iSprowt Encourages Kids’ Love of Learning
How does iSprowt inspire kids’ to experiment with STEM? Watch!
School Science Assemblies With iSprowt!
We’ve been having so much fun with schools across the country with online science assemblies! Kids were sent Wacky Weather kits, similar to this kit, so they could participate at home while watching iSprowt on Zoom! We are completely sold out of this assembly, but don’t worry! For your school you can request a science camp assembly/virtual science summer camp by contacting us at email@example.com. It would be fun to connect with you!
The Benefits of Science Kits: The iSprowt Herb Garden
Science Kits Help Children Enjoy Learning Projects for kids are more important than ever. With children being taught at home, parents need a variety of ways to get kids interested in learning. Hands-on experiments from iSprowt help introduce science to children in a fun way. Studies show children learn better with interactive, hands on learning. iSprowt Kit 1 Kit 1 is the iSprowt Herb Garden. Children learn how plants grow as they watch their plant go from seed to edible greenery. With kit 1 you get these benefits: Grow an indoor herb garden: basil & oregano with soil that expands like the Incredible Hulk Learn how plants drink water through capillary action Dissect a pinto bean Discover how trees get water up their tall trunks iSprowt Activity Book We are known for our books! Packed with games, trivia, experiments and more, the 40-page book accompanies every iSprowt kit and gets kids active in the learning experience. National Science Standards Each kit builds on prior kits to expand learning and help young minds apply concepts to the world in which we live. The best part? These learning concepts are aligned around the national academic requirements, so you are giving your kids an academic advantage. Science Projects Delivered Monthly Who doesn’t like getting a package in the mail? With a subscription, each month your child can get STEM friendly experiments delivered to your door. Review your subscription options here. Want to make a one-time purchase? The iSprowt Herb Garden is available as a one-time purchase here. Try the iSprowt Herb Garden today and see how excited your child will be to learn!
Thank You, From iSprowt
Dear Friends, As we start 2021 we wanted to express our gratitude for your support last year. Whether you bought a kit, shared a social media post, attended one of our online assemblies or signed up for our emails, we say THANK YOU. When we set out to launch iSprowt in March, we had no idea that an unprecedented pandemic, complete with school shutdowns, was right around the corner. A new, small business trying to get its footing during regular times is a challenge. Add to that a global lockdown. We are proud that with the obstacles came ingenuity and we pivoted our school programs to include online assemblies. We had so much fun meeting children from all over on Zoom while we taught them about science. We’ll continue this initiative in the new year, and can’t wait to meet many more students. We’re a small business creating a community of STEM-lovers, passionate about education. Thank you for joining us on this journey. Sincerely, Juliana, Rob and Robbie Sherwood
STEM Projects Make Great Gifts for Kids This Holiday Season
The holiday season is upon us, and parents everywhere are scrambling to secure gifts that will bring a smile to their children’s faces. We know that our kids want dynamic and fun presents, but it is always a bonus when that fun can be paired with something that has lasting value. iSprowt’s STEM kits stand out as perfect gifts for kids, combining entertainment with education to create lessons that ignite their imagination! When we think about gifts our kids are asking for this year, there tends to be one common theme among them- they are fun! iSprowt’s science kits are no different, as they were designed by teachers to be incredibly fun in addition to educational. Each kit has been tested by over 100 elementary school students to ensure that they are engaging and entertaining enough to inspire young learners to fall in love with science. For example, our Cool Chemistry kit gives kids all the material they need to make biodegradable plastic toys, a rock crystal, and bath bombs! Each kit also features songs and dances integrated into the lesson, keeping kids laughing, moving, and having fun as they learn. The engaging element of iSprowt’s STEM kits make them excellent for supplementing our children’s learning. In the current landscape of the COVID-19 health crisis, many students have settled into attending school remotely. One of the common obstacles associated with remote learning has been keeping children fully engaged and motivated while doing their work at home. iSprowt kits show kids that learning can fun and, because our kits align around the national science standards (NGSS), they pair excellently with their science lessons. Showing children that activities with educational value can also be entertaining and engaging instills a sense of wonder in young minds that can keep them motivated and having fun through remote learning and beyond. iSprowt STEM kits also make great gifts for the holiday season is because they present an excellent opportunity to bond over something exciting. The holidays are a great time to slow things down and catch up with our kids. With many of us spending more time at home, however, we may have already bonded with our children over interests such as videogames, television, or their favorite toys. iSprowt science kits allow us to show young learners that science can be just as interesting and dynamic, sparking an interest in STEM that is sure to last. A parent’s involvement helps put some aspects of the lesson into perspective and show that the love for learning is truly lifelong!
