The Story of Algebra: Unit 2 - Solving for Unknowns

The Story of Algebra: Unit 2 - Solving for Unknowns


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

  • About This Course

    Straight lines, as they say, are indeed quite rare in nature. In fact, they really only exist in our minds. But there is no doubt, the brilliant human idea of the line is amazingly useful. In this Unit, students first conduct lab experiments and obtain interesting data, which they discover can best be described by a line. But how do you actually describe a laboratory or any phenomenon using the algebraic representation of a line? This is the driving idea of this unit.




    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

    Students advance through a series of really interesting labs. Each lab goes like this:

    • Kid takes materials out of a box 

    • Kid watches a 3-minute video

    • Kid runs a 10-30-minute lab. (Kid is pumped up!)

    • Kid does a lab write-up and a little problem set for quick feedback 

    • Kid watches a concluding video and moves to the next lab! 


    In addition, there are bonus videos and readings and even a problem set designed to deepen an intuitive understanding of the topics.