Algebra is an important part of preparing for college and is the foundation to higher level mathematics and science courses, which can impact graduation rates and college admission (Educate article-English, Educate article-Spanish).
The Algebra Academy is a five-week summer program for rising 9th graders that allows students to construct their understanding of algebraic concepts through project-based, small group learning. In partnership with the Sunnyside Unified School District and the Tucson Unified School District, the Algebra Academy has been offered to students entering Catalina Magnet High School, Cholla High Magnet School, Desert View High School, Pueblo Magnet High School, Rincon High School, Sunnyside High School, and Tucson High Magnet School. With funding from the Lumina Foundation for Education, the Algebra Academy has served 474 students in the four years of its existance and provided a unique professional development opportunity for 24 local middle/high school teachers. While the initial funding has been expended, the Office of Early Academic Outreach is actively seeking financial support to continue the program.
In 2007, the program's pilot year, Arizona Illustrated captured the essence of the Algebra Academy in the following four minute video: Arizona Illustrated - Algebra Academy Video
What do you mean by "Algebra Academy: It is Rocket Science!"? Algebra Academy students explore algebraic concepts through project-bassed learning. The students work in small groups, observe "real world" relationships, collect data and organize it in tables & graphs to be able to explain those relationships algebraically and make predictions. Many of the lessons that the students experience lead up to a Water Bottle Rocket Launch on The University of Arizona campus. The following photo presentation documents the 2009 Test Launch. Enjoy!:
Approximately 140 students successfully completed the 2009 Algebra Academy. On Thursday, July 2, participants received a certificate of completion for the 1.0 unit of elective high school credit and earned their TI-84 Plus Silver Edition graphing calculator. The following video was shown at the Student Recognition Ceremony as a compilation of the student's experiences:
Take on the Tough Courses. Algebra Academy participants were encouraged to know and understand the courses required for university admission. The Lumina Foundation for Education, the American Council on Education, and the Ad Council are encouraging students to Get Tough and Take on the Tough Classes:
Knowhowtogo.org presents Algebra II: