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Week of July 27th | Issue 15
Dear PREP Students, 

Thank you for spending part of this summer with us, whether it was through reading these newsletters, participating in the Virtual STEM Academy, or just dropping us a line to stay in touch. 

This summer was full of firsts for many of you. Whether it was your first time learning from home, your first time needing to take care of younger siblings, or even your first time using Zoom, we all grew in different and wonderful ways. I am very proud of everything you’ve accomplished this summer, and I hope you are proud, too. 

As we head into the fall semester with a little more uncertainty than I’m sure you would like, I want to remind you of a handful of things: 
  1. You have tools at your disposal. We’ve filled each newsletter with resources meant to help you succeed in school, and we’re ready to provide more if you need - just ask! 
  2. You have the entire PREP family behind you. We strongly believe in each of you and your potential for success. We will gladly do anything we can to help you reach that potential. 
  3. You are wonderful, strong, inquisitive, kind, creative, hard-working, motivated, smart, beautiful, unique, and important. We see these qualities in each of you every day at PREP, and we know that you've continued to exhibit them in your lives, even at home.  
  4. Growth mindset is a skill you can work on every day, if you choose. 
  5. Self-care is extremely important. Move your body, drink some water, touch some dirt. 

I can’t wait to see everything that you accomplish this year, and I’m looking forward to seeing you all back in UT PREP 2021. Until then, take care! 


Hi from Mr. Costello

Hello from Mr. Costello, UTeach Outreach Director! 

We wanted to leave you this week with a list of resources that will help you stay engaged with STEM and prepare for school this fall. You can check it out below! 

Khan Academy - we have to plug this one again, because it's just that good. Check out a course below to review what you learned last year, or maybe even jump ahead for school this year!
  • The "Get Ready" Playlist - a complete list of all mathematics modules designed to help students in 3rd - 8th grade prepare for the upcoming school year
  • Algebra I - great refresher! You can start wherever you need to. 
  • 7th Grade Math - list of modules including negative numbers, rates, proportions, inequalities, some geometry and some statistics and probability
  • 8th Grade Math - list of modules including linear equations, systems of equations, and geometry.
  • High School Geometry - including transformations, congruence, similarities, triangles, solids, and circles 
  • Algebra II - including polynomials, complex numbers, logarithms, exponential modules, transformations, and trigonometry 
  • Pre-Calculus - including composite functions, vectors, matrices, series, conic sections, probability and combinatorics 
  • Calculus - including limits, derivatives, integrals, and differential equations

Tyler DeWitt has an awesome YouTube channel that breaks down Chemistry concepts. He clearly outlines material you may see in a high school chemistry class, and, if you want to go even further, nearly all of an introductory college-level chemistry class is covered here too. 

Brightstorm has an entire video collection that addresses different topics in high school Biology. You can find concise explanations of concepts from cell structure all the way up through the food chain, on their YouTube channel. 

EdX has a collection of self-paced courses that cover the most challenging concepts in parts 1 and 2 of AP Physics. These courses include simulations, graphing, data analysis, experiments, and more! Jump directly to the AP Physics Part 1 course here. You can "enroll" for free! 
This summer, we have explored what it takes to get humans into space, how environmental scientists are working to preserve our planet, what engineers are building in order to improve everyday life, and so much more! Even still, there are more careers you can investigate and there are more professional pathways that are being created all the time. Learn more about these upcoming careers from real scientists and technologists from Khan Academy's "Meet the Professional" playlist

To further your exploration, check out this career comparison tool. This is a great resource to use if you are interested in what two different careers have to offer or what their requirements for entry might be. Didn't get to see the career(s) you were interested in the most? Try exploring these career profiles! You might find a career you never expect, like an ophthalmic medical technician or a nanosystem engineer. The key is to keep exploring! 
Look at how much you've done with us this summer! You've practiced skillsets that will better you, not only in your future careers, but also in your classrooms this fall. It has been a pleasure getting to learn alongside you and watch you grow. 

Remember the power of your growth mindset, the importance of creativity in STEM fields, and that failure is an opportunity to learn. Practicing these will undoubtedly help you reach your future goals and beyond. As a wrap up for our time together, we'd like to conclude with our final journal prompt of the summer. 

Journal Prompt:  What are you most looking forward to about this new school year? Why?

We are incredibly proud of you and are looking forward to hearing about all that you accomplish. Wishing you a successful school year and we cannot wait to see you next summer!
We hope you enjoyed last week's challenge! Check out this solution from Mr. LaDue, our Research & Inquiry instructor. 

We've featured the introductory video for the fifteenth math challenge below.  After watching the video, you can read more about the challenge and how to complete it on the Collaborative Mathematics site. If you're proud of your solution and would like to share, we'd love to see it! Just send us an email with the subject line, "Pizza Party!". 
Math Challenge #15: Pizza Party!
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