Critters Have Arrived! Now what?

The Einstein Fall Inservice is tomorrow, and the warehouse is teeming with living materials! Over a hundred elementary teachers will attend the teacher inservice, and 45 of those teachers will train in one of our life science units (Ecosystems, Animal Studies, Organisms and Microworlds).

When leasing any of these units from The Einstein Project, there are a few steps to follow to ensure that the living materials stay healthy. First, all living materials come with a “Living Materials Care” sheet. These sheets can be found in the teacher folder within the unit, and can also be found under the “Living Materials Care Sheet” link on the Einstein website.  Also in this section of our website, teachers will find general living materials guidelines as well as the advisory regarding the release or disposal of organisms.

Our website provides teachers with video links from Carolina Biological on how to care for the living materials in specific units. These videos are available for many of our life science units and can be found on the “Unit Offerings” section of our website.

In addition to the care sheets and video clips, some living materials, such as guppies and snails, arrive with a big label attached to their container. This label provides reminders and directions for how to acclimate the organisms to their new aquatic environment.

As always The Einstein Project is willing to help problem solve with living materials concerns. We hope that you enjoy teaching these units, and that students are fully engaged in science learning.

If you teach a unit with living materials, which one is your favorite?  Do you have any tips to share?

Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do

The Einstein Project in a non-profit that provides affordable and engaging science materials and teacher training to advance science knowledge, skill and an enthusiasm for learning.

At least that is what our mission statement says.

What we do is get hands-on, inquiry based science units into schools so kids (and teachers!) can do the best science possible. Our units not only cover science, but also use math, engineering, technology, reading and other subjects. Our basic premise is that reading about a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis in a book is great, but watching a butterfly emerge from its chrysalis is awesome.

Students watch as a painted Lady butterfly emerges from its chrysalis.

Students watch as a painted Lady butterfly emerges from its chrysalis.

Last year we shipped almost 2,500 science units to over 40 school districts in the state of Wisconsin. That enabled around 62,500 hands-on science experiences in classrooms. And we all know that hands-on, or experimental learning, leads to a greater retention of information and helps develop critical thinking skills.

Our goal is not to create scientists, our goal is to create smart people. We want students that understand how things work, sharpen their critical thinking, and give them the life skills they will need to be successful. We want to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and astronauts. We also want to inspire the next generation of teachers, artists and entrepreneurs!

Keep an eye on our blog for posts about The Einstein Project, teaching and science.