iSprowt Announces Solution for Parents and Teachers Looking to Bring Back Hands-On Learning
iSprowt, a company known for making STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education fun through their interactive home science experiments, is bringing hands-on science learning back into the hands of thousands of children in a new and innovative way. With stay-at-home-orders in effect for much of the country’s school systems, it has never been more difficult for teachers to provide hands-on learning experiences. Fortunately, iSprowt has developed a solution. iSprowt Founder and serial entrepreneur Juliana Lutzi Sherwood developed iSprowt STEM kits to provide children with a way to bring STEM education to life through fun and engaging science experiments. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic forcing more children to learn from home, Sherwood decided to develop online assemblies to help schools bring hands-on learning to their students. Sherwood explains saying, “COVID has had a huge impact on our children and their education. As a mom and as an entrepreneur, I wanted to do something to help all our children. Leveraging iSprowt’s hands-on science kits, which align with national science standards, I created virtual assemblies that include multiple experiments. We are donating our time and resources to create and hold these assemblies with only a small charge of $2 for the students’ materials.” With an email to Juliana at service@iSprowt.com schools will get two incredible interactive experiments, a 14-page activity book plus their school-wide assembly. The iSprowt team delivers kits directly to the school who then distributes to all participating students. Take a look at the interactive experiments! With COVID-19 continuing to force students to learn from home, iSprowt has made it easier than ever to ensure a hands-on learning experience. “We are very excited to be partnering with iSprowt on assemblies and look forward to other iSprowt programs that bring hands-on learning to our students as well,” said Dr. Hillyer, Principal of Alta Vista Elementary School in Redondo Beach, CA. The iSprowt team shares the excitement of principals like Dr. Hilyer. iSprowt will continue to deliver hands-on STEM programs to enrich the learning experiences of as many students as possible.
Virtual Science Assemblies From iSprowt
iSprowt is Bringing Science to Virtual Classrooms Schools Across the Country Will Have Access to Science Experiments We’re excited to announce that we are working with schools and PTAs across the country to bring live, iSprowt virtual science assemblies to over 5,000 elementary students. Each student receives a kit that includes 2 hands-on, extremely fun, STEM experiments and a 16-page booklet filled with activities. Benefits of Virtual Science Assemblies One of the great things about our Virtual Science Assemblies is that there is no cost to families. iSprowt subsidizes the cost of these assemblies to make them highly affordable to all schools (the cost is just $2 per student!). The PTA buys the kits for students and distributes them. Another benefit to these assemblies is the way they engage the students. We strongly believe the best way for children to learn is by doing. Our Virtual Science Assemblies bring science to life in your home with easy, mess-free experiments that are highly visual and engaging. Lastly, there’s no issue with privacy, or missing out if you can’t attend the live assembly. iSprowt uses your school or PTA’s virtual classroom technology such as Zoom, Teams, WebEx, etc. This ensures the student’s privacy is protected. Schools are encouraged to record and redistribute the virtual assembly so that any student who cannot join live, can still fully participate. Examples of the Hands-On Experiments In our Wacky Weather Assembly, students will be laughing and learning as they build, create, and observe. Experiment #1: Tornado-in-a-bottle: Students will whirl and twirl to create their own mini tornado in a bottle. They will be mesmerized as the water picks up debris in its powerful spiraling spin. Here’s an example of the tornado-in-a-bottle experiment. Experiment #2: Chemistry and engineering experiment: “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” Students get a packet of safe, highly absorbent powder. They add 1 cup of water and the powder expands over 700%. Students can now build with the powder to create shapes such as a snowman, igloo, animal, dinosaur, letters, etc. Over the next 7 days, the water slowly evaporates from the powder and the shape changes. This allows the students to continue learning while they observe as evaporation slowly changes their original design. 16-page Educational Activity Booklet: All of the directions, science, and fun activities such as a short story, word search, maze, Find-It picture, and Silly Story (similar to a Mad Libs) to keep the students engaged, laughing, and learning. Want a virtual assembly at your school? Contact us and we’ll send you info to pass on to your PTA and principal! Let’s work together to inspire kids and keep them excited about learning. Thank you!
