01 February 2006

Shopping for Elementary Science

We are starting to make some further progress in making plans to run our own kit center for the district. Right now, we're shopping for consumables.

FOSS comes with two kinds of consumables: things that they package and things that they expect the teacher to provide. As you might guess, anything that is listed as "provided by teacher" really needs to be in the kit, too, as teachers don't have time to gather all of the bits and pieces.

This is making for some interesting research. For example, one kit is sent out with eight boxes of paperclips. Are we to assume that no usable clips are returned? These are simple enough to replace, of course, but it seems a little odd that a single kit would require 33,600 paperclips (8 per kit, each kit goes out three times, and there are 14 kits).

We have a lot more to learn this spring. I will be anxious to begin meeting with our elementary "steering committee" in order to sort a lot of this information out. Are we really going to require 250,000 copies next year---or are there some pages that aren't necessary? We will budget for the maximum and hope for less. Whatever happens, it's still going to be a long shopping list.

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