help students build a conceptual understanding of key ideas that are applied throughout geometry. Topics will include parallel lines and transversals, transformations, congruent triangles, the Pythagorean theorem, angles in polygons, perimeter, and area.

Pre-calculus This course, intended for students who have completed Algebra 2, will provide an overview of trigonometry. Trigonometry makes up a significant portion of the course content in pre-calculus because it is essential knowledge for calculus. This two-week course will cover basic trigonometry topics, including triangle geometry, definitions of trigonometric functions (e.g., sine, cosine, tangent) and their graphs, the Pythagorean theorem, and basic trigonometric identities. We will spend a significant amount of time on the relationship between triangle geometry and trigonometric functions, as these concepts are foundational and often very difficult to internalize. Less time will be spent on the Pythagorean theorem and on trigonometric identities. Students should finish the two weeks with an understanding of key ideas in trigonometry, which will support success in pre-calculus and beyond.

Evolutionary Biology Evolutionary Biology is an inquiry-based course that teaches evolution using a hands-on approach. In the first week, students will run their own evolution experiment, allowing them to observe how evolution generates novel biological diversity. In the second week students will choose their own organisms and examine how they are related through genetics. Students will learn the underlying principles of evolution, build quantitative skills, practice biotechnology methods, and run computer simulations of evolutionary dynamics. This is a course designed for high school students of all levels. Prior knowledge of biology is useful but not required. This course is a collaboration between FSM and EvolvingSTEM (

Forensic Science This course is designed for students wanting to learn about the science and mathematics involved in crime scene investigation. The course is also designed for students to get a better understanding of how their high school science and math courses can be applied to real life. The time will be split up into 6 different modules: toxicology, anthropology, DNA analysis, ballistics/blood splatters, entomology, and a day that glances over various other topics. This course will NOT include graphic pictures. It is encouraged that students have a basic understanding of DNA and chemical structuring and very basic understanding of trigonometry. Class time will be divided in lecture, discussion, laboratory exercises and activities.

Environmental Science This course is designed to give students a chance to explore concepts relating to a variety of environmental topics including but not limited to: Green energy, sustainability, ecological principles, biodiversity, land use, climate issues, and pollution. These will be explored through the use of indoor and outdoor lab activities along with further in-depth analysis of topics. This is a great course for anyone interested in learning more about the environment as well as those thinking about taking AP environmental science.

Brain Science In this course, students will be introduced to concepts at the intersection of neuroscience, cognitive science, and psychology. The goal of the course is to acquaint students with the physical, chemical, and biological processes in the brain that allow individuals to interact with their environment. Topics may include but are not limited to: nerve cell signaling (action potentials, and neurotransmitters), neuroanatomy, sensory (visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, haptic) and motor systems, learning and memory, motivation and emotion, sleep, development and aging of the human brain across the lifespan, and experimental methods in neuroscience and psychology. Class time will be divided between lecture, discussion, laboratory exercises, activities and interactive demonstrations.

Introduction to the Universe Introduction to the Universe is an introductory course in astronomy with no prerequisites (except introductory algebra). The course is a survey of the subject covering the following fundamental topics in modern astronomy: scale of universe, seasons, our Sun, stellar evolution, life in the solar system, telescopes, spacecrafts, galaxies, black holes, quasars, big bang, expansion of Universe, and recent advancements. The origins of stars, planets, and exoplanets (newly discovered planetary systems outside our solar system) will be discussed as well. After taking this course, a student will have gained a good understanding of our place in Universe. If you are familiar with above concepts, and would like to get more hands-on experience with scientific concepts and mathematical applications, please refer to the "Astrophysics for Beginners" course.

Introduction to Biology This is an introductory course designed for students taking their first high school biology class in the fall. The goal of the course is to give students a conceptual framework for topics that will be covered in their biology course, and primary emphasis will be on developing an understanding of concepts rather than on the memorization of specific terms. We will divide our time between 1) Molecules and Cells, 2) Heredity and Evolution, and 3) Organisms and Ecology. Class time will be a combination of discussion and outdoor and laboratory exercises.

Zoology (Animal Diversity) This course is designed for high school students with a strong interest in animal biology. Students will explore the key traits that unite and distinguish diverse animal groups, as well as the unique innovations that have allowed these groups to persist for millions of years. Animal groups covered will include sponges, jellyfish, flat- and roundworms, insects, molluscs, sea-stars and sea-urchins, fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals. Class time will be a combination of discussion as well as laboratory observation and experimentation with both preserved and live specimens. A background in biology (regular, honors, or AP) is recommended but not required.

