NEW ORLEANS—March 19, 2009—Leading science content provider Sally Ride Science™ and PASCO scientific, a leading provider of innovative technology solutions for hands-on science, announce a partnership to explore the learning benefits of interacting with Sally Ride Science content on PASCO’s SPARK Science Learning System™, the companies said today at the National Science Teachers Association conference.
The SPARK Science Learning System is a mobile all-in-one discovery-learning environment that puts real-world science exploration into the hands of students and, with its unique ability to host media-rich probeware content, is designed to become the center of a school’s discovery-based science learning environment. Sally Ride Science, an innovative science content company founded by America’s first female astronaut Dr. Sally Ride, creates opportunities through its programs and publications for students and their teachers to explore the fascinating world of science in ways that educate, entertain, engage and inspire. By incorporating content from Sally Ride Science, students using the SPARK system will have even more access to standards-based science content that connects the real world to the classroom with hands on activities.
“The challenge isn’t getting children interested in science. It’s keeping them interested,” said Dr. Sally Ride, president and CEO of Sally Ride Science. “Through a partnership with PASCO, we will provide educators with the tools needed to improve science education and to encourage children to explore the vast opportunities available to them.”
Research shows that connecting science to the real world is an effective strategy for engaging students in science, technology, engineering and math skills, or STEM. Showing the relevance of science can stoke students’ curiosity and sustain their interest in science—a critical challenge schools face today. On the 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) science test, only 29 percent of the nation’s fourth and eighth graders, and only 18 percent of 12th graders scored at or above the proficient achievement level.
“PASCO is very excited about the possibility of bringing Sally Ride Science content to the SPARK Science Learning System,” said Wayne Grant, Ph.D., chief education officer at PASCO. “We have similar views on how to prepare students for a world that places a premium on science knowledge and inquiry skills. This agreement gives PASCO the opportunity to host more world-class content within the SPARK environment. Together, we can have an even bigger impact on teaching children to do what real scientists do—conceptualize, think, act and communicate.”
As a first step, PASCO and Sally Ride Science will collaborate to develop an electronic, hands-on “proof of concept” that delivers content from Sally Ride Science on the SPARK platform, together with probeware-based activities to extend the learning. The work reflects trends currently underway in the industry to make conventional books digital—enabling them to become much richer and more interactive.
About Sally Ride Science
Sally Ride Science is an innovative science content company dedicated to fueling girls' and boys' interests in science, math and technology. Dr. Sally Ride, best known as America’s first woman in space, founded the company in 2001 to create quality programs and products that educate, entertain, engage and inspire. Programs include Sally Ride Science Festivals, TOYchallenge, Educator Institutes, summer camps, and after-school programs. Publications include award-winning science books, science career books, and innovative Classroom Sets to supplement science instruction. Publications and programs bring science to life and show kids that science is creative, collaborative, fascinating and fun. For more information, go to www.SallyRideScience.com or call 1-800-561-5161.
Sally Ride Science is a trademark of Sally Ride Science.