The League of Extraordinary Scientists and Engineers (LXS)
The League of Extraordinary Scientists and Engineers (LXS) began as an idea in 2009 when Jeane Wong, owner of Lyric’s Daycare in San Diego, followed her son Lyric to school with some bugs to share with his kindergarten class. Other classes in the school asked if she could bring the bugs, reptiles, and science lessonsto their classes, too. This evolved into larger projects: “Morphing-out month” for frogs, butterflies, moths, and even house flies; a “Hibernation Tour” where Otis the Tortoise talks about heart beats, weather, migration, adaptation, and sleeping for a very long time; and “Inside Out: Skeleton or exoskeleton?” More projects led to more school tours and often impromptu live animal discoveries at before- and after-school programs. It became clear that more schools and more classes needed to be reached; educators and students could benefit from more hands-on curriculums and in-class “science-ing”.
Research shows that nationwide, science has normally been taught by having students read chapters in a textbook and then answer questions at the end. Time restrictions, standards that have not included science, and the lack of science-specific educators in Pre-K to 5th grade, has led to very little, if any, hands-on science being done in grade school. It is also apparent that most Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs and lessons are designed to begin at seventh grade. A tremendous amount of research shows that early education is when children are most receptive. Kids literally crave it. With this in mind and understanding the research, LXS is answering the call by bringing together a literal League of Scientists & Engineers with educators to make available “hands-on-science-ing” to Pre-K to 5th grade learners and in-classroom support for their educators.
While educators develop the best practices for implementing new standards (Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards), they are missing the best time to instill and nurture kids’ enthusiasm and understanding for science and engineering. Teachers are in need of more resources to align with these standards and be the best educators they can be in these areas.
What we can do
We believe that our children benefit most from collaborative learning and teaching. We are a growing community of scientists, entomologists, biologists, oceanographers, architects, engineers, zoologists, educators, parents, and more. We have an advisory board that keeps us up to date with the most recent information, tools, and research. We all have a passion for what it is that we do. It is at the core of our belief that sharing our knowledge will not only assist educators to meet new and evolving standards, but will also excite kids’ basic instinct to discover and learn. We have created a website that will be constantly evolving (as all good science does). Our website will provide free hands-on science kits and in-classroom tools that can be checked out, much like a library book. It will also have a directory of local professionals in each area of STEM to aid Pre-K to 5th grade classrooms. Teachers can find evolving curriculums / experiments/ handouts in printable, PDF format. On the website calendar, teachers can sign up for a local professional to visit their classrooms during one of our science-ing tours. Each tour is about 15-20 minutes. Several tours will have live animals with professional handlers and/or some cool hands-on “science-ing” tools for students to use. Also on the science-ing website, educators can sign up for professional development opportunities with STEM specific-certificates from LXS. School Directors and Principals can also inquire about whole-department classes. COMING IN 2016 kids and teachers will be able to enter our LXS science competitions for younger-grade students and classrooms.