What are the Next Generation Science Standards?
Every iSprowt experiment, activity, and challenge is inspired by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The NGSS are science content standards that set the expectations for what K-12 students should know. The NGSS were developed by a committee of 18 experts in science, engineering, cognitive science, teaching and learning, curriculum, assessment and education policy to identify core science themes and were inspired by “A Framework for K-12 Science Education”. The framework proposed developing science standards that integrated these three dimensions: (1) Scientific and Engineering Practices, (2) Crosscutting Concepts, and (3) Disciplinary Core Ideas (Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, Earth and Space Sciences, and Engineering, Technology, and Applications of Science). One of the key elements of these core criteria is that the disciplinary core ideas be teachable and learnable over multiple grades. The science concepts our students learn in kindergarten and the early grades will be repeated at increasing levels of depth and sophistication throughout elementary, middle, and high school. iSprowt loves this! The hands-on activities in iSprowt booklets bring to life what our students are learning in the classroom, strengthening our kindergarten through fifth grade students’ understanding of these core concepts and potentially helping them carry this knowledge through to middle school and high school. At the date of this publication, 20 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the NGSS while and additional 24 states have developed their own standards based on the Framework for K-12 Science Education. With a monthly iSprowt membership, your student can put into practice the science concepts they are learning in school while building their science confidence. If you are ready to bring this educational gift into your home, please check out our membership page.
What Makes iSprowt Booklets Unique
Every month, iSprowt members receive a wonderful educational gift. Each of these gifts, complete with a 40-page iSprowt booklet, are mailed directly to your child – in today’s online world, kids love getting mail addressed to them. It’s a very special surprise. Each kit contains at least three science experiments, with materials, as well as an incredible instruction and activity booklet. These beautiful booklets are what makes iSprowt kits special. Each booklet is 40-pages of information, instructions, and activities centered around a specific theme derived from the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The NGSS are science content standards that set the expectations for what K-12 students should know. These standards inspire the content for every booklet in every kit. The hands-on activities in iSprowt booklets bring to life what our students are learning in the classroom and solidify the content that will carry forward to middle school and high school. What can you expect to see in a typical iSprowt booklet? Easy-to-follow experiment instructions Level-up challenges that encourage kids to think beyond the experiments Opportunities to get creative with writing and drawing Fill-in the blank questions Links to show what you know in our online community Word scrambles, mazes, hidden pictures, tic-tac-toe, and other games Opportunities to think strategically and make predictions Fun and silly stories Engineering challenges QR code links to videos that help enhance learning And, most importantly, easy-to-absorb science facts iSprowt booklets are developed with the support of our board of experts which include elementary school teachers, middle school science teachers, a principal, engineers, scientists, researchers, our CEO, and our kids! The booklets and experiments are also reviewed by elementary school students. We think iSprowt booklets are so special, we would like to give you a sneak peek. Stay tuned for a free download! If you are interested in sharing hands-on science with the kids in your life, check out our membership page and start having these educational gifts for kids mailed home today.
Happy Father’s Day from iSprowt!
