Classes 2019

STEM Lectures and Study Sections

This class provides a series of seminars from experts in the selected STEM fields. Each seminar offers an introduction to a particular STEM topic and provides a glimpse into original research in that field. Students will also have the opportunity to ask questions about the research in that area and gain some insight into career pathways in the field. An emphasis is placed on cross-disciplinary topics that combine research from multiple fields.

The seminars are accompanied by supported STEM Survival Skills Sections that help the students understand the content of the seminars and learn skills needed to succeed in STEM majors in college.

New Students will explore topics related to sustainability and alternative energy. They will learn about solar power and other alternative energy sources and explore circuits and energy storage and distribution. Through these activities, they will learn how to collect, analyze, summarize, and present data. They will also learn the basics of 3D design and printing and learn how to collect and analyze data in real-time and apply mathematical reasoning to real-world scenarios. Finally, they will work together on group projects, some of which will be presented at our Summer Academy Award Ceremony.

Returning students will further develop their data collection and analysis skills and work together to conduct independent research. They will work to  create a research proposal, develop an experimental design and conduct their experiment and analyze their results. They will present their findings in a research paper to be published online in our program journal and create a scientific poster documenting their research. Selected projects may also be presented at our Summer Academy Award Ceremony.

College Prep

UW MSUB College Prep equips students with the skills and knowledge necessary to be admitted to and succeed in college. The course focuses on what students can be doing in high school to prepare for college, be competitive when applying for college, and eventually thrive in a college environment.

Prepare for college: This course will help students understand how their learning styles and habits can affect their long term success, the ways that colleges look at their high school records, how to plan ahead for admissions and college majors, and how to search for college and scholarship options.

Apply for college: As students consider their post-secondary options, this course will expose them to more resources that can assist them in their search. Students will learn specifics about how colleges evaluate their applications, and how to be most effective in telling their story in admissions applications. Additionally, students will begin to plan out the pathways they may take once in college in order to be admitted into their major of choice.

Thrive in a college environment: Building on the effective habits discussed related to succeeding in high school, students will also explore strategies that will help them succeed in college. They will learn about the resources available and how to access them, the community cultural wealth they bring with them, and how to make the most of their college experience.

College Prep Writing

College Prep Writing will introduce students to the skills and habits they will need to succeed as a writer, thinker, and learner at the university level. Over the six weeks of Summer Academy we will develop awareness of these skills through focused assignments which use writing and writing-based projects to help teach the basics of inquiry, research, exposition, and reflection. This writing-intensive course will consist of two distinct sequences. The first focuses on a trio of concepts—inquiry, complexity, and conversation—that will help lay the groundwork for students’ successful transition to university study. For the course’s final two weeks we will focus on the college application personal essay. As student learners I encourage students to make the most of this time, to engage with interest and depth in the topics and tasks we pursue, and to open themselves to the idea of re-thinking their own writing process within this collaborative space.

Math 1

This course is designed to strengthen the basic analytic skills necessary for future high school math courses and introduce students to the concepts taught in an Algebra 2 or Precalculus class. The course will examine in detail rational operations, linear operations, order of operations, and applications.

Math 2

This course is designed to strengthen the problem solving skills necessary for future high school math courses and introduce students to certain concepts taught in Precalculus. The course will examine methods of mathematical communication and technique, including parsing text instructions, identifying key elements of word problems, organizing work, clearly identifying all requested answers as instructed, including appropriate units and scale, and graphing functions clearly and accurately.

Math 3

This course is designed to strengthen the mathematical skills necessary for advanced courses such as precalculus, calculus, statistics, and physics. Students will revisit some topics seen in previous math courses, but will work with those topics in more depth. Topics covered include functions in general as well as exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions in particular.

Math 4

This course provides an introduction to the concepts of differential calculus. Students will learn how their algebra knowledge and skills are utilized in this advanced mathematical subject. The course will begin with a refresher of past topics, especially functions. It will then move on to the topic of limits, and then to the topic of derivatives.

Math 5

Statistics is the mathematics of data. In today’s world, we are bombarded with data and fi gures. It takes a critical eye to view these numbers and draw accurate and defensible conclusions. In this course, students will learn about data presentation and interpretation, methods of gathering data, and key concepts of probability that help us analyze the data we gather. Students will draw connections between statistics and calculus that you typically do not see prior to college, and we will give them a crash course that will prepare them well for AP Statistics courses and form a good foundation for studying for the AP Statistics exam.


The goal of this class is to provide students with the tools necessary to decipher the technical jargon of STEM fields through an introduction to the Latin language. The emphasis will be on Latin vocabulary and English cognates, with the goal of expanding their English vocabulary as well as preparing them for the language of your prospective college degrees and careers. By the end of this course, students will be familiar with a cache of some of the most common Latinate word elements, which form countless words in English in a variety of contexts and specialized fields. In addition, writing assignments will help them practice utilizing the English words introduced in class. Although the focus of this class is primarily on vocabulary, fundamental Latin grammar will also be introduced. With the vocabulary and grammar introduced in our textbook, you will also to be able to read, write, and translate simple Latin sentences.

