2023 Summer Bridge Program Information Page

Course Descriptions

Week #1, July 31 – August 4, 2023 (Schedule Subject to Change)

Introduction to AP Biology – This summer course will provide a snapshot of topics outlined in the AP Biology Course and Exam Description. This course will provide students with a soft introduction to the scope and breadth of the course. Topics relating to cell structure and function, genetics, cell communication, central dogma, and natural selection will be highlighted. Students will be engaged through interactive instructional practices focusing on some of the most common misconceptions and challenging concepts of the course. This course will encourage student collaboration, discussion, and application of content. Science practices will be threaded throughout the course to provide students with an introduction to skills necessary for success in the course and on the AP Exam.

Introduction to AP Computer Science A – In this course, we will be using a scenario to introduce and connect the basic concepts of Object-Oriented programming that are covered in Units 1 – 5 of the AP course. These units include: Unit 1 – Primitive Datatypes, Unit 2 – Using Objects, Unit 3 – Boolean Expressions and If Statements, Unit 4 – Iteration, and Unit 5 – Writing Classes.

Introduction to AP Computer Science Principles (AM ONLY) – TBA

Introduction to AP Environmental Science – Join me on an exciting trip into what your year in AP Environmental Science (APES) will look like! The usual pre-requisites for APES are that you have had some form of Biology and Chemistry course prior to taking this course. What I have often found is that some of the math skills, and basic science understandings from the pre-requisite courses, has been forgotten…or maybe never learned. This APES Intro course will strengthen your APES specific math skills like metric conversions, scientific notation, and dimensional analysis. It will also solidify your graphic interpretation and creation skills. Finally, you will use your freshly honed numerical and graphing skills to design, and implement, an environmentally specific experiment. While math and graphing skills are useful in just about all science classes, wouldn’t it be great to have a head start on seeing these things through an APES specific lens? You will start your AP Environmental Science year with more confidence, which will empower you to dive more deeply into becoming an environmental champion.

Introduction to AP Statistics – The objective of these statistical summer sessions is to familiarize students with key concepts of organizing, viewing, and describing univariate data. Through data collected from both the students themselves and the world at large, these budding statisticians will experience the nuance and understanding that the course requires, especially as the year goes on. We will take a look at some applied problems and mix in some real AP questions so that students get a taste of what is to come. Graphing calculators will be used throughout the sessions and topics will include displaying and describing categorical data, displaying and describing quantitative data, standard deviation, and the normal model.

AP Study Skills for All – In this course, we will explore strategies to help us confidently engage with the challenging work that an AP experience provides, focusing on study skills, time management, habit building, and organizational skills. Designed to support anyone entering an AP course, this course will allow us to begin forming sound work habits and learn to not only set attainable goals but also effectively communicate our needs. By the end of the week, we will have a toolbox of resources to help us succeed in the upcoming academic year.

Week #2, August 7 – 11, 2023 (Schedule Subject to Change)

Introduction to AP Calculus – Students will begin the session with a review of the trigonometric, exponential, logarithmic, inverse, and inverse trigonometric functions which are spread throughout the AP Calculus curriculum. On each day of the session, students will take some time to explore the various capabilities of the TI graphing calculators. Near the end of the session, students will learn about Limits and Continuity taken directly from the first unit of the AP Calculus curriculum.

Introduction to AP Chemistry -The online AP Chemistry Bridge Program is designed for high school students seeking additional skills to prepare them to enroll in AP Chemistry in the fall. The course will cover periodic trends, stoichiometry and gas laws (contents covered in units 1, 3 and 4). Students will be able to practice problems using the above concepts to assess their understanding of the content covered in class.

Introduction to AP Literature & Composition – During this week-long course, students will work on honing and strengthening their analytical reading and writing skills. Each day, students will work on strengthening and building their ability to write fluently and persuasively and explore short fiction, poetry or topics of interest to them. Daily sessions will also increase students’ familiarity with the content of the AP English Literature exam by introducing the three types of essays (poetry, prose fiction argument, and literary argument ) to better prepare students for their coursework in the fall. At the end of the week, students will have built a solid foundation to better prepare for their AP English Literature and Composition course in the fall.

Introduction to AP Language & Composition – During this week-long course, students will work on honing and strengthening their analytical reading and writing skills. Each day, students will work on strengthening and building their ability to write fluently and persuasively and explore current events or topics of interest to them. Daily sessions will also increase students’ familiarity with the content of the AP English Language exam by introducing the three types of essays (synthesis, rhetorical analysis, and argument) to better prepare students for their coursework in the fall. At the end of the week, students will have built a solid foundation to better prepare for their AP English Language and Composition course in the fall.

Introduction to AP Physics 1 – Let’s get ready for Physics! In this course, we will explore the basics of motion through hands-on activities and collaborative learning experiences. This course will focus on learning to think like a physicist, developing lab skills, collaborating with others, and applying mathematics to science.

