Research Crash Course

Our free, online Research Crash Course consists of 10 classes from late-October through March with check-ins throughout for our volunteers to provide personalized feedback to students.


The RC2 Classes will guide middle school students (6th–8th graders) through the process of conducting a research or engineering project for their regional science fair. There are no prerequisites for enrolling, other than curiosity and a willingness to challenge themselves. Students will learn the necessary skills (including proposal writing, experimentation design, data collection & analysis, basic statistics, abstract writing, and presentation preparation) and gain feedback from mentors throughout this course. The day & time of classes depend on the Chapter, and will be decided closer to the start date.

Why Research?
  1. Top Reason: It’s Fun!
  2. Many opportunities (e.g. state fair, Broadcom MASTERS)
  3. Gain experience (research + professional skills)
  4. Network w/ peers & mentors
  5. Awards/Prizes
Course Structure
  • 10 online lessons (late-October — March)
  • 6 student check-ins for personalized feedback
  • Students choose a project they are passionate about
  • Course prepares for presenting at regional science fair
RC2 Chapters

The Research Crash Course is taught in chapters, with the curriculum of each specifically tailored to its regional fair. The time for each RC² Chapter/location varies, with tentative times set as follows:

  • Palo Alto (CA) — Mondays 4:00-5:00pm PT
  • Cupertino (CA) — Tuesdays 5:30-6:30pm PT
  • Chandler (AZ) — Wednesdays 3:30-4:30pm MT
  • Kennett Square (PA) — Thursdays 6:30-7:30pm ET
Course Content (Tentative)
1Intro to Research & Science Fairs
2Background Literature Research
3Scientific Method & Engineering Process
4The Proposal
5Data Collection & Statistics
6Progress Updates
7Data Analysis
8The Tri-Fold Board
9The Abstract
10Judging Overview
11Celebration & Conclusion (Optional)

PROP Workshops

Our free, online PROP Workshops consist of 6 classes in November and December, teaching a few of the various applications of Python in research.

Course Description

The PROP (Python & Research-Oriented Programming) Workshops are an opportunity for students with prior knowledge of basic Python to dive deeper. Throughout these classes, students will gain knowledge of Python’s various applications in scientific research. Taken in conjunction with the Research Crash Course, students will be able to create programs for their research projects, and have the tools to learn additional skills that they may need. Tentative class time: 2:00-3:30pm PT on Sundays.

What if I don’t know Python?

No worries! There are plenty of free online resources that are easy to follow, and a few (plus some of our own Basic Python curriculum) are located here. We will be reviewing basic concepts, as well as setup the PyCharm IDE, during the first week.

Course Content (Tentative)
1Review & PyCharm Setup
2File IO, RegEx, Statistics, & NumPy
3PyAutoGUI & OS
4Requests & OpenCV
5Matplotlib & Pandas

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact us at!

What is Project ROPEs?

Project ROPEs is a student-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to introducing students to the opportunities in research and guiding them on their research journeys through our various course offerings.

Do I need prior experience?

The Research Crash Course is an introductory course to guide students through the science fair process, so there is absolutely no prior experience needed. However, if you want to take our PROP Workshops, basic Python experience is recommended (learn more in the section above).

What is the time commitment for RC2?

The only “required” time commitment are the 10 classes; however, you are expected to spend as much time outside of class as you need on your project, which should be on a topic which you are passionate about.

Is there a fee for the classes?

All of our classes are completely free for students and are done virtually; the only requirements are a device and internet connection. We believe that everyone should have equal access to these opportunities.

Are there costs for doing a project?

Depending on what you are interested in, there may be slight costs associated with getting supplies or basic equipment (as well as a tri-fold board if fairs require them). If you need financial support while taking our classes, please contact us and we can work out a solution.

Who are the course instructors?

Our awesome team of volunteers that teach the classes are all experienced high school science fair alum, having gone through the same process themselves and completed many projects, with various achievements.

Student Testimonials

Here’s what students that attended our 2020 summer Basic Python Workshops said:

“Pretty fun class where you get to learn lots of Python! This class has definitely kept me interesting in computer programming and wanting to learn more!”

“This class is really great since they offer great information and give the best to the class! I think this would be great for anyone that is interested in coding.”

“I learned a lot from this class. I was able to grasp concepts I previously struggled with through the examples and projects in this class.”

Register Now for RC2 and PROP!

Research Crash Course
Community Discord
PROP Workshops