MST Class Descriptions

July 13-17, 2020

Math Olympiad

Students will develop strategies to solve common math problems typically found in local, regional and national contests. Students will learn to appreciate the art of mathematical problem-solving while strengthening the ability to employ problem-solving strategies. Students will be exposure to mathematical concepts that might not otherwise be encountered in the public schools. Math topics covered: Exponents and Logarithms, Complex Numbers, Linear Equations, Proportions, Number Theory, Quadradic Equations, Special Factorizations and Clever Manipulations, Circles, and Angles.

Nuclear Astrophysics

What do the history of the universe, the life and death of stars, and the elements that make up your body have in common? Nuclear astrophysics! Nuclear reactions such as fusion, fragmentation, and radioactive decay have guided the chemical evolution of the universe and the energy cycle in stars.

This course, sponsored by the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics and MSU’s world-class National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, will introduce you to the wonders of nuclei in deep space:

  • An introduction to nuclear concepts with a marble-based model
  • A tour of NSCL’s rare isotope research areas
  • The origins of the elements – Big Bang nucleosynthesis, stellar fusion, explosive capture processes
  • Latest research in nuclear astrophysics
  • Binding energy and the limits of nuclear stability
  • Careers in research science (or, “people will pay you to learn things”)


  • Install and explore an Integrated Development Environment (Visual Studio Code)
  • Learn to use GitHub for code version control (functional email address required)  
  • Create a variety of scripts in the Python programming language
    • learn Python syntax
    • explore logic concepts
    • examine the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
    • engage in development team problem solving