School - About AoPS Academy Virtual Campus

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About AoPS Academy

Our History

At Art of Problem Solving, we help today’s students learn to solve tomorrow’s problems. Since 1993, we have trained hundreds of thousands of outstanding students looking to develop their problem-solving skills. Our online community currently has nearly 500,000 students and is still growing. AoPS students have excelled in both national and international math competitions, including all 12 2019 USAMO winners.

With AoPS Academy, Art of Problem Solving brought its curriculum and pedagogical techniques to learning centers in 10 locations across the United States.

In March 2020, AoPS Academy successfully transitioned to teaching online. AoPS Academy Virtual Campus expands the AoPS Academy experience to students across the country in small, interactive, and challenging video conferencing classes.

AoPS Philosophy

Exploration meets challenge at AoPS Academy Virtual Campus. All AoPS Academy courses are centered on these principles:

  • Focus on Challenging Problems: Students engage with a deep and rigorous curriculum that teaches them how to approach difficult, unfamiliar problems.
  • Active Learning: When given an unfamiliar concept, students approach problems directly. Instructors guide student progress with motivating questions, and only provide direct commentary to reinforce key insights after students have come up with their own solutions.
  • Outstanding Peer Group: At AoPS Academy, students join an outstanding peer group that will connect, collaborate, and challenge each other. At the AoPS Academy Virtual Campus, students can now meet with incredible classmates from across the country through the online classroom.
  • Effective Communication: Students develop the communication skills to express their ideas effectively in any subject. In addition to language arts courses that strengthen critical thinking, reading, writing skills, our math courses also emphasize the importance of communicating advanced mathematical ideas clearly and effectively.

Courses Overview

Our year-round classes meet weekly, bringing together small groups of high-performing students to work with outstanding instructors. Our summer courses keep students sharp for the upcoming school year.

The AoPS Academy curriculum is carefully designed to prepare students for the rigors of advanced university classes and highly competitive careers. In both our math and language arts classes, we stress both the fundamentals and extending those fundamentals to advanced applications. Students develop a deep understanding of new concepts, and learn how to use them in complex situations.

AoPS Academy instructors are chosen based both on proven domain expertise as well as their pedagogical skills. Many of our instructors have advanced degrees, and our curriculum is designed by experts in their fields.

Year-Round Mathematics Courses

Our math curriculum is centered on students solving problems. Rather than spoon-feed students material for them to echo, we guide them through the experience of developing new mathematical ideas. Our focus on rigor provides a thorough understanding of the fundamentals, while our approach to creative problem-solving trains students to handle novel mathematical and scientific situations. Graduates of our math program will be well-prepared to continue their math-related studies at outstanding universities, and be equipped for a rapidly-shifting professional landscape. Each class session includes:

  • Extensions of past topics: Students solve challenging problems based on the previous week’s material, both to review recent topics and to hone their problem-solving abilities.
  • Introduction of new fundamentals: Students explore a series of problems to add new strategies and tools to their toolboxes.
  • Challenging problems: Students reinforce their understanding of their new tools by applying them to more difficult problems, some of which are drawn from major national and international contests.
  • Collaborative problem-solving: Occasionally groups of students work together on particularly challenging problems, with successful groups presenting their solutions to the class.

AoPS Academy classes aren't confined to the classroom. Our classes employ many of the online resources that have been cornerstones of the AoPS online school for over a decade. Our Year Round math courses include the following support material outside the classroom:

  • Weekly homework: Using the Beast Academy Online platform, students have a weekly homework set including problems with a wide range of difficulty. Students receive instant feedback on the accuracy of their work, and have access to detailed solutions after finishing each problem.
  • Weekly reminder emails: Students and parents receive weekly emails detailing the students' progress and upcoming due dates.
  • Thorough reporting: Students and parents can view detailed reports regarding students' performance.
  • Class outlines: Students can access class outlines online. Outlines are linked to reading material, so students can review past classes, prepare for future classes, and catch up when they miss classes.
  • AoPS Textbooks: Our elementary math classes use Beast Academy textbooks. The Guide books provide comprehensive, rigorous instruction in a fully illustrated textbook written in an engaging, comic-book style. The Practice books include hundreds of exercises, problems, puzzles, and games to reinforce the lessons taught in the Guides.

Summer Courses

Summer learning loss is a well-documented educational concern, with students regularly losing proficiency in math and reading during their idle summer months. AoPS Academy offers summer classes in math and language arts to keep students sharp and get them prepared for the upcoming school year. Our math and language arts summer programs include a variety of two-week and four-week camps featuring activity-based learning designed to pique students’ curiosity and keep them engaged.

Our summer Math Beasts camps extend topics that students learned in the past year and allow students to explore new areas of math. Each camp features Problem Solving and Mathematical Exploration:

  • Problem Solving: In Problem Solving, students review a key topic from the previous year and then explore that topic further, pushing their understanding well beyond grade level. Students engage with Problem Solving through math-related games and puzzles, challenging activities that call for group collaboration, and intriguing problems that encourage students to think in novel ways as they apply new skills.
  • Mathematical Exploration: Through our Mathematical Explorations, students encounter new topics that are typically not introduced until much later in their schooling, and mathematical strategies they can apply throughout their education. This year, our camps will take on a variety of topics including spatial reasoning, pattern recognition, working backwards, invariance, graph theory, and cryptography.

Our Middle School Math Contests and High School Math Contests camps are excellent fits for students seeking to prepare for contests like MATHCOUNTS and the American Mathematics Competitions–or for students who simply want an extra challenge over the summer. In these camps, students are introduced to important new topics while reviewing and applying concepts they have already encountered to advanced problems. Students also participate in practice individual and team competitions, gaining both mathematical skills and test-taking experience that will prepare them for key events in the upcoming school year.

Our writing camps provide a venue for students to hone their writing and critical thinking skills over the summer. In Creative Writing for Grades 3-4, students learn the craft of fiction while composing their own short stories and poems alongside their classmates. Classes feature a mix of interactive writing activities and engaging lessons in the elements of storytelling and poetry. Our Academic Essay Writing for grades 8-10 camp introduces students to the craft of essay writing at a college level. In addition to teaching students how to plan and write an academic essay, the camp explores the purpose behind such essays, examining their role both in academic settings and in the real world. By thinking critically about academic writing as an intellectual pursuit, students become not just better writers but deeper thinkers.

Our reading and performance camps help students develop critical reading and thinking skills while polishing their presentation skills. Readers Theater for Grades 4-5 guides students through a challenging novel while training students to write, rehearse, and perform their own plays. Poetry and Performance for Grades 6-7 explores the power of the carefully-chosen word and an expansive vocabulary, as students dissect great poems to learn how to write and perform their own. Students in Mock Trial: Persuasive Speaking for Grades 7-8 explore a Newbery Honor Book by acclaimed children's author Avi, and then prepare for a mock civil case based on events in the book. Through their preparations, they learn the arts of clear and concise writing, argumentation, and public speaking.

"One of the best decisions I ever made was to send my son to AoPS Academy for improving his math skills. The results are simply amazing! In addition to dramatically improving his math skills, my son also enjoys the social environment that the academy offers. Personally, I am very impressed with the quality of the entire staff (teaching and non-teaching alike). I would not hesitate to recommend AoPS Academy to any parent who is serious about developing their child's academic potential in a safe and stimulating environment."
-Kiran H.
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