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Week of July 6th | Issue 12

Dear PREP Students,

Each of us has the ability to design, create, make, and build some amazing things. This week we'd like to invite you to explore potential avenues for being creative, right in your home! We've seen the work that you've been able to accomplish at camp in previous summers, so we know what you are capable of. 

The resources and activities featured this week contain ways for you to express your creativity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. You'll find that some degree of creativity is required in each of these fields. Have fun and be sure to share with us what you design, create, make, or build. We cannot wait to see what you come up with!

                                       - The PREP Team
Virtual STEM Academy Updates
Since the invention of calculus, it is has been at the forefront of countless scientific advancements across a variety of fields. Regardless of your interests or studies, our Calculus module can help you synthesize all your previous math classes and apply them to any field you choose! Interested? You can register on our website. 

Hello from Mr. Nguyen, PREP 1 & 2 Problem Solving Intern!!  

Bash the Trash: Build Musical Instruments - see how science, engineering, and making can transform simple items you'd find around your house - even trash - into musical instruments. Join in for free live-streaming mini-shows on Tuesdays at 10:00am and Thursdays at 12:00pm. Or, if you can't make the live events, explore the catalog of previous live-stream events. You're sure to hear some great performances and see the convergence of science, engineering, making, music, history, art, and culture!

McDonald Observatory is hosting a live solar tour tomorrow, July 7th at 11:00 a.m.! Join the tour tomorrow to peer at the sun through specially-filtered telescopes, see images from McDonald's Solar Dynamics Observatory, and discuss sunspots, prominences, solar flares, and more! Perfect for those of you who loved the Astronomy telescope tour in PREP 2! 

Statistics, the merger of mathematical methods and scientific observations, can be used to offer insights into the challenges that our society is currently facing. The Civil Rights Data Collection is a cross-sectional survey that has collected data on educational and civil rights issues at public schools across the nation since 2000. Using RStudio, you can upload datasets about the nation or even your own school and run various analyses that you learned about in PREP 3. The information - and power - you could uncover is limitless! Want to learn more about using statistics to make our world a better place? Grab a seat in our Statistics module before registration closes on the 17th. 

In PREP 4, nearly all of your projects combined mathematics, engineering, computer science, and Making. During these projects, you found the importance of prototyping as you moved through the Engineering Design Process or Design Thinking Process. Well, guess what? Engineers at Facebook Reality Labs do the same thing! In fact, they have just completed a prototype for the thinnest virtual reality headset in the world. Did reading this article make your fingers itch to create something? Our Advanced Engineering module is the perfect opportunity to invent, problem-solve, and Make. 
Believe it or not, creativity goes hand-in-hand with most science, technology, engineering, and mathematics topics. Without creativity, these fields of research would lack new perspectives and diverse solutions to everyday problems. As you explore the importance of creativity, we encourage you to hear from Colin Drummond, the Faculty Director for the The Institute for Management and Engineering at Case Western, who discusses how engineering is much more than just technology.

Interested in exploring the many fields of engineering further? Check out this video playlist from CrashCourse or visit the University of Texas at Austin's Cockrell School of Engineering website. You'll find from either of these resources that there are many fields available in this career path - all focused on making the world a better place. We hope you continue to investigate the many pathways in which engineering can take you because the possibilities are endless! 
To learn more about how each of us uses creativity, check out the secrets of creativity housed in your brain! Just like our Growth Mindset, creativity is not a fixed skill. You can gain experience and improve just like anything else you choose to work at. If you're looking for ways to work on creative designs or builds, try creating your own crazy straws or designing the best bubble wand

Journal Prompt: What was the last thing you built/designed? What creative skillsets were you able to utilize for this build/design? What mathematics/technology skills were you able to use?
We hope you enjoyed last week's challenge! You can see a solution from Mr. Nguyen here.  

We've featured the introductory video for the twelfth math challenge below.  After watching the video, you can read more about the challenge and how to complete it on the Collaborative Mathematics site. Remember to submit your solutions by emailing them to us with the subject line "Parenthesizations" for a chance to be featured in next week's newsletter! 
Math Challenge #12: Parenthesizations
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