In honor of Father’s Day, we interviewed a few dads whose adult children chose careers in STEM. We were curious whether they thought they might have had any influence on their children’s careers and were surprised to learn that each of the dads we spoke with also had careers in STEM! We spoke to a pharmacist, a computer scientist, an electrical engineer, and an aerospace engineer who works on rockets and satellites of all kinds. The electrical engineer we spoke with has a patent for a chip on the Hubble telescope! So cool! As a child, how many times were you asked the question: “what do you want to be when you grow up?” As a young child, your response to that question would most likely be influenced by the people in your little world and the things you would do every day: a teacher, an artist, a dancer, a soccer player, a mommy. As you grow, your response would likely change as your sphere of influence grows and your attention to detail is enhanced: an author, a firefighter, a nurse, a doctor, an actor, a singer, a scientist, and astronaut. But who, in a child’s world, is most likely to influence their career choice? Their parents! Data drawn from the General Social Survey from 1994 to 2016 and summarized in the New York Times, indicates that children are 1.7 times to 2.7 times as likely to follow in their parent’s career footsteps. This career alignment can be attributed to multiple factors including education, connections, what is discussed around the dinner table, parents’ social circles, what parents can buy, and inherited aptitudes. For Father’s Day, the dads we interviewed had some great hobbies growing up. Our electrical engineer loved building train tracks and manipulating them to set off the signals – he was an electrical engineer at heart from a young age. Our aerospace engineer prefers being outdoors hiking, biking, rock climbing, and running. Our pharmacist also loves running in addition to gardening and identifying wildflowers. All of these amazing dads believe their career and hobbies influenced their children’s careers as well as their hobbies even though they encouraged them to make their own choices. Our computer scientist had a strong love of science and appreciation for the earth’s beauty. He raised his family in Alaska and Hawaii, both places with very little light pollution. His son believes his ability to see the stars and dream beyond his reality was probably the greatest gift given to him by his dad. His son now has a career in computer science and is practically a walking/talking encyclopedia. Our electrical engineer always had car parts all over the place. He always hoped to complete one car out of all those parts and encouraged his son and daughters to play with the parts and help him fix parts of engines and chassis. He could easily fix anything that needed to be repaired — TV’s, sprinklers, fences, wiring – and never needed to call a handyman or a professional. This was well before YouTube had an instructional video for everything! His son now has an incredibly cool job developing video games. Our pharmacist and his daughter loved going on hikes together, gardening, and raising rescue dogs. He loved teaching his daughter about plants. She is now an environmental policy analyst for the Environmental Protection Agency, she is raising two rescue dogs, and her desk always has the most plants in the office. Our aerospace engineer’s children were always very aware of what was going on in the aerospace field. They lived near DC and would frequently ride bikes to the National Mall to spend hours exploring the museums. The toured laboratories, saw satellites, and viewed launches. The enjoyed setting up new technology around the home, taking things apart and putting them back together, building with Legos, and learning how STEM impacts every aspect of life. He always made sure to involve his children in projects around the home. His daughter learned she could merge her love of math and science to help protect the environment, driving her decision to become an environmental engineer. His son is pursuing a career in computer science. Our aerospace engineer has shared some great advice regarding careers in computer science. He said his son “has no clue what he wants to be when he grows up,” which he says, “is good, because it is more important to focus on learning everything you can, especially learning how to learn, because you can bet whatever you study will be obsolete within 10 years. The nice thing about Computer Science (or most STEM backgrounds) is it impacts every aspect of life, you can work in any field you want – health, business, aerospace, entertainment, you name it, computers and software are in every field.” Like these wonderful dads, one thing you can do now to possibly influence your child’s potential career in STEM is incorporating STEM activities into their everyday life with iSprowt, an educational gift for kids. The best thing about our projects is that you can work on them as a family. It’s Father’s Day and we want to thank the dads who take the time to work on fun projects with their kids – we appreciate you! We also want to say a very special thank you to the dads who shared their stories with us – thank you! Happy Father’s Day from iSprowt!
