There's a better way to engage students in STEM.
We produce K-8 science curricula that adhere to research on the way students learn: By integrating reading, writing, talking, and "doing" science in every lesson. In our curricula, ideas connect from lesson to lesson, and unit to unit across science strands and grade levels. Students connect what they learn in class with their out-of-class experiences - investigating chemical reactions first hand, then explaining how fireworks work or explaining what happens inside their bodies as they drink a soda. Instead of amassing science information, students apply their understanding to new situations that require them to think critically, reason intelligently, and make sense of science as they engage in practices such as developing models, explaining phenomena, and using evidence to argue in support of their claims.
Better teaching and learning start with these 4 foundational beliefs:
1. Research-based curriculum works.
Research indicates that achievement happens when students are interested and motivated to learn, thus only activities and readings that truly engage them foster deep learning. Our curricula actively engage students in hands-on investigations of phenomena and extensive opportunities to read, write, and talk to "make sense" in every lesson. Students experience the "Aha!" moments of science as they learn to explain everyday events such as how the odor of what's cooking reaches their noses, or why onions make people cry. Teachers get to teach science the way they've always wanted to: in ways that excite them and their students.
2. Science is for all students.
For too long, science education has left behind those students who need to talk to make sense of their experiences, who learn best collaboratively, or who are challenged by language issues or reading. Our curricula engage students with phenomena that they touch, talk about, think about, write about, read about, and make sense of together. The reading materials link-in-class science to students' lives outside the classroom. Differentiation ideas provide strategies for students to extend and apply their understandings, providing all students with opportunities for meaningful learning.
3. Passionate teachers transform student learning.
Our curricula support novice teachers, as well as experienced teachers called upon to teach a new content area or grade level. A Teacher Preparation section before each lesson, and videos that show equipment set-ups and that delve into content, ensure teachers' confident approach to curriculum content. Equipped with deep understanding of the material, teachers are able to foster a classroom culture wherein answering each unit’s Driving Question is a unit-long project, and students’ own, original questions are an equally important pursuit. With materials in place, passion for science is all that is needed to transform both teaching and learning!
4. Digital learning should empower both teachers and students.
A PDF file on the web is just an online textbook; it doesn't transform learning. Our Interactive Digital Edition (IDE) immerses students in a wholly interactive environment, including digital journals in which students record questions and data for use as evidence to support their explanations. The IDE stores all student-generated models and written work, allowing students to submit responses electronically, so their teachers can monitor their progress toward learning goals. Embedded videos, simulations, and audio recordings of reading support comprehension, retention, and science content learning for a wide range of learners.