The Story of Algebra: Unit 1- Coherent Operations

The Story of Algebra: Unit 1- Coherent Operations


Schedule: This is a Self-Paced Course 
Grade Span: 6th, 7th and 8th grade

  • About This Course

    In Building up Algebra students create the rules of algebra from which its incredible power springs forth. After all, algebra is a language whose utility lies in its ability to describe just about everything! Trends, relationships, and patterns can all be documented with algebra. Predictions can be made using algebra. But the key first step is to build a set of sensible rules. Once students establish these key structures through their own explorations of what seems to make sense and what doesn’t, the rest is not about learning algebra, it is about using algebra!



    • Solving for one unknown in an algebraic equation (ideally, students should have taken or be currently taking pre-algebra or algebra)
    • Graphing Skills: determine scale for coordinate axes, properly drawing and labeling axes
    • Familiarity with the Scientific Method and simple experimental design,
    • Ability to collect and record their own data
    • Basic knowledge of or exposure to general chemistry is recommended (e.g. structure of atoms, types of molecular bonds, polarity, acids and bases, and converting between grams and moles)
  • How a Self-Paced Course Works

    Each lab follows the same format:

    • Students are presented with a challenge
    • Students view a pre-recorded instructor-led dem video  
    • Students conduct an at-home (hands-on and offline) lab project
    • Students engage in interactive group discussions
    • Students solve the challenge

    In addition, students can access weekly QC Learning Extensions (a set of videos and readings that reinforce topics discussed in class), and students will have the opportunity to complete an assigned problem set designed to deepen an intuitive understanding of the topics and demonstrate their knowledge. 


    There are 6 Units spanning an academic year. Each Unit consists of 9 or 10 labs. Students can proceed at their own pace, what typically works is spending 45 minutes to 1 hour per day, each week. 


    At the end of each Unit, students have the opportunity to use their newly discovered mathematical and scientific knowledge to solve a problem of their choosing. 


    QC’s challenge-based approach to science and math connects kids to our amazing earth, teaches them intuitive understanding, and encourages them to think logically and compassionately.