High level of engagement
Mt. Vernon City Schools Curriculum Director Dr. Dee Ann Schnautz was the principal of Dr. Nick Osborne Primary Center in Mt. Vernon, IL when Nancy Larson Science was first introduced several years ago. Schnautz observed in the classrooms during science instruction a high level of engagement by the students. She said, “I love that the academic vocabulary is challenging, yet the students can learn and understand. The hands-on pieces are fantastic! One of our teachers said that this is the best thing that has come along in a long time.” Principal Shannon Marler adds, “Nancy Larson Science provides hands-on exposure and engagement through their daily lessons, which appeals to the more scientific-minded child.”

Holds students’ attention
The first time Erika Phelps taught Nancy Larson Science she was hooked. She liked the way the program held her students’ attention and got them involved in science. Phelps was the first to teach Nancy Larson Science at Dr. Nick Osborne Primary Center. She supported the program so much she lobbied for its expansion in the school. “I’ve taught Nancy Larson Science for several years now and from the results I’ve seen, it’s pretty amazing.”

Preparing students for future grades
Phelps noted that the long-term effect of Nancy Larson Science is huge. “Kids this age often just memorize facts, but this program teaches them how to apply what they’ve learned.” She also explained there are cross-curricular strategies going on throughout the science program. “It covers problem solving, reading strategies, data collection and researching. The students also have to use what they have learned and go back and find the answers in their booklets. They’re making connections, asking questions and inferring what’s going to happen next like little scientists.”

Schnautz agrees, “Nancy Larson Science is academic and challenging, but doable. The program includes reading nonfiction text, incorporates writing, and promotes study skills, which aid learning and retention.’’

Easy to use
Katie Baumhoegger, third grade teacher, emphasized that Nancy Larson Science makes her day easier. The students are more attentive in science because they enjoy the subject and how it is presented. “The Nancy Larson Science program has lesson booklets and tool kits that are easy to use. I really like the interactive student booklets too.”