Kids Need Time to Unplug
How often do you come home from a day at the beach, a hike in a National Park, or a visit to an arboretum or botanical garden and think “well, that was just the worst day I have ever had!”? Probably never! Barring an unfortunate bee sting or a sprained ankle, a day in nature — or even just an hour — leaves us feeling refreshed. When we are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, adults crave the outdoors. Our children need to be in nature just as much as we do, if not more. As our “Safer at Home” restrictions are loosening as parks and trails reopen, we find ourselves with the unique opportunity to witness our kids reemerging and letting loose for the first time in months. Without the constraints of four walls at home, children are free to imagine, create, build, and explore. While the American Academy of Pediatrics no longer restricts screen time to a limited number of hours, they do recommend that families set aside time without technology and engage in activities that do not require digital devices. Now that most school is being held in homes across the country, using more technology has become nearly unavoidable even though many educators are making the effort to create assignments that incorporate time away from screens. Kids are also spending more time in screens to stay occupied while their parents attempt to work from home. Studies have shown that excessive screen time can lead to sleep problems, social problems, and increased aggression, all of which can have a negative impact on success in school. One way to address these problems is by going outside. According to one study, unstructured play enables children to develop “milestones ranging from movement development to language, conversation, and problem solving abilities.” Running around, climbing, and jumping also releases energy. When playing games outside, children get endorphins from something they have worked toward, not just provided for them effortlessly by a tech-based game. With so much digital distraction available right at our fingertips, parents need to make a conscious effort to ensure their families unplug. At iSprowt, we have committed to spending part of this Memorial Day weekend completely unplugged and we encourage you to do the same – adults, too! Join your kids in building a rock sculpture, assembling a boat from leaves and sticks, catching a fish, going on a hike, or climbing a tree – whatever brings them joy. You will not regret the endorphins you will feel, the joy you will hear in their excited voices, or the quality time you will spend together making memories. If you are considering educational gifts for kids, iSprowt brings science, technology, engineering and math to life to create a love of lifelong learning.
Learning by Doing
3rd-century BC philosopher and teacher, Xun Kuang is known for the quote: “not hearing is not as good as hearing, hearing is not as good as seeing, seeing is not as good as knowing, knowing is not as good as acting; true learning continues until it is put into action,” which comes from Xunzi, an ancient Chinese collection of philosophical writings. Whittled down, this quote is often attributed to both Confucius and Benjamin Franklin, respectively, as “I see and I forget. I hear and I remember. I do and I understand” and “tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Regardless of the origin of the words, what the three quotes emphasize is, for centuries, and even for millennia, philosophers have observed the most effective form of learning is by doing. A University of Chicago-led study found that “hands-on experiences may benefit students more than previously realized, particularly in the world of virtual laboratories and online learning. This may be especially true for the initial stages of learning and in areas of science education that lend themselves to physical experiences.” Professor Sian Beilock, co-author of the study, stated, “those students who physically experience difficult science concepts learn them better, perform better in class and on quizzes the next day, and the effect seems to play out weeks later, as well.” During these challenging times, many students are away from their classrooms and parents are doing their best to work with teachers to continue to move forward with learning concepts through the end of the academic year. Thanks to a plethora of virtual learning programs available, our students are continuing to learn by hearing and seeing but are missing opportunities to learn by doing. iSprowt puts learning by doing into practice. Students are led through hands-on experiments with easy-to-follow instructions and the materials for the experiments are either included in the iSprowt kit or can be found in most homes. Every month, students receive a new kit with new hands-on experiments and materials. A child who receives our awesome educational gifts for kids during their very first month of kindergarten will complete a minimum of 216 hands-on science experiments by the time they begin 6th grade! We specialize in bringing scientific concepts to life. What could be more hands-on than that? Due to COVID-19 related school closures we now offer the option to give educational gifts for kids through our Donate the Gift of STEM program. If you’d like to donate, visit the page here.
