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10 Khan Academy Courses Every High School Should Check Out

Khan Academy, an online educational platform that provides free courses, lessons, and practice in various subjects offers instructional videos, practice exercises, and a personalized learning dashboard to help students learn at their own pace. Khan Academy would be a great option for any student who feels they can learn more outside of the four walls of their classrooms and wish to push themselves. Spanning a wide range of subjects, including mathematics, science, economics, history, and more, Khan Academy is a great option that will help you propel your academics to the next level. 


You should also note that all of these courses are for no cost, and are completely flexible in terms of start and end dates. All you need to access these courses is an account with Khan Academy!


Here are ten Khan Academy courses you should check out: 


1. Math

Ranging from high school Algebra 1 through College Algebra, Khan Academy offers 18 different math-related courses as well as three Advanced Placement courses. For high school level math, they offer Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Integrated Math 1-3, Trigonometry, Precalculus, and Statistics. Khan Academy also has more basic options for any student who needs a refresher in a mathematical subject. 


For example, their Algebra Basics is separate from their Algebra 1 & 2 courses, but it covers algebraic expressions, linear equations and inequalities, how to graph lines and slopes, systems of equations, expressions with exponents, quadratics, polynomials, and an introduction to geometry. 


Khan Academy’s high school Chemistry course is an online option for students interested in pursuing one of the most popular university majors in STEM. Over nine units, you will learn about atoms, elements, the periodic table, chemical bonding, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, the mole, states of matter, thermochemistry, solutions, acids, bases, reaction rates, equilibrium, and nuclear chemistry. 


There is also an AP/college Chemistry option for those looking to academically push themselves even further. In the AP version of the course, you’ll cover the same topics, as well as intermolecular forces and properties, atomic structure and properties, and kinetics. 


Khan Academy has 13 courses listed under their “Science” tab, ranging from middle school biology to high school physics, and even college biology. In their high school Biology unit, you will learn about cells, energy and transport, reproduction, cell division, classical genetics, molecular genetics, evolution, human body systems, and ecology. This would be a great course for any student interested in pursuing a subdivision of biology as a university major. This course would also offer those interested in studying a pre-medical track the opportunity to learn about the human body and biology on their own terms without the constraints of a classroom. 


Khan Academy also offers high school Biology - NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards). This version of the course is designed to supplement a regular in-person biology class by emphasizing three specific approaches to learning science: disciplinary core ideas (DCI), practices (the application of course ideas in real world contexts), and cross-cutting concepts (like patterns, cause and effect, and structure and function). 


Underneath the “Computing” section of the Courses tab, you can find a list of computer science-related classes designed for beginner and advanced students alike. For the beginning coder, there is Intro to Computer Science - Python. Python, an advanced programming language, is a crucial tool to add to your collection if you are interested in pursuing computer science in college. 


Even if you feel as though you have a decent understanding of computer science, this course would still help you go that extra mile that your peers may not. When you arrive at university, you will already have a great foundation to build on top of! 


Across a total of ten units, this U.S. Government and Civics course covers the foundations of American democracy, interactions among branches of government, civil liberties, civil rights, citizenship, American politics and ideological beliefs, political participation, the Constitution, and primary documents. These units, separated by those with exercises and those without, are divided after the first six units with the last four just featuring reading and screening materials. For example, unique to Khan Academy, their seventh unit is titled “Government and civics with CBC’s John Dickerson”. 


Their Physics options: regular high school Physics, high school Physics - NGSS, and Advanced Placement Physics 1 provide a broad range of options for any level of physicist. For the purpose of this article, we’ll take a look at the high school physics course. 


In this class, you will study one-dimensional motion, forces, Newton’s laws of motion, two-dimensional motion, uniform circular motion, gravitation, energy, linear momentum and collisions, torque, angular momentum, simple harmonic motion, waves, sound, static electricity, and DC circuits. What would take an entire academic year in a high school classroom is completed in just 12 units.  


Khan Academy’s Health and Medicine course attempts to make the complex human body a bit easier to understand, but does not replace any pre-medical university courses (as an AP course would). This path would be a great option for any student hoping to weed out possible university majors as it would give you insight into the world of being a medical doctor- or studying to attend medical school. In this course you will hear an introduction to the human body systems and learn about the circulatory system, anatomy and physiology, circulatory system diseases, the respiratory system anatomy and physiology, respiratory system diseases, the hematologic system, the endocrine system, the nervous system, functions of the brain, the gastrointestinal system, the musculoskeletal system, the reproductive system, and infectious diseases. 


Learning about these topics, which are necessary for any pre-medical track student to learn, as a high school student would be a great idea for any high achieving individual hoping to get ahead of the curve before attending college. 


Offering both microeconomics and macroeconomics, Khan Academy’s Economics and finance courses would benefit any student interested in the world of finance, consulting, or investment banking. In the macroeconomics course, you are taught about the business cycle, economic indicators, national income and price determination, the financial sector, stabilization policies, an open economy and keynesian approaches. 


In microeconomics, you are taught about supply and demand, the market equilibrium, elasticity, consumer and producer surplus, consumer theory, production decisions, forms of competition, factor markets, and the role of the government in economics and the market. Business is one of the most popular college majors currently. Getting a headstart on the curriculum now would be a great way to save time later. 


Khan Academy offers multiple types of history courses, from U.S. History, to World History, and even Art History. No matter what, learning about the past is a great way to ground yourself in whichever career path you pursue. You can never stop learning and benefitting from history, with majors like politics or government, you can study the different policies that have worked before. Whereas with more STEM majors like a pre-medical track, you will already be studying the results of work done by scientists years ago. 


Khan Academy’s Reading and Language Arts tab features courses for all ages. One course in particular, however, would benefit any high school student no matter how many English courses they’ve taken. Khan Academy’s Grammar course covers the foundations of English as a class- not just a language. 


From parts of speech, to punctuation, to syntax, this course covers everything needed for you to excel in both high school and university-level English courses. Most of your university courses will require you to write at least one essay, and it is easy to lose simple points on your grammar. Taking this course (or one like it) is a quick way to ensure you get the score you deserve. 


Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you find yourself taking on academically rigorous opportunities often and wanting to push yourself, you could also consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 4000 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.


Mandy Brenner is a current junior at Harvard University. She is concentrating in History and Literature and loves to read and write in her free time.


Image Source: Khan Academy logo


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