In this immersive program, students explore the model sky on an inflated planetarium as it changes due to the effects of Earth’s rotation and orbit. They also observe the Moon in its current phase and discuss how it changes over time. Later, they learn which planets are currently visible, how to find them, and the reasons for the current controversy over how a planet is defined.

Massachusetts Science Framework Connections 

Physical Science:  Light travels in a straight line until it strikes an object or travels from one medium to another.  Light can be reflected, refracted, and absorbed.   
Earth & Space Science:  Earth is a part of the solar system that includes the Sun, planets, and many moons.  Earth is the third planet from the Sun.  Earth orbits the Sun in a year’s time and rotates on its axis in approximately 24 hours.  The rotation of the Earth, day/night and apparent movements of the Sun, Moon, and stars are connected.  Changes occur in the observable shape of the Moon over a month. 


Top Secret Science has programs that meet and exceed all National Science Standards at each grade cluster level.  There are four strands for each cluster and include earth and space science, life science (biology), physical sciences (physics and chemistry), and technology/engineering.  Because of their hands-on approach with lots of make and take home projects, they work exclusively in all the strands except the life sciences.  Here are the subtopics at grade the Pre-K to Grade 2 cluster level:

Earth & Space – Earth’s Materials, The Weather, The Sun as a Source of Light & Heat, Periodic Phenomena

Physical – Properties of Objects, States of Matter, Position and Motion of Objects

Technology/Engineering – Materials & Tools, Engineering Design

Top Secret Science instructs students with hands-on learning.  They provide simple materials for each child and guide them through a variety of experiments.  


Art Quest is a unique educational program designed to develop thinking skills through observation of visual works of art. Art Quest integrates art history and art appreciation with class curriculum providing students with an opportunity to learn visually. 

The digital projection of two images simultaneously provides opportunities for comparison and encourages students to participate in discussions. By examining and analyzing works of art, participants learn historical information and to identify individual artist's styles and movements.  Art Quest stimulates curiosity and imagination while improving and developing critical, creative and interpretive thinking skills. 

Program topics are coordinated with the school curriculum to provide an interdisciplinary approach to education. Art Quest lectures can be adapted or developed to integrate social studies, history, literature, language, or studio art classes. In 1985, Carin Doben began Art Quest to expose children to art in order to provide them with an alternative learning experience by having them observe, question, and investigate the world around them and to enhance their knowledge while making connections to other subjects. 
The subject for West El’s 5th Graders in 2016:  Frontier Art
An in-depth discussion and observation of painters of the expanding new frontier. Students will analyze and interpret the different viewpoints illustrated in the works of art. Artists included are landscape painters Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran; action painters Fredrick Remington and Charles Russell; Indian portrait painter George Catlin; and genre painter George Caleb Bingham. The theme of this lecture is appropriate for students studying the expansion of the American West.


Techsploration programs are designed to introduce students to technology, science, and problem solving in a fun and exciting way.

Techsploration uses a wide variety of methods – huge props, slides, juggling, and even balloon tying – mixed with lots of humor, to teach technological and scientific concepts. In addition to being fun, the activities are highly educational. They reinforce the school’s curriculum, illustrate how concepts are applied to real life situations, and incorporate state standards.

Techsploration at West Elementary includes the following shows:

Electricity Show—Shocking Facts of Electricity
Electricity Workshop—Circuits and Electricity
Weather Show—The Science of Weather


The Paul Revere House offers interactive educational programs designed to enrich classroom study of colonial, Revolutionary and immigrant history.  
Find out what really happened during Paul Revere’s midnight ride.  Watch a short slide show that separates the facts from the myths surrounding the ride, then retrace Revere’s route from his home in North Square towards the Charles River.  Children don hats and carry props as they go, taking on the roles of Paul and Rachel Revere, their children, British soldiers, rowers, Samuel Adams, John Hancock and others.


Cartography for 2nd Grade
Creative Enrichment Educational Services from Salem, NH provides a “Magic of Maps” presentation to 2nd Grade which includes two assembly programs and four cartography workshops which are focused upon “Exploring Andover.”


Michelle's Menagerie combines entertainment and education to create an exciting learning experience that will long be remembered!  All programs provide an opportunity to learn about animals and their importance in the world.  This is not a petting zoo, it is an awesome wildlife encounter.  
In the Woodland Wonders program children learn about life cycles, and how animals survive during the cold winter months.  I will talk about mammals hibernating, reptiles brumating and bird migrating.  The eight animals featured are:

Duck
Finch
Rabbit
Flying Squirrel
Skunk
Snake
Partridge
Turtle


Explore the Ocean World for 1st Grade, Tidal Pools
Your students will have a chance to experience, hands on, creatures from the Gulf of Maine salt marsh, rocky shore, and the deep sea.
Each presentation is unique.  The animals differ daily depending on what new and exotic things the commercial fishermen bring in.  The animals range from the common sea star to the deep water sun star, spiny crab or horseshoe crab.
The talk can cover a range of information from salt marsh ecology, conservation, commercial fishing and detailed information on all sorts of sea creatures.  At the end of each talk the students get their hands wet and are encouraged to handle everything.
I will be bringing in live sea animals with salt water and some frozen animals.  (Things may get a little wet.)  You will need to provide a space for me to set up with access to an electrical outlet, two medium sized tables and someone to help me set up.  Because of the salt water and the animals it is impossible to move the program during the day.
Each presentation lasts about 45 minutes.  With a half-hour talk and approximately 15 minutes of hands on.  It is imperative that the group size is kept under 30 students.  This way all of the students will get a chance to “touch, feel and smell” everything without being crowded.


Honey Bees for 2nd Grade
Birgit is committed to expanding the understanding of, and the respect for, the importance of honeybees in our environment.  To share her substantial knowledge, Birgit has developed a series of demonstration programs for both children and adults.  Topics cover the social interactions of honeybees, pollen and nectar collection activities, honey productions, and the evolution of beekeeping from medieval times to the 21st century.  Visual aids include posters, beekeeping equipment, a beehive, insect samples.  Special emphasis is put on the difference between wasps and bees and how to behave in their presence.  A taste of honey and ideas for follow-up activities are also provided.  Birgit's enthusiasm is contagious, and she has developed a well-earned reputation as a delightful speaker at Boston area schools, clubs, libraries, and other organizations.