Kids are not Connecting to Virtual School
When states across the country began issuing stay at home orders, school districts had no choice but to temporarily close their doors and begin the scramble to find a way to continue to educate their students from a distance through the end of the school year. For some students, particularly homeschooled students and college students, learning virtually at least part of the time is completely normal. The educators providing this type of instruction have spent years training and developing their curriculum to be effective in a virtual learning environment. The students enrolled in these classes made a choice to learn virtually. The option of virtual learning is a choice homeschool families often make when they know they have the required resources and equipment as well as the family support they need to succeed. This sudden transition to virtual education for millions of students across the country (in many countries, actually) left a huge learning gap for traditional educators and a resource and support gap for families. In many cases, teachers had just days to figure something out to fill the gap while their schools and districts made more concrete plans for the remainder of the spring term. Once longer-term plans were made, teachers, again, had just days to learn how to use the programs that were chosen and adapt or completely change their lesson plans. Some districts have not been able to supply their students with the technology they need. Providing Chromebooks and tablets, however, does not necessarily guarantee access to WiFi and navigating the programs, especially for younger students, requires a lot of help from parents in terms of time and organization. Several recent reports indicate that students in low income neighborhoods and rural communities are the least likely to be participating in online education. In some cases, according to the New York Times, “fewer than half of their students are regularly participating.” Many families have not been in communication with their children’s schools at all. Teachers and administrators are worried about these students most of all — they are often the third point in a communication triangle between families and social services for students living in less-than-ideal or dangerous situations. No household has escaped the stress brought on by COVID-19. Many work situations have changed – some are out of work while others are working more, finances and childcare are inconsistent or nonexistent, and some families are facing severe illness and death. For many families, logging-on has dropped to the bottom of the priority list if it’s even on the list at all. From the beginning of school closures, counselors were quick to share information regarding spotting the signs of stress and depression in kids. Combine the effects of stress and depression with the one thing pediatricians always warn parents about – too much technology – and some families have had to make the tough choice to temporarily abstain from logging-on in an effort to protect their children’s mental health. The time to figure things out for both schools and parents for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year has come to an end. Some schools have been closed for eight weeks. Schools in some states end their spring terms as early as next week. Across the country, administrators are engaged in developing plans for the fall which is likely to look different from anything our children have experienced so far. If virtual learning is a part of that plan, access and equity will certainly be addressed and, hopefully, it will all be figured out with enough time for teachers and families to gather resources and make plans. At iSprowt, education is our number one priority. Learn more about how iSprowt is working to increase equity in education with low-tech and no-tech activities and support families in these challenging times. If you are considering donating educational gifts for kids, so that children don’t fall behind, go to our Donate the Gift of STEM page.
Happy Mother’s Day from iSprowt!
Happy Mother’s Day! Everyone at iSprowt would like to take a moment to pay tribute to all the mothers, the grandmothers, the aunts – everyone out there who is “mom” to someone – especially now. You are amazing! The moms at iSprowt are the calendar keepers, boo boo fixers, school volunteers, lunch makers, bike riders, homework helpers, chess match losers, sports signer-uppers, birthday planners, cookie bakers, bedtime story readers, and huggers. Now, with COVID-19, we have become teachers, virtual play date schedulers, therapists, hide and seekers, anytime story readers, snack distributors, and worriers. We knew that being moms would be challenging and, just when we thought we had it all figured out, our children’s worlds flipped upside down. We can do this, moms! iSprowt is here to help. We are here to add a little bit of easy education and fun to your children’s lives. While your kids are busy working through the activities in the books that come in our kits or conducting one of our experiments with our easy-to-follow instructions and included supplies, be sure to take a few minutes for yourself and daydream about your kids possibly growing up to have successful and fulfilling careers in STEM. Maybe your young scientist will discover the cure for all viruses?! If you do want educational gifts for kids the good news is that it’s fun for you, too! Trust us, moms — if you are reading a blog on a page dedicated to inspiring young minds and increasing children’s confidence in STEM, you are already doing a GREAT job! Take a moment to celebrate everything that comes with being a mom. We hope you have a Happy Mother’s Day! You earned it!
