The Einstein Project is helping create a society of critical thinkers, problem solvers, leaders, strong communicators and the next generation of workers who have an understanding of STEM (science, technology, engineering & math). For over 27 years we have used our history to guide us and we continue to strive to be innovative, influential, and a community resource for all educational institutions.
We elevate STEM education by providing materials and curriculum in kits for quality, interactive science, engineering, maker and math lessons. At the most basic level, Einstein Project is a resource management center. We are an inquiry-based education solution for teachers in private or public schools or for our community's educational centers, like libraries, daycare centers, out-of-school programs and clubs. We also provide online and in-person professional development training for educators, preparing them to teaching inquiry-based curriculum.
Our Inquiry-based Model Fosters Curiosity.
Kids are born curious! Here at the Einstein Project, we believe that a student's education should foster that curiosity. On a regular basis, students need opportunities to explore their ideas using hands-on learning. This type of learning promotes critical thinking skills that will allow students to analyze information and solve complex real world programs. This demands the learning goes beyond the memorization of terminology and facts. Our model allows students to utilize strategies and practices to engage with the content in developmentally appropriate ways similar to the ways of the professionals working in STEM fields.
A well-designed curriculum should be inquiry-based in which educators engage diverse practices that are used by the experts in the field. A curriculum designed to include these real-life practices is appropriate for all ages of learners.
To accomplish this the Einstein Project believes wholeheartedly in the LASER model developed by the Smithsonian Science Education Center. The acronym stands for Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform and it includes 5 key elements: 1) a robust research based curriculum, 2) differentiated and continuous professional development, 3) administrative and community support, 4) materials support, and 5) comprehensive assessment.
A 2010 study conducted by the Center for Research in Educational Policy (CREP) at the University of Memphis looked at approximately 60,000 students over the course of three years. There were four key findings from this study:
- Students receiving instruction supported by the LASER model showed statistically significant gains on standardized assessments when compared to students not supported by the LASER Model.
- The gains were also statistically significantly higher for students who need it the most (English Language Learners, those with IEPs, and economically disadvantaged students) when compared to those not utilizing the LASER model.
- Achievement in both math and reading were also statistically significantly higher for schools utilizing the LASER model.
- The professional development associated with the LASER model left the teachers feeling approximately 20% more prepared than those who received traditional professional development.
While the Einstein Project schools were not involved in this study we subscribe to the methods and practices of the LASER model. Using this research, the curriculum included in our kits is based off a four-stage learning cycle:
- First, students focus on what they already know about a topic.
- Second, students explore a scientific phenomenon or concept, following a well-structured sequence of classroom investigations.
- Third, students reflect on their observations, record them in journals, draw conclusions, and share their findings with others.
- Finally, students apply their learning to real-life situations and to other areas of the curriculum.
Overall, our approach offers schools high quality curriculum, effective professional development, and all of the resources and materials necessary to carry out top-notch STEM instruction. We can do it at a fraction of the cost that a school can on their own because of our strong community support and bulk purchasing power.
Read more about the LASER model & study