Introduction to Chemistry Students will learn relevant math and science concepts that they will need in their upcoming chemistry class. Students will be introduced to a variety of new chemistry concepts, focusing on subject areas that students will encounter during their first semester of chemistry, such as dimensional analysis and chemical structure. No background chemistry knowledge is needed to participate in this course. Students will have the opportunity to work in a lab learning how to use new techniques and equipment during the hands-on experiment portion of each class session. We hope to teach students a general approach to chemistry problem-solving that will help them throughout their entire chemistry education.

Chemistry in Food Cooking is applied chemistry and chemistry is a lot like cooking. In this experiment based course, students will explore several topics to discover components, detect additives, and evaluate quality of foods they may eat daily. Each day, students will perform an experiment, from which they will learn experimental skills, chemistry behind each processes, and strengthen chemistry problem-solving skills. Although a basic knowledge of introductory chemistry will be preferred, we still encourage students to enroll in this course if they are interested in this topic.

Advanced Chemistry In this course, students will build on concepts taught in introductory chemistry courses and learn how they are applied in medicine and other fields of science. Students will conduct multiple experiments, from which they will develop experimental skills, explore the chemistry behind each process, and strengthen their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. This course is ideal for students who are interested in medicine or otherwise continuing their science education. A background in basic chemistry (FSM’s Introduction to Chemistry or a high school chemistry course) is recommended.< br/>
Introduction to Programming Students will be introduced to the essence and joys of programming and how to apply these skills in practice (e.g. how to plot data from real-world sources). No background in programming or computing is necessary, and participants will be taught how to set up the computing environment at home. Class time will be held in a computer lab and students will gain hands-on experience interacting with programs and files. Computational thinking is crucial for the future of STEM fields.

Standardized Mathematics Tests Review This course is designed to help students succeed in mathematics part of any standardized test required for college admissions. Students will practice problems made publicly available by the ACT and the College Board (these organizations administer ACT and SAT, respectively). Students will be introduced to problem solving skills and quantitative thinking. The course will also focus on the best practices before and during a test. In addition to practicing mathematics problems, our aim is also to equip students with test taking skills.

Algebra 1 Algebra is a foundational topic that is central to high school and beyond mathematics. In this course we will be exploring introductory material that explores expression, equations and functions. There will be significant work done in skill building with solving for unknown values in both equation and inequalities. Variables and coordinate graphing will be address in week two of the course. The final topic discussed will address problems solving from word linear word problems and solving linear systems. By the end of the course, participants will be prepared to take on the rigor of a high school Algebra 1 course or ready for our Algebra 2 course in the next session.

Algebra 2 Algebra 2 is a course that provides the extension of the content taught in Algebra 1. Specifically, further development of the concept of a function will be discussed. Topics include: 1) Complex numbers and expressions; 2) relations, functions, equations, and inequalities; 3) quadratic equations and functions; 4) exponential and logarithmic functions; 5) systems of equations including linear and non-linear equations; 6) polynomials; and 7) data analysis, statistics, and probabilities. All topics will be taught in a way that promotes students' conceptual understanding as well as computational skills. Practical applications of the topics will also be emphasized. By the end of this course, students will be prepared for other higher-level mathematics courses.

Trigonometry This course is for students with a solid foundation in Algebra and who are likely to take Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, and/or Calculus in upcoming semesters. Mastering Trigonometry is an essential first step towards the study of Calculus; however, it contains concepts that are often very difficult for students to grasp. This 2-week course will cover basic Trigonometry topics, including triangle geometry, definitions of trigonometric functions (e.g., sine, cosine, tangent) and their graphs, the Pythagorean theorem, and basic trigonometric identities. We will spend a significant amount of time on the relationship between triangle geometry and trigonometric functions, as these concepts are foundational and often very difficult to internalize. Less time will be spent on the Pythagorean theorem and on trigonometric identities. Overall, students should end the 2-weeks with a solid understanding of basic Trigonometry and be well prepared for continued progress towards mastering Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, and/or Calculus in upcoming semesters.

Introduction to Physics The introductory physics course is intended for students who have never previously taken a physics course. We will discuss common topics in first year physics including one-dimensional motion, forces, and two-dimensional motion. Students should have some experience with algebra and geometry. In addition to introductory physics material, we will stress logical problem solving methods. By the end of the course, students should have a foundational understanding of how to approach problems in physics.