AP Chemistry (Aventa or Keystone)

<p>I posted on the AP Sciences forum last week and got no responses. I'm hoping I'll get some here. </p>

<p>Has anybody taken AP Chemistry using the Aventa material?</p>

<p>I know Keystone is a sister company of Aventa, and Wisconsin Virtual Schools also use Aventa. There may be other providers that license the Aventa material.</p>

<p>Is it self-paced or are there hard deadlines?</p>

<p>How was the Silberberg textbook?</p>

<p>Were you prepared for the AP?</p>

<p>Was it interesting or was it tedious?</p>

<p>Was there enough help if you needed it from the virtual teacher?</p>

<p>Were the virtual labs worthwhile or do you feel that it was quite inferior to "real" labs?</p>

<p>How hard would it be for someone who aced Honors High School Chemistry and got over a 700 on the Chem SAT II?</p>

<p>If you retook General Chemistry in college, was it helpful to have AP first?</p>

<p>Did you just redo the same thing?</p>

<p>Was the college class just harder, or did you go into a more accelerated General Chemistry class, and did it help with that?</p>

<p>Overall was it worthwhile?</p>

<p>If you had to choose between an online AP course and another honors level science course (not Chemistry, not another AP) at your school again, would you still choose the online Chemistry?</p>

<p>Would you still choose the Aventa product?</p>

<p>Appreciate any responses.</p>

<p>Took note of your Wisconsin reference. Son took AP Chemistry through his WI HS. No clue as to teaching materials. He and I weren't getting along so this chemistry major mom had no idea. He did get a 5 on the AP test that May and a C in the course that spring- senioritis. He didn't do the work, didn't like the way the teacher taught. His gifted OOS cousin got an A in his AP Chemistry and a 3 on the AP exam. They cited a poor teacher. A HS grade is no guarantee of quality of material presented/learned.</p>

<p>As an undergrad chemistry major eons ago I still get my Badger Chemist and have noted how UW runs its department via the website. I have also read a few posts on the CC UW site relating to chemistry there. My impression is that more exposure to a course in HS helps with a college course, especially in the more advanced of the general chemistry options to freshmen offered at some schools. Having done plenty in labs I wouldn't want to do only virtual labs- half of the fun is messing around (carefully) in a real lab. But that is one reason I chose the field for my major. On the other hand, some who prefer abstract math and physics would rather do the thought experiments.</p>

<p>Chemistry is a lot of problem solving. My HS eons ago did not offer straight chemistry- they combined the sciences into an integrated program, with 2 tracks. I recall getting credit for having 1 1/2 years of chemistryand did well on the SAT in it. We were taught how to problem solve very well which helped me in college in the top, honors chemistry. An online course can do this as well as an in class teacher. To take AP Chemistry another Chemistry class is required (unlike AP Physics) so the student will have had exposure to lab work.</p>

<p>Taking AP Chemistry may be the preparation that will yield a more advanced college course in which all other students have also done well in AP Chemistry. I don't think the lack of actual lab experience beyond regular chemistry will hurt. I am thinking in terms of Honors work at UW which has a top 10 or so grad dept in Chemistry and atention paid to teaching undergrads. Other elite colleges will likely have expectations of good HS knowledge as well.</p>

<p>I know I didn't answer your questions but hope this is helpful.</p>

<p>Don't know if you are considering other programs, but my daughter is currently taking online AP Chem through Chemadvantage. So far we have been happy with the course.
They have weekly deadlines, but the instructor is flexible and the student can ask for an extension if necessary. </p>

<p>They do actual labs with an individual lab kit (small amounts of chemicals, etc). Let me know if you have any questions. It sounds like you are specifically interested in Aventa, but thought I'd let you know about Chemadvantage as well.</p>

<p>Wis75: That was helpful. Thanks. </p>

<p>pamayawaa: That was my first choice based on CC reviews. I contacted them. Was told that in the future, ChemAdvantage will be available only to homeschoolers. D attends public school. Therefore it will not be an option.</p>

<p>Aventa and Keystone are quite different. Keystone is more geared to homeschoolers, and, although you might take tests, the grades were not recorded for the courses my daughter took. There were only two grades that were official, the mid-term and final exam. You do the work completely at your own pace. There is a teacher available, but the teacher isn't closely involved in your work. It is much more like self-study.</p>