Introduction to AP Pre-Calculus – Students will review relevant Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra 2 concepts that will serve as foundation skills for understanding material in the AP PreCalculus curriculum. The topics will include Linear Functions, Quadratic Functions, Polynomial Functions, Exponential Functions and Right Triangle Trigonometry. Throughout the week, students will use technology to explore graphical representations. Each day, opportunities will be provided for students to practice skills and ask questions.

AP Science Study Skills – AP Science Study Skills is a 5-day online review class covering the major skills necessary to be successful in AP science. Any students enrolling in AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Physics or AP Environmental Science will benefit from this course. The topics which will be covered include scientific method, claim evidence and reasoning, statistics, graphs and data analysis, mathematics integration, and understanding visuals and models. During this workshop, students will work in small groups, complete hands-on activities and practice with the material leaving them feeling confident and prepared with the skills needed to be successful.


Instructor Bios

Zelia Dias — Zelia is a chemistry and Advanced Placement Chemistry (AP Chem) teacher at John D. O’Bryant School of Math and Science. After working in public health at the City of Boston for several years she discovered that she is passionate about teaching young adults so she decided to go into teaching. She has been teaching chemistry for the past 13 years in the Boston area. Zelia received her BS in Biochemistry from the University of Massachusetts – Boston and her Doctor of Pharmacy from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) University.  In her free time she loves sports, is an avid swimmer, loves traveling to warmer climates and the outdoors.

Margaret Evans – Margaret Evans is a veteran teacher in the Prince William County Public School system, located in Northern Virginia. After earning her B.S degree in Biology with the goal of becoming an obstetrician, Margaret earned acceptance into Johns Hopkins Medical School. However, quickly realizing her true calling, she turned down the coveted invitation to medical school to pursue a career in education and moved on to earn her M.A degree in Education. She started her teaching career as a biology teacher at Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School, located in Washington, D.C. After two years of teaching at Georgetown Visitation, Margaret felt a need to serve in the public school system. As the product of a public education in Baltimore County, Maryland, Margaret desired to be in a position where she could provide the same high quality educational experience to students she taught as those she received from her own primary and secondary schools in Maryland. She secured a position as a biology teacher in the Prince William County Public School System and is now a 23-year veteran teacher in her district. She has taught multilevel biology classes during her tenure; to include AP Biology, Pre-AP Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, and Biology I. She is experienced in Gifted Education and has supported instruction for ELL and SPED students throughout her teaching career. Margaret has served as a member of the AP Biology Development Committee, participates in the AP Biology Read as a leader and reader, served as the 2021 AP Daily Teacher Lead, and served as a co-host teacher for the 2021 AP Live Reviews. Margaret facilitates training in her district for culturally responsive education initiatives and firmly believes all students can learn and succeed. Margaret Evans is a dedicated teacher who continually seeks ways to improve her instruction and provide her students with the highest quality education possible. When asked by her students, “Why didn’t you go to medical school and become a doctor as opposed to becoming a teacher?” She is not ashamed to reply, “Having the awesome responsibility of educating and shaping young minds is one of the most honorable jobs I can think of. I have never regretted my decision.”

Nicole HemlinI graduated from Assumption College in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and started teaching at Gardner High School in the fall of 2002. After 10 years, I went to teach at my alma mater, Narragansett Regional High School in Baldwinville, MA. In 2014, I earned my Master of Education in Curriculum and Teaching from Fitchburg State University. It was when I was teaching AP Calculus in 2013 at Narragansett that I first became a part of the Mass Insight experience. In June of 2016, John Souther convinced me to be the Route 2 Lead Teacher, a position I have held ever since. In my years at Narragansett I have served as a class advisor and the Mu Alpha Theta (math honor society) advisor.  From 2017 to the present, I have served as the Mathematics Teacher Leader (grades 8-12) at Narragansett. I will finish my 21st year of teaching this June. I live in Baldwinville with my husband Scott, and two children, Madyson (16) and Landyn (13).

Matt Huberman – Matt is a high school mathematics teacher currently sculpting young minds at Oliver Ames High School in Easton, MA. He’s been teaching AP Stats for the past ten years and serving as a theatrical guide as the Drama Club’s Advisor and Director there as well.  Good theatre and good statistics both require good context. Matt received a B.S. in Mathematics and an M.A.T. in Mathematics from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. During his college years he taught inmates Algebra & Geometry in a correctional facility in order to progress them to completion of their GEDs. More recently, he worked on publications for the Princeton Review for their AP Statistics materials. He’s been an AP reader for the last several years and this is his fourth year proudly working with Mass Insight Education.  Matt loves spending time with his family, dog, chickens, and the occasional SUP boarding session.

Kathleen Koljian —  Kathleen teaches AP English Language and Composition and AP English Literature and Composition in an urban Connecticut high school, where she has worked since earning her Ph.D at the University of Connecticut in 2006. She has been an AP reader since 2012 and enjoys working with teachers and students in programs focused on improving educational outcomes for students.

