Active Science Learning 

Professional Development and Support for Hands-on Science 

Resources and Documents

"During a site visit, I met a parent who said her daughter had felt ill in the morning, but refused to stay home “because she had to be at [Design It!] science club today” after school. This speaks volumes about how engaging the content is for young people."

    Afterschool Science Specialist. Columbus, Ohio

Active Science Curriculum for School and Afterschool

The STEM curriculum series described below comprise between them a wide range of interesting, challenging and fun hands-on science and engineering projects. All use mostly simple materials to challenge students to solve complex problems, test ideas and hypotheses, collect and analyze evidence and to communicate findings and conclusions to each other and to others. Each of these research-based curriculum series aligns strongly with the science content and the science practices in the Next Generation Science Standards [NGSS] as well as science standards developed independently by many states.

Design It!: Engineering-Design Challenges

Developed at EDC in Waltham Mass and published by Kelvin Inc, each Design It! project consists of a sequence of engineering challenges that lead towards a well defined product -- a roller coaster, go-cart, bridge, glider, string telephone, pinball machine, trebuchet or a yo-yo – made out of commonly available and inexpensive materials. The students' primary focus is usually on the fun and challenge of making the device work. The long-term educational objective, however, is that they become familiar with the nature and characteristics of the materials themselves AND that they understand and practice the disciplines of engineering design and problem solving. For more information on these curriculumclick here

Explore It!: Afterschool Science Investigations.

Also developed at EDC in Waltham Mass and published by Kelvin Inc, Students investigate a familiar phenomenon or principle of physical science -- balance, sinking and floating, baking, electric circuits, heat conduction and insulation and more -- again using very simple materials. This focus is on observing and speculating and experimenting rather than making something "work" [do what we want it to do.] The learning goal is to make scientific investigation enjoyable of its own sake as well as to find the patterns, regularities and "rules" of this particular physical system. For more information on these curriculum click here

FOSS: Full Option Science System

Developed at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley CA and is published by Delta Education. It is one of the most highly regarded inquiry science programs available for elementary and middle schools. If your school or district has invested in the FOSS physical science curriculum and kits, we can help your teachers make them come alive in the classroom for all your students. For more information on these curriculum click here

INSIGHTS:An Elementary Hands-On Inquiry Science Curriculum

An inquiry-based, hands-on approach to science for grades K-8 developed by Education Development Centers in Waltham MA. Students think creatively and critically, get engaged in problem solving through experiences in the natural environment and bridge science concepts to social and environmental events.  For more information on these curriculum click here

GEMS: Great Explorations of Math & Science

A leading resource for innovative science and mathematics education developed at the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California at Berkeley. GEMS has been tested in thousands of classrooms nationwide. Teacher's Guides and Handbooks are available for a wide range of learning experiences for preschool through 8th grade. For more information on these curriculum click here