An Introduction to Calculus is a course modeled after Duke TiP (Talent Identification Program) Summer Studies Program. This class selects highly talented 8th and 9th graders in my county, with only a background in Algebra I to Geometry, and presents a Polynomial Based-Calculus Course. The intention is that this course will provide a novel challenge to the classes participants without over burdening them. As about 40% of individuals enrolled in college calculus courses either make a D or fail, the material covered in this class, coupled with its delivery, which emphasises independent learning and communication of mathematics will support these students as they enter a full calculus course.
The course follows an independently constructed curriculm, ranging from a basic introduction of limits to the derivative, it's applications, the Mean-Value Theorem and Rolle's Theorem, optimization and related rates, and integrals. The course culminates with a guided independent project in an area of interest, and each student is expected to present a lesson to the class on this interest.
Students who complete the class sucessfully will exit with a plan for advancement in science and mathematics. Because of limited mathematics and science opportunities within the high school and a community college and university only miles away, this class hopes to utilize both of these resources to present opportunities which may best serve these students, as they have demonstrated their abilities through their participation.