Crystal Laliberte — Crystal Laliberte is an AP English teacher at Middleborough High School in Massachusetts and a Reader for the AP Language exam. Through her work with Mass Insight, Crystal seeks to empower students and support teachers in their engagement with AP courses and beyond. She has a Masters of Arts in English and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Education.

Ivyrose Likis Ivyrose Likis is a Biology and AP Biology Teacher at John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science. She has been teaching for the past 13 years in Boston Public Schools. Ivyrose’s teaching career started at the Jeremiah E.  Burke High School when the school was placed in Turnaround status. Four years later the Burke became the first high school in Massachusetts to successfully exit Turnaround status. Later in her career, Ivyrose became a Wipro Science Education Fellow through UMass Boston. During Ivyrose’s second year in the fellowship she investigated ways to increase student engagement and achievement in AP Biology through the use of manipulatives, projects, labs, and scenario-based activities. Ivyrose received her BS in Biology from Alma College in Michigan and earned her masters through the Boston Teacher Residency. In her free time Ivyrose enjoys traveling, camping, hiking, reading and spending time with her family. 

Paul Marques —  Paul Marques has been the Director of Computer Science for Malden Public High School for over 20 years. He has taught everything from basic Algebra and Introductory Programming to AP Calculus and AP CS at both the A and AB levels, and teaches Post-AP and independent Study CS classes to his most advanced students. In addition, he has won numerous CS awards, was the first principle instructor for AllStarCode, a non-profit youth CS program in NYC, and has been the advisor to many clubs. Driven by conviction, he prides himself in providing the best instruction possible via his proven “6-Steps for Solving Any Problem!”

Theresa Rudnick — Theresa is a National Board Certified Teacher in Physics and has taught for over 11 years. Theresa has Bachelor’s degrees in Chemical Science & Secondary Education and a master’s degree in Instructional Media. She is an AP Daily Instructor and a member of the AP Physics 2 Development Committee. She has scored the AP Physics exam since 2013. Theresa is passionate about helping students discover their strengths and gain confidence in science. She loves to travel. Over the past few years, she managed to pair her love for travel with her love for physics and attended conferences at Fermi Lab and CERN. When she’s not touring particle accelerators, Theresa enjoys running, swimming, listening to music, and playing with her dogs.

Jayson Sylvain – Jayson has taught AP Calculus at West Bridgewater Middle/Senior High for over 20 years.  He has also served the WB student population for many years as an advisor both for the Math Club and the National Honor Society.  He graduated from Stonehill College in 1997 with a BS in Mathematics/Computer Science with a minor in Secondary Education.

Kerryann Tracy – Kerryann teaches AP Language and Composition and AP Literature and Composition at B.M.C Durfee High School in Fall River, Massachusetts. Kerryann has also served as MIE Lead teacher for the AP English South Cohort since 2009. She received the MIE Partners in Excellence Award in 2014, and the first annual Lawrie A. Bertram Partners in Excellence Award in 2019. She is an AP reader and enjoys working with teachers and students to improve educational outcomes.

Melissa Trzasko – Mrs. Trzasko has taught AP Computer Science Principles for 7 years and has received the College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award for the past three years. She is the Arts and Technology Department Chair and helps to oversee all the computer science curriculum for both middle and high school students. Additionally, she has served on the new MTEL for Digital Literacy and Computer Science committee which was rolled out in the fall of 2021. She is a MassInsight presenter for Saturday Study Sessions, presenting various topics to cohorts across the Commonwealth to help prepare students for the different aspects of the AP Exam. During the June 2020 AP Reading, she had the opportunity to score hundreds of AP Computer Science Principles Create Tasks. In her spare time Mrs. Trzasko loves to play baseball with her husband and two children, garden, travel and relax with her German Shepherd.

Ed Wren — After a two-year graduate stint working with fish endocrinology in Antarctica and Maine, I realized that a career in research science was not for me.  What has become my 18 year classroom teaching career appeared in my life first in the form of fifth and sixth grade science in a private school in New York City.  Those years showed me I had found a calling. My need for more advanced science moved me on to 11 years of NYC Public High School, teaching a range of sciences from Freshman Research to Chemistry.   Nine years of teaching AP Environmental Science has been, by far, the most rewarding and exciting teaching I have ever done.  It has not necessarily brought me the daily hysterical laughter I would get from teaching 5th and 6th grade, but teaching this course showed me how thoughtful, and deeply committed to their learning, students can be. Every day I saw what it looked like for kids to be excited about their learning.  Granted my enthusiasm and some jumping around like a lunatic helped. So, I still love doing experiments and reading about all the exciting environmental research being done, especially if it involves marine conservation, but I would now prefer to use the experiments and research as tools to help students connect to learning about the environment