Medical Microbiology

Microbiology is the study of microscopic organisms and encompasses a number of sub-disciplines, including virology (the study of viruses), mycology (the study of fungi), parasitology (the study of parasitic eukaryotic organisms) and bacteriology (the study of bacteria).  Medical microbiology examines the morphology, modes of transmission, disease progression and the mechanisms of infection as well as the growth of disease-causing microbes.  In this course, students will mainly focus on microorganisms that are known Public Health concerns (i.e. Zika virus, E. coli O157:H7, malaria, etc.), investigating the prevalence of these microbial infections and studying their effects on the human body and the environment.  Students will also explore the biological factors associated with disease emergence and re-emergence and consider the human activities that can increase or decrease the likelihood of outbreaks.  Understanding the difference between commensal organisms and infectious disease pathogens is an important first step to improving Public Health.  By the end of this course, students should be able to distinguish the major microbial classes based on their cellular morphology as well as understand some of the distinguishing features that differentiate harmless microbes from those that cause infectious disease (i.e. toxins, virulence genes, etc.). Improving our understanding of how microorganisms usurp pre-existing biological niches provides us with a means to inform on patient care and this information can be used to help develop novel therapies and inform vaccine design.


Immunology contextualizes the physiological function of the immune system in both health and disease states, which includes immunological disorders like autoimmune diseases, immune deficiency, and transplant rejection. Immunology has a wide-range of applications in numerous disciplines, including medicine, microbiology and psychiatry. In this course, students will mainly focus on classical immunology, which relates to understanding the cellular components of the immune system, including their role during infection with microorganisms (i.e. bacteria, viruses, parasites, etc.). We also discuss the role of herd immunity in vaccine design and disease eradication; as well as clinical immunology, which is the study of the disorders of the immune system (i.e. immunodeficiency, autoimmunity, etc.); and cancer immunology, which will include an observation of how immune systems react to cancer and how they can be manipulated to treat cancer. By the end of this course, students should be able to discuss the cellular basis for immunity against microbes and cancer as well as describe the function and implementation of vaccines and their importance to Public Health.

Machine Learning

In this course students will learn some of the basic mathematical tools for creating predictive algorithms using real-world data. Self-driving cars, movie recommendations, and facial recognition: these are all things made possible by machine learning. We live in an exciting time where computers are able to predict outcomes faster and better than humans can. The technologies that make predictions will continue to become more prevalent in our day-to-day lives and more advances will soon be made. Maybe by you!

Environmental Science

This is our very first introductory course in Environmental Science. In this course students will get to learn about the science behind the global issues by examining the ways people and the environment interact on the University of Washington Seattle campus. The human impact on the natural environment and its impending consequences are in the news almost everyday. Students will learn about air pollution, for example, discussing how the vehicles, plants, and humans affect air quality on campus. Students will study air quality, water quality, oceanography, and sustainability. They will also get a glimpse of how environmental scientists work in the field.

The three main goals in this course are:

  • To provide sufficient background to understand the science related to environmental issues
  • To demonstrate experiments to students to explain how people interact with the environment surrounding them
  • To introduce students to careers that they can have in environmental science

App Building

This course provides an introduction to various aspects of design and interactive programming. Students will work through an ideation and design process, learning to generate, develop, critique, and refine an idea. Students will then implement their ideas by building them into an interactive program all while learning the foundations of computer programming.

Some of the concepts covered includes:

  • Foundations of programing: How does an app run exactly? How does a computer “know” what to do?
  • Interaction: How do we make an app interactive? What happens when you click on a button or tap on your screen?
  • Design: Is there ever a “good” design? How do we take an idea from a concept to a refined design?

Have you ever used a website or a mobile app and found yourself frustrated with how it works? Maybe it’s time for you to start building your own. As it turns out, the tools and skills needed to build technology we use every day, just like this website, are free and relatively simple to learn. In this class students are going to pitch, design and build their very own web app using HTML, CSS and Javascript. They will learn the foundations not only of programming, but how to design, test, build and deliver a project just like a real software engineer. By the end of this course, students will make a website that anyone can use- friends, familiy, and even college admissions panels. No prior programming experience required, but creativity and rebellion encouraged.

Introduction to Java Programming

This introductory course will cover:

1. Basics – How to start a new Java program and print out lines of text in an organized fashion: Project Song.
2. Data – Different categories of data, how to store them as variables and pass data between methods using parameters and returns: Project Trip Planner.
3. Control Structures – Writing code that runs differently given the state of data using if/else statements, or repeating code using loops: Project Guessing Game.
4. Data Structures – How to organize and manipulate large groups of data: Project Hang Man.