How Parents are Doing During School Closures
Ask any parent how they are doing during school closures and the answer they provide will likely change depending on the day, the hour, or even the minute, and it absolutely depends on their at-home situation. Most families are doing what they can to make it work – trying to find balance between work, school, and family. They might be enjoying family time more now that there is less after school and weekend activity. Without baseball tournaments, robotics club meetings, and scout campouts, there is a lot more time for family bike rides, home movie nights, virtual meetups with friends and family, and assembling puzzles… so many puzzles! But, after the kids go to bed, the second shift begins. This is when parents must catch up on their day after spending the day focusing most of their attention on their kids. If they have the privilege of working from home, have a co-parent or another adult in the home, and/or a child who can work independently for any period of time, they might have been able to squeeze in a few work calls during the day or respond to the most important emails, but late night is probably the only time they have to focus on a more intense project. Many parents are losing sleep, but the causes are numerous: too much work, not enough work, too much school, not enough school, our mental health, our kid’s mental health, frustration, fear, and worry. For some families, this is a nightmare. There is so much to worry about. Parents who are essential workers are struggling to find childcare and may be worried about exposing their loved ones to COVID-19 after stressful workdays or nights. Parents are worried about young children who are struggling with social distance and virtual school and are battling some big emotions. Parents are worried about maintaining social distance while protecting their children’s mental health. Parents are worried about paying the bills when their businesses are closed, they have been furloughed, or the work they typically do just does not exist at this time. Surprisingly, some families have found that educating from home has proven to work well for their families. Their children are thriving with a less structured schedule, time to explore interests in-depth, and more quality time with parents and family. These parents have reached out to their current schools to ask about the process of transitioning to traditional homeschool for the 2020-2021 school year and have started researching homeschool curriculums. In some cases, staying at home is improving their family dynamic and they are excited about the possibilities. iSprowt is working toward partnering with homeschool curriculum vendors so families can use school funds to purchase iSprowt kits. If you would like to use school funds to purchase iSprowt kits, contact us so we can partner with your vendor. If you are looking for tiny ways to improve your stress, keep your kids busy, or supplement their education, iSprowt is here for you. We are here to help by providing low-cost, high-quality, low-mess, educational gifts for your kids. If you are in a position to help other families during school closures, you can donate iSprowt kits to children in need and help decrease their risk of falling behind during COVID-19 school closures by purchasing a kit here and selecting “donate” at checkout. We are partnering with schools to provide donated iSprowt kits directly to the students who need them most
May the Fourth
It’s May 4th! May the Fourth be with you! Confused about what that means? May the Fourth is a tribute to the phrase “may the force be with you” from the Star Wars franchise and a way to commemorate the unofficial “Star Wars Day” holiday (as declared by fans worldwide). We love this phrase at iSprowt because thinking about Star Wars makes us think about science, technology, and exploring, and the creativity that brings it all together. Now is the time to plant the little seeds that could develop into a deep love for STEM. Elementary school students are at the age where science and imagination combine to create magic. One way to plant that little seed is by sharing the movies and books that excited you when you were children. Movies and books about space inspire us to explore the world around us and beyond. Another way to plant that seed is by providing children with the opportunity to engage in hands-on science activities. Learning by doing creates a lasting impact and just may inspire them to start dreaming about what they “want to be when they grow up”. If your kids are celebrating May the Fourth staring straight ahead while watching every episode of The Mandalorian or going back to the classics and watching Episodes 4-6, take a little break before going to bed to look up instead. Look at the stars and imagine the possibility of exploring the world beyond our own. Your families can look forward to exploring space in iSprowt Kit #7! If you’d like to donate educational gifts for kids, visit our Donate the Gift of STEM page.
Celebrate May Day with iSprowt
Happy May Day! Have you ever heard the phrase, “April showers bring May flowers”? This phrase is borrowed from a poem written by Thomas Tusser in 1157. May 1, also known as May Day, marks the halfway point between the spring equinox (first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere) and summer solstice (first day or summer in the Northern Hemisphere). It is an ancient holiday celebrating the hope and promise of spring. The beautiful May flowers springing up all around us are a reminder that the rains in April bring forth new life. Celebrations were rooted in agriculture and were filled with singing and dancing. Like our young scientists who are planting their herb seeds from their iSprowt Herb Garden Kit, people at May Day celebrations were full of hope – hope that their seeds would sprout and their crops would flourish. We are filled with hope today. Hope for our children. Hope for a healthy return to normalcy. Hope for our future. You can still celebrate May Day today. In this time of COVID-19, consider creating a traditional basket by rolling a piece of colorful paper into a cone and filling it with homemade paper flowers. Take a photo or a video of your kids sending love and hope to friends and family and tag #iSprowt if you share on social media. Your sprouting herb garden is the perfect backdrop! Due to COVID-19 related school closures, iSprowt created the Donate the Gift of STEM program where you can give educational gift for kids. Consider making a donation here.
