How Science Companion was invented.
Science Companion is curriculum for teachers, by teachers, built from the some of the strongest pedagogical constructs in hands-on learning in the world.
First There Was Math
Eighteen years ago, Max and Jean Bell served as founding contributors to the reform mathematics curriculum, Everyday Mathematics, developed in conjunction with the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project. The Bells then chose to use their experience and resources to create the science curriculum that they had always wanted to integrate with math. (No retirement relaxation here!)
A Companion Science Curriculum
They formed the Chicago Science Group (CSG) to bring great inquiry-based science to young children around the country. CSG is made up of a diverse set of individuals, including prominent educators, scientists, experienced teachers, successful authors, and publishing experts. After several years of research, writing, and extensive field testing, it was time to bring Science Companion commercially out to classrooms. Chicago Educational Publishing Company (CEPC) was born to launch Science Companion to market.
Getting Into Classrooms
From 2004 to 2007, Science Companion was distributed exclusively by one of the world’s leading elementary publisher, Pearson Scott Foresman, and with their help the curriculum was extended into classrooms around the country. In 2008, CEPC resumed distributorship of Science Companion so we could ensure that we were working as closely as possible with our educational partners. Since then, we have expanded our reach into thousands of classrooms across the country, receiving accolades from administrators and teachers.
The Science Companion curriculum, developed by the Chicago Science Group (CSG) is a hands-on learning program that takes advantage of children’s extensive knowledge of – and curiosity about – how things work in the world. The purpose of the curriculum is not only to provide children with the opportunity to wonder about their world, but to teach them science processes as they explore, quantify, and interpret the world. The children are also given the time and encouragement to draw, write, discuss, and reflect upon what they have done. The program’s approach to primary education balances discovery-based learning with teacher-directed instruction.
The Elementary Science Challenge
Science hasn’t thrived in the elementary classrooms for multiple reasons, including limited funding, limited time, a focus on testing in other subjects, and teachers who aren’t always comfortable teaching science. Simultaneously, research is increasingly showing that if children don’t begin to gain science literacy in elementary school, they continually struggle in it. Science Companion was designed to bring solutions to those problems, by developing accessible inquiry, a completely customizable set up to content, extraordinary support for teachers as they prepare and teach, and more.
Science Companion Solutions
We believe that the very best education happens when curriculum developers, teachers, and parents all work together in partnership to shape children’s learning experiences. We continue to stay in close contact with our colleagues in the classroom. But we also need the active participation of parents, both in supporting their own children’s learning, and in improving science education for their children at school and at home.