• Copernicus Program (7th-8th Grade Mentorship)

  • Copernicus Program

    (7th-8th Grade Mentorship)

    Copernicus Header

    Copernicus Program

    (7th-8th Grade Mentorship)

    Copernicus Program

    (7th-8th Grade Mentorship)

    Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) was a Renaissance-era polymath who formulated the heliocentric model of the universe. His work laid the foundation upon which future understanding of planetary motion was built.


    The Copernicus Program is a foundational program designed to help students entering 7th and 8th grade obtain a set of logical, mathematical, and computational tools for solving advanced practical problems in science and engineering.

    Sketch Source: Nicolaus Copernicus, Orbium Coelestium, 1543.

    Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) was a Renaissance-era polymath who formulated the heliocentric model of the universe. His work laid the foundation upon which future understanding of planetary motion was built.

    The Copernicus Program is a foundational program designed to help students entering 7th and 8th grade obtain a set of logical, mathematical, and computational tools for solving advanced practical problems in science and engineering.

  • Both sequences of Copernicus Program units (pictured below) cover the same foundational mathematical principles, albeit with unique applications and a different programming language of focus. These sequences are taught on alternating years so that students enrolled in the program never see repeated material.

    Rising 9th grade students who have successfully completed at least one Copernicus curriculum sequence will automatically be admitted to the Kepler Program.

  • Hover over a unit's title to view a brief unit description.

  • Program Educational Objectives

    The Shoulders of Giants’ Mentorship students at all levels should strive to embrace their responsibilities as good citizens of the scientific community. The character traits that this encompasses are detailed on the Mentorship Program Overview page.

    In addition to this personal and professional growth, students enrolled in the Copernicus Program are expected to obtain a set of logical, mathematical, and computational tools for solving practical problems in science and engineering.

  • Student Assessment and Outcomes

    Students are assessed in-class at the end of each unit under faculty guidance. Students must obtain an overall score of at least 70% on all unit assessment materials before moving on; although we are firm on this requirement, review and re-assessment opportunities are available for students who are struggling in a particular unit.

    Throughout the Copernicus Program, students are expected to achieve the following outcomes:

    (a) Knowledge of mathematical and computational terminology used to describe practical problems and their solutions.
    (b) Understanding of tools and techniques used to find numerical solutions of mathematical problems.
    (c) Understanding of the analytical solutions of simple practical problems in science and engineering.
    (d) An ability to use computational tools to aid in experimentation or to find approximate solutions within mathematical models.
    (e) Ability to quantitatively test a hypothesis using experimental data.
    (f) An ability to engage in computational thinking.
    (g) An understanding of good professional communication practices.
    (h) An understanding of the importance of teamwork in both academic and professional settings.

  • Program Schedule

    Like all levels of the Mentorship Program, formal curriculum runs throughout the academic year (Late August ~ Early May), with opportunities for special projects, lectures, and activities taking place over the summer. Each unit consists of one 2 hour class per week, with class times offered both after-school on Wednesdays and on Saturday morning. As minor changes may be made to the program schedule over time, please refer to the Mentorship Calendar for the most up-to-date look at a typical weekly Copernicus schedule.

  • How to Enroll

    Enrollment for the Copernicus Program is open at the beginning of each academic year. Students must complete an on-site interview with faculty to be considered for enrollment, and space is very limited. If you would like to receive notifications regarding enrollment opportunities, please contact us!