COVID-19 School Closures- How to Keep Children From Falling Behind
Today’s students are facing an unprecedented challenge when it comes to learning science. A recent Los Angeles Times article indicated California students are struggling to meet the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) adopted nationally in 2013. These standards were designed to teach core scientific concepts via hands-on activity. Unfortunately, with limited budgets for scientific materials and space to store materials for multiple classes of up to 40 students, meeting the standards has so far been a challenge. Now, with students completely out of the classroom for the remainder of the school year thanks to COVID-19 upending life as we knew it, limited materials available at home, and parents’ lack of comfort teaching STEM subjects, achieving these standards could be completely out of reach for many students. Interestingly, the LA Times article cites a specific example from the fifth-grade test which asks students to engage in “ordering the stages of a plant’s life cycle on a diagram.” This very topic is brought to life through the hands-on activities included in iSprowt’s first kit! In kit 1, kids in kindergarten through fifth-grade sprout herb seeds, plant them in soil, place them in a sunlit window, water them, and track their growth. By kit 4, the fully grown herbs are harvested and the kids learn to make their very own pasta sauce — completing the life cycle of the plant with hands-on activities they will be able to recall when it’s time to take the standardized NGSS test. Activities like this example also help students understand how science applies to them as a regular part of life in their home and their community. With iSprowt’s new Donate the Gift of STEM program, you can help students bring these core scientific concepts to life. iSprowt was designed to help children achieve their highest potential in school and in life through hands-on, fun, STEM kits which include experiments, easy-to-follow instructions, and materials mailed directly to their homes monthly. iSprowt kits get them unplugged and experimenting in exciting ways. Knowing that many families are experiencing serious financial difficulty, we decided to take action. Here’s how you can help support children during this crisis: -Donate kits to children in need and help decrease their risk of falling behind during COVID-19 school closures by purchasing a kit via the link below and selecting “donate” at checkout. We are partnering with schools to provide donated iSprowt kits directly to the students who need them most. -For every 100 kits donated, iSprowt will donate an additional $500 of iSprowt kits. -Help spread the word about iSprowt and our Donate the Gift of STEM program. Email your friends, share on social media, and talk to your family members about this program during your next family video chat – encourage them to donate kits as well! This crisis has shown us just how essential it is to have a future workforce with a passion for STEM. Together, we can spark that passion and build a solid STEM foundation for students all over the country. Educational Gifts for Kids: Donate the Gift of STEM to a child in need, visit the page here.
iSprowt Donates STEM Kits to Children Impacted by COVID-19 Pandemic
We hope that this message finds you and your family well. As many of you know, we launched iSprowt to help children achieve their highest potential in school and in life through hands-on, fun STEM kits that get them unplugged and experimenting in exciting ways. Little did we know that just weeks after launching iSprowt, COVID-19 would upend the world as we knew it. COVID-19 has shaken families and communities- from school closures to parents teaching and working from home to the uncertainty of what the future holds. All of this weighs on us, as parents and advocates for education, heavily. Knowing that many families are experiencing serious financial difficulty, we decided to take action. We want to share with you how we plan to help support children through this crisis: Today iSprowt is launching Donate the Gift of STEM– an initiative to put STEM experiments in the hands of children in need. Donating kits to children in need could decrease their risk of falling behind in school during COVID-19 school closures. We are kicking off this program by donating $1,200 in iSprowt kits to children in need in Los Angeles by working with local schools. Going forward, for every 100 kits donated, iSprowt will donate an additional $500 of iSprowt kits. For educational gifts for kids, consider our Donate the Gift of STEM program that benefits a child in need. Please visit the page here. We want to thank you for being with us on this journey. All our best, Juliana, Rob, and Robbie Sherwood