Summer Courses

Math I - Summer

LOCATION CHANGE to: Room 315, Edina Community Center

Prealgebra and Advanced Topics – Year 1

Age Level: Grades 3, 4, 5. Location: South View Middle School, Room  135 (look for entrance #4, enter the right set of doors there). Instructor: Karl Bunday, 2007 Edyth May Sliffe award recipient for middle school mathematics coaching, parent workshop director for Epsilon Camp 2012, 2013, and 2014. Textbook: Prealgebra by Richard Rusczyk, David Patrick, and Ravi Boppana (2011), $45.00 discounted price for ECAE students, useful for Year 1 and Year 2 students. Dates: Saturdays 9 July, 16 July, 23 July, 30 July 2016 (July half-term, four weeks total) or Saturdays 13 August, 20 August, 27 August 2016 (August half-term, three weeks total). Time: 11:00am to 12:30pm. Fee: $125 for July half-term (per section), $100 for August half-term. 

Description: Accelerated prealgebra course for bright learners curious about mathematics, with much emphasis on foundations of higher mathematics and many problems selected from mathematics competitions. The Prealgebra and Advanced Topics course follows a syllabus, in development since 2005, that over two years covers most essential topics in a formal course in prealgebra and mathematical problem-solving contests for pupils of late elementary age, with additional topics from upper-division university-level mathematics. The course lays a foundation for further advanced study of mathematics to the highest and most challenging level, and also delves into topics that are interesting and intriguing and not usually taught in the school curriculum. A student who has picked up basic methods of calculation quickly and is curious about why mathematics works will find this course a natural extension of personal talents and interests. Focus will be on approaches to problem solving, understanding mathematical algorithms, through preparation for algebra, and deep topics of interest to young learners. 

On Saturdays during the summer, the two half-terms (the four-week July module or the three-week August module) of the 11:00am section will be the "year 1" (Math I) sections, covering basic principles of statistics during the July half-term and basic combinatorics (counting) and probability in the August half-term. Students may take either the July half-term, the August half-term, or both whether they are new to the ECAE course (as some students will be) or alumni of the school-year ECAE course (as some students will be). Problems for the Math I summer course come not just from the assigned textbook but also from other sources around the world, especially for the fourth week of the four week July half-term. The summer courses at either level (Math I or Math II) are good introductions for first-time students to the school-year ECAE courses. All ECAE mathematics courses especially emphasize building a foundation for numeracy in adult life, proficiency in secondary school mathematics, and success in university mathematics courses. Problem sources are not limited to the course textbook but include problems from many other sources, including problems originally written in Russia, China, or India.


Math II - Summer

Prealgebra and Advanced Topics – Year 2

Age Level: Grades 3, 4, 5.  Location: South View Middle School, Room  135 (look for entrance #4, enter the right set of doors there).  Instructor: Karl Bunday, 2007 Edyth May Sliffe award recipient for middle school mathematics coaching, parent workshop director for Epsilon Camp 2012, 2013, and 2014. Textbook: Prealgebra by Richard Rusczyk, David Patrick, and Ravi Boppana (2011), $45.00 discounted price for ECAE students, useful for Year 1 and Year 2 students.  Dates: Saturdays 9 July, 16 July, 23 July, 30 July 2016 (July half-term, four weeks total) or Saturdays 13 August, 20 August, 27 August 2016 (August half-term, three weeks total). Time: 9:00am to 10:30am. Fee: $125 for July half-term (per section), $100 for August half-term. 

Description: Accelerated prealgebra course for bright learners curious about mathematics, with much emphasis on foundations of higher mathematics and many problems selected from mathematics competitions. The Prealgebra and Advanced Topics course follows a syllabus, in development since 2005, that over two years covers most essential topics in a formal course in prealgebra and mathematical problem-solving contests for pupils of late elementary age, with additional topics from upper-division university-level mathematics. The course lays a foundation for further advanced study of mathematics to the highest and most challenging level, and also delves into topics that are interesting and intriguing and not usually taught in the school curriculum. 

On Saturdays during the two summer half-terms (the four-week July half-term or the three-week August half-term), the 9:00am section will be the "year 2" (Math II) section, covering general problem-solving techniques such as finding patterns in problem situations, listing information as a problem-solving technique, diagramming to focus on essential details of a problem, and working backwards to generate possible solutions. Problems for the Math II summer course come not just from the assigned textbook but also from other sources around the world, especially for the fourth week of the four-week July half-term. Except for the supplementary material in the fourth week of the July half term, the year 2 half-terms for Math II in summer 2016 cover the same topics. The summer courses at either level (Math I or Math II) are good introductions for first-time students to the school-year ECAE courses. All ECAE mathematics courses especially emphasize building a foundation for numeracy in adult life, proficiency in secondary school mathematics, and success in university mathematics courses.

Placement Test Instructions for Math I & II: The textbook publisher has an online placement test that shows what level is expected for starting the textbook, that is starting Year 1 of the two-year Prealgebra and Advanced Topics (PAT) course. My Course Placement Test illustrates many of the topics that are covered during ECAE’s Math Year 1 class. The Year 2 section of the course assumes most of that content as background. Students can join either the Year 1 or the Year 2 section in the middle of the school year if they are ready.The Course Placement Test prints out as six pages. Calculations are to be done by thinking, or by pencil and paper, without any use of an electronic calculator, abacus, or slide rule. Encourage your child to do as much work, and to show as many steps, on the Course Placement Test as can be done in one hour, skipping ahead to problems farther along in the test if that helps complete more questions. The last question is also important. Once your child is done, please send the completed test by scanning-and-emailing to the instructor.



Introduction to Rocket Science

Level: age 12 and up    Class Size: 5 -10 students   Dates: TBA  Location: TBA

Prerequisite: The physics presented in this class requires pre-algebra level mathematics skills and some basic algebra. Students also need the fine motor skills and maturity to work safely with an X-acto knife.

Fee: $380  (Includes $80 materials fee.  Materials include a notebook, handouts, model rocket kit, launch pad, ignition system, rocket motors, igniters, and wadding for a kit flight; plus body tube, nose cone, balsa, and other materials needed to build a scratch rocket.)

Registration & Payment deadline: July 25

In this class we will use model rocketry to explore the following scientific concepts: kinematics, vectors, projectile motion, Newton’s laws of motion, chemistry of combustion reactions, aerodynamics and stability, and even some basic trigonometry.  The physics presented in this class uses geometry to convey the fundamental ideas of calculus in order for the students to understand, not only the equations for motion, but also how they are derived.  In addition, each student will build and fly a model rocket kit, and design their own model rocket from scratch.  In the process they will also learn about the history of rocketry and rules to ensure a safe flight.  Please note that Saturday, August 13 is a regularly-scheduled rocket launch sponsored by Tripoli Minnesota High Powered Rocket Club.  Their launches are held on the second Saturday of each month near North Branch, MN.  Specific directions will be given in class.

Instructor Background: Jolene Gleason has a M.S. degree in electrical engineering as well as B.S. degrees in electrical engineering and mathematics from Iowa State University.  She was named ISU’s Outstanding Senior in Electrical Engineering in 1987.  She worked as an electrical engineer for 15 years before becoming a full-time homeschool parent. Early in her career she also taught Power Systems Analysis and Technical Calculus at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.   Jolene’s appreciation of rocket science has been fostered by her son, Scott, who is an avid rocketeer.  At age 17, Scott is the real expert in rocket design and construction. He received  Junior Achievement awards from the Tripoli Minnesota High Powered Rocketry Club for 2008 and 2009.