Our Programs vs. the Competition
The content of both courses is accurate.
The content of both courses is scientifically accurate. Students will not have to “unlearn” anything they have learned in IPS and FM&E.
IPS and FM&E have a clear set of objectives.
The goals of the courses are understanding basic science and developing laboratory skills, reasoning skills (e.g., the application of knowledge to new situations), and communication skills in the context of science.
Each of the courses has a clear story line.
Each course follows a well-defined path that demonstrates the excitement of inquiry as the means of acquiring scientific knowledge. Guided reasoning, based on experimental results, leads to the generalizations that form the coherent story lines.
IPS and FM&E start where the students are.
Both courses rely on the fact that all students have had some experience with matter and forces in their daily lives, but do not have a set of science-content prerequisites. All new ideas are based on concrete student experiences in the laboratory and all new terms are introduced only after the need for them has been established.
The format of the textbooks is carefully designed to facilitate learning.
Rather than being separate activities or “hangers-on” at the ends of chapters, laboratory experiments are integrated into the main body of each text. Photos and illustrations form an integral part of each textbook; they are not simply peripheral “bells and whistles.” Color is used to underscore content. The textbooks are uncluttered and free of distracting sidebars.