<p>Aventa has tests and quizzes and labs and exams and all grades are recorded. Aventa is also self-paced and therefore is good for, say, performers (like my daughter) who have some weeks that are busy with rehearsals and shows. They can make up work in a week that is not full. An Aventa teacher was willing to call every Sunday to discuss the class before a test, with my older daughter. She, and he, felt the text and the online tests were not wel-matched, so he gave support to students that way.</p>

<p>Virtual High School is an excellent program as well, and our high school, like others in our area, has actually joined so that students who need AP classes not offered there, can take them online. A faculty member at the school is trained as a facilitator. My daughter took a VHS class before the school joined (we actually brought it to the school's attention originally) and the teacher was available.</p>

<p>You might want to check out educere.net. That is an umbrella organization that handles a lot of these schools (Aventa and VHS included). You can talk to a representative about what you want and need, and get advice on the best program.</p>

<p>One factor is acceptability by your high school. You need to get prior approval from your high school guidance and/or principal, for the credits and the level (AP). We had no problems with Aventa or VHS in this regard, but Keystone was another story.</p>

<p>Compmom, your post was very helpful. Are you specifically talking about AP Chemistry through Aventa or some other course with labs? </p>

<p>I'm not understanding the difference between Aventa and Keystone. I thought that Aventa was just a provider of course material for many virtual schools, and Keystone, which is owned by the same company, is the accredited online school owned by KC Distance Learning, the same company that owns Aventa. How did you use Aventa to get school approval? Did you go directly through Aventa? I need to understand that option better. I didn't even realize that it WAS an option by itself. </p>

<p>When you say that the test were not well matched, I assume that you mean that the tests were much harder than the materials offered. Again, was this AP Chemisty? </p>

<p>VHS does not have AP Chemistry. They have Advanced Topics in Chemistry. The description, which includes with word "project" is less appealing to D who will have enough "projects" to do senior year. She prefers a true AP curriculum.</p>

<p>We were lucky that son's summer gifted program courses, including AP, were made part of his HS record (not sure if they would do it any more). But colleges care about the AP exam score, not the course grade, when giving their college credits for HS work. In fact, students can take AP exams without taking a course (know a boy who exempted out of HS US history- regular and AP- since he got a 5 on the AP US History exam).</p>

<p>What is the reason for taking the AP Chemistry course? Is there specific interest in chemistry? Is no course offered at the HS? Even with a poorly run AP course a student can always study beyond what the teacher teaches. To do any course independently the student has to be interested in the subject/motivated.</p>

<p>Don't care about college apps. She will be a senior and AP exam will happen when she's already been accepted to college anyway. </p>

<p>Reasons for her interest
1) Strong interest in chemistry which has been her strongest subject; she wants more.
2) Wants to insure against "weed-out" in college and would like to get a head start and potentially get into a more accelerated General Chem class (like they have at Wisconsin and some other schools).
3) AP Chemistry will likely not be offered at school.
4) After finishing AP Bio, Hon Chem and AP Physics, the other science courses either have too much overlap with what she's already taken or are less interesting. She has to take a certain number of courses anyway, so why waste time with something irrelevant.</p>

<p>Good luck to her. UW has a great Chemistry program. I understand wanting to place into the most advanced general chemistry course at UW. Sounds like she has the ability and motivation to do well in an online course.</p>

<p>One of my daughters did AP US History and AP Environmental Science with Aventa, and an ethics class (in medicine) with VHS. Another daughter did Anatomy and Physiology with Aventa and Algebra 2 with Keystone.</p>

<p>I went through educere.net for all of these except for Keystone. This was the year when Keystone and Aventa were first affiliated. Things may have changed since then. This was maybe 5 years ago. Educere covers registration for many other online options.</p>

<p>My first daughter is very self-motivated. My second daughter is also motivated but has ADHD, and the fact that Keystone quizzes and tests were not included in the grade report was difficult for her. Again, this may have changed. At the time, our local school was much happier with Aventa and VHS because there were several grades for the course. </p>

<p>I simply took the course descriptions and syllabi in to the principal for approval.</p>

<p>Science classes online have labs, but they are not at all comparable to what a student can do in an actual lab. Have you checked out classes at community college or other college near you?</p>