The History of ScienceWithMe®?
“when, at age of 3, Loghlen, my oldest son would say “play with me, play with me”, I didn’t know what to do – after all, I’m a chemist!”
So I made up little experiments to do with my son, and he loved them. Soon, his pleas of “play with me, play with me” changed to “science with me!, science with me!”
One day, a mother at my son’s Montessori school overheard my son asking his teacher for experiments. She inquired what that was about, I explained the situation, and then she asked if I would be interested in teaching an after-school science program. All of the parents were looking for fun science activities for their children – except their options seemed limited and dumbed-down. Face it, how many baking soda volcanos can you make? I was excited, and said that I would do it!
Then I went home, and talked it over with my husband. He asked me where I was going to find the time, and upon reflection I realized that I just didn’t have the time to do it. So the next day, I told the mother that I wouldn’t be able to do it after all. But now there was a little problem…
35 parents had already signed up!
That’s right – she told me that 35 parents had already signed up, and that I just had to do it. I told her that I was sorry, but I just couldn’t – I didn’t have the time. She said I was crazy; in just one day, 35 parents had each paid $200 for me to teach the program – how could I walk away from it? Well, I actually did walk away from it, but I couldn’t sleep that night, and the next day I went back to her and said that I would do it. My husband Scott agreed to help me with it, and we were off to the races. As teachers and scientists, Scott and I loved the idea of putting our professional skills to work for a new audience. And as parents, we jumped at the challenge of developing a science program for preschool and elementary-school aged children.
We decided not to hold back and over-simplify the program.**Children are used to extracting knowledge and making their own sense out of what they see and hear. As parents and educators, it’s not our job to say that a child is too young to understand something. This became the principal philosophy of ScienceWithMe!® – the premise that kids, when put in the right environment and asked the right questions, are smart enough to figure things out for themselves. We developed a program that mentally stretches kids, builds scientific confidence, and – most importantly – gets kids excited about science at an early age.
We piloted ScienceWithMe!® in 2003 at the Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart in Princeton, New Jersey. The experiment was a success; the program’s number one customers – the kids – loved it!
Then we opened the program to the public, but with a twist…
Unlike other science programs for children, in the ScienceWithMe!® program, the kids were the lead scientists and the adults were the assistants.The program was incredibly successful – the kids enjoyed learning about science and the parents loved seeing their kids get so excited about science!
That’s when we realized that we had a winning idea on our hands.
We wanted to share it with as many parents as possible, but we couldn’t do it in the form of a classroom program – there are only two of us, and way more frustrated kids and parents out there than we could teach. So we decided that we would develop material and make it available to other parents and educators.There weren’t any entertaining and age-appropriate animations about science for kids, so we decided that the core part of the program would be bite-sized entertaining animations.
Our first creation was a video featuring Mr. Heisen-Bear® and Al-Bear Einstein, two animated bears, who work together to solve Mr. Heisen-Bear’s® every day problems using the scientific method and other science concepts. Many other short animations (and accompanying worksheets, coloring sheets, storybooks, etc….) followed.
And then we went online…
We’ve been online at www.sciencewithme.com since 2004, offering quality, educational, entertaining science material for children, parents and educators. We started many years ago with one idea-
to get kids everywhere to LOVE science – and the feedback that we get from our customers (the kids!) tells us that we are succeeding!
To see our current creative product offering, click here for the ScienceWithMe!® Products page!