Course Overview

Do you notice things in your neighborhood that are unfair? Do you want to make a difference in your community? Do you notice patterns and like to think visually? 

In this course, students will investigate social justice issues that are specific to their neighborhood or community. During the first two classes we will learn and apply research skills to find compelling articles, data sets, and resources. During the last two classes we will utilize mathematics technology to generate compelling graphics, look for patterns, and make recommendations for action. Students will work in small groups and independently to share their projects with broad audiences.

Whether you’re an active change maker in your community, or like to explore ways to take action to address social issues, this course is for you. The instruction will be designed to meet you where you are to explore math skills and concepts with technology. You’ll gain new skills to use digital tools to curate and present information to tell rich stories to wide audiences.

All students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Completion and have the opportunity to request a Syracuse University noncredit transcript.

Learning Objectives

  • Use research skills to find data sets, curate articles, and gather information on social justice issues they care about.
  • Use mathematics technology (Desmos, wolfram Alpha, Google Sheets) to explore data sets and visualize information graphically.
  • Use virtual platforms (WordPress, Social Media, Canva) to design and share information about social justice issues and actions to take.
  • Use research-based practices to guide the communication and dissemination of ideas.
  • Use maps to make sense of injustices and explore social justice issues in visual and quantitative ways.

Course Information

Course Prefix and Number: SCN 173

Format: On Campus (at Syracuse University)

Eligibility: Students must be of rising high school sophomore, junior, or senior status – or a 2024 high school graduate.

This class will be a good fit for students who are dedicated to learning, are open minded, and driven to learn and share research through math and mapping. 

Credit: Noncredit

Grading: Pass/Fail


  • Residential: $2,195
  • Commuter: $1,726

Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees. Discounts and scholarships are also available.

Program Information

Summer College – On Campus: Experience what college is really like: take a college-level course, live in a residence hall, have meals with friends in a dining hall, and participate in activities and events on campus.

Course Dates and Details

ProgramCourse DatesClass Time (Eastern Time)Credit/NoncreditStatus
Summer College – On Campus 1-Week Session I: Monday, July 8 – Friday, July 12, 2024 MTWThF;
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Class will break for lunch daily for approximately one hour. Class times subject to change.

Course Requirements

Technology Requirements

A laptop is required to take this course.

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

Daily focused in-person synchronous time for 2.5 hours in the morning (e.g., 9-11:30AM), a lunch break, then small group / break-out sessions in the afternoon with required 1:1 mentoring check-ins with each student or pair over another 1-1.5-hour span (e.g., 1:00-2:00).

Faculty Bios

Nicole L. Fonger

Nicole L. Fonger is a mother-scholar, Associate Professor of Mathematics and Mathematics Education at Syracuse University. Her research and practice are deeply intertwined with a focus on supporting students’ meaningful learning of algebra through collaborative partnerships with classroom teachers, and culturally responsive designs for social justice mathematics tasks. As a visual artist, Nicole creates sketchnotes and zines to share research and inspire action and education. Like her three young children, Nicole enjoys spending time outside, being active, and creating.