Summer Math and Science Preview Courses


AP and Honors Courses are challenging not just because of their content, but because of their speed. For classes like AP Physics, Honors Chemistry, Pre Calc, and Calculus (AB or BC), this means that a slow start can be very hard to recover from. These courses are among the hardest AP courses offered, and students can struggle if they don’t master key concepts deeply.

This crash course over the summer will review the key concepts you’ll learn in these courses. The program will cover the key principles that the AP curriculum is based on. It will also cover material students learn in earlier courses, but often forget or aren’t completely fluent with.

The courses will be taught by Aspire tutor and LifeLaunchr founder Venkates Swaminathan (Swami). Swami is an experienced tutor who has helped many students master and succeed at advanced science and math courses, including AP Calculus, Physics, and Chemistry. He has a Masters degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois, which brings deep subject expertise. His thoughtful, mentoring approach has proven to help students improve test scores as well as develop a deeper appreciation and enjoyment of these subjects.

If you’re interested, please let us know by filling out this Google Form, or reaching out to Aspire at 510-658-7500.


  • Calculus Preview: July 30- August 3: 10AM – Noon
  • Pre-Calculus Preview: July 30- August 3: 1PM – 3PM 
  • Physics Preview: August 13-17: 10AM – Noon 
  • Chemistry Preview: August 13-17: 1PM – 3PM 

Each course will meet 2 hours a day for five days (one week). No homework will be assigned.

Price: $400 for one course, $750 for two.

Location: Aspire Office (1904 Franklin Street, Oakland, CA)

College Essay Writing Bootcamp


Writing your college application essays can be a big challenge for students who, in most cases, have learned how to write analytical essays but not narratives that compellingly tell a personal story.

This workshop, offered jointly by Aspire and LifeLaunchr will help each student outline, draft, and revise their CommonApp essay or University of California personal insight responses. Each session will be a combination of teaching and writing. Students will be expected to do writing in between sessions.

The course will be offered virtually, to make it convenient for students over the summer, in four one-hour sessions separated by one week. It will start in mid-July and end in mid-August.

The course will cover:

  • Reviewing essays that have worked, not to use as templates, but to give students a sense of how to tell their story compellingly.
  • Going over the key goals of a college essay and narrative forms that can serve as a basis for them.
  • Identifying life events that can serve as the “topic” for an essay.
  • Finding the plot from analysis of these events.
  • Creating the first draft
  • Revising the draft using storytelling techniques such as using dialogue and starting or ending  the story at the high point
  • Checking an essay for length, grammar, and usage, and making edits and corrections.

Each student will have individual attention, and be able to get feedback on their drafts. They will also benefit from working with other students in a collaborative atmosphere. Students who need additional one-on-one coaching will be able to obtain it for an additional fee.

If you have questions or want to learn more, please let us know by filling out this Google Form, or reaching out to Aspire at 510-658-7500.

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