St Catherine of Siena Catholic School

Everyone excited about science!
Principal Betty Hunt of St. Catherine of Siena in Wichita, Kansas, loves Nancy Larson Science and isn’t afraid to tell everyone. “I love it, love it, love it! I’m so happy we purchased this program.” She says there are a few simple things that make it so good. “One of my favorite things is that it is very hands-on, which is fabulous for the kids. It is also good for the teachers because everything you need is right there and it is a complete program.” In a world where testing is a big deal, Mrs. Hunt shares one more thing that makes her love Nancy Larson Science. “What we found is that by the time they take the first state science test in fifth grade, they are more than ready for it.”

The right stuff
Principal Hunt is not the only one who loves the program. Second grade teacher Michelle Bliss says, “I love that it is easy to follow. It is very hands-on, and the students find it to be engaging and exciting. It is also very substitute-teacher friendly. Another thing I really, really like is how Nancy’s program supports reading. One skill they learn is highlighting. They highlight in their own booklets and then when they go to review later, the important information is highlighted. This is a skill that will help them in all academic areas.”

Mrs. Bliss also says this program opens the door for students to be scientists. “We are teaching the right stuff. The students are excited about science and even inspired to think about science at home-such as looking for simple machines or exploring magnetic attraction. I love to hear parents at parent teacher conferences say how thrilled they are when they see the student booklets. They are so excited to see how interactive the booklets are and the real materials we are using. They think it is awesome that their kids are getting exposed to this level of science at a much younger age.”

Challenging but doable
Fourth grade teacher Anita Goenner says, “This program is definitely challenging. When my students first see the vocabulary, they are like ‘eek! this looks challenging,’ but they can do it. The kids meet these higher expectations and feel very successful.”

Mrs. Goenner says, “I really love the slideshows and research projects. The slideshows reinforce the vocabulary for the kids and the research projects have them do real research. The kids love the vertebrate report, the invertebrate report, and the tree research. I’m a huge Nancy Larson Science fan. I’m happy knowing the middle and high school teachers are going to love getting these students.”