Corporate and Education Partnerships



Ergopedia works with a number of corporate partners both within the education sector and in the wider scope of science and engineering companies. Within education, we work mainly with established publishers to create content (such as textbooks) and apparatus (such as the Lab-Master). We also provide strategic and marketing support. Our 21 years in the education industry gives us a long-term perspective that is based on real experience with state adoptions, state and district level politics, education reform, and other market-driving forces. Within the broader range of industries we help implement partnerships between schools and educational initiatives. For our new Essential Physics project we are engaging companies with science, technology, and engineering expertise to submit case studies of real products that showcase how concepts students learn in school are applied in real careers. Finally, we work with industry partners to create sales channels for their products in the education market, such as our partnership with National Instruments through its LabVIEW software and hardware. For more information on corporate partnerships, send an email to Tom or Manos.



National Instruments

National Instruments provides world-leading engineering data acquisition and control technology to research labs and businesses in all areas of human endeavor from pharmaceuticals to the space program. Through our long partnership with NI, begun while Professor Chaniotakis was at MIT, we are bringing the power of this technology into the classroom. LabVIEW, the award-winning software front-end to NI's technology, offers the ability to design customized virtual instruments (VIs) that build in all the set-up and data analysis functionality we need for each individual investigation. If you are teaching investigation 2.2 on acceleration, all you do is double-click on the virtual instrument for investigation 2.2 and everything runs without any additional set-up. This seamless integration offers unprecedented ease-of-use to the classroom teacher, because a different virtual instrument is specifically designed for each investigation. Students can explore very sophisticated ideas, such as how close a model matches observations, with instantaneous computer set-up, intuitive control, and ready-to-go apparatus all working together right out of the box.



The Texas Regional Collaboratives

The Texas Regional Collaboratives for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching is one of the most effective professional development organizations in the US, offering quality training at all levels. Ergopedia's co-founder, Dr. Tom Hsu, has been a leading trainer for the collaboratives for fifteen years, teaching workshops in physics and chemistry across the state. Collectively, these workshops have reached virtually every school district in Texas. In 2012, the partnership will continue with a new series of training workshops that will draw from Ergopedia's Essential Physics technology. These workshops will enhance student learning in difficult topics of physics and chemistry by providing teachers with curriculum, powerful interactive learning tools, and simulations using LabVIEW.



The East Bay Educational Collaborative

The East Bay Educational Collaborative provides materials, resources, and staff development for Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Ergopedia has worked closely with EBEC since 2007 as the lead development partner for A Natural Approach to Chemistry. Sixty teachers from East Bay districts took part in the project over a two year period. All sixty participated in an intensive week-long summer institute, followed by monthly training during the academic year. The project was funded through a grant from the National Governors Association and has been very effective in creating lasting, sustainable reform in curriculum and teaching practices.



CPO Science

CPO Science was founded in 1994 by Dr. Tom Hsu to provide curricular materials for secondary school science instruction. Since 2007, Ergopedia has produced 22 episodes for CPO Science's DVD Science series. Ranging in length from 15 minutes to 30 minutes, each episode explores a topic in life science, earth science, or physical science. Each of the 22 episodes features extensive animation as well as live footage—such as the Tehachapi Pass wind farm 2,000 feet above California's Mojave Desert or the eruption of Mount St. Helens. Each video lesson includes interactive assessments and simulations requiring user response every two or three minutes. Both types of interactive elements rely on ordinary DVD players by using the remote control for interaction. No computer is required! For more details on this project see Our Work.



Lab-Aids

How do we make chemistry a subject that all students can learn and use successfully? Life today is full of decisions that involve chemistry, so knowing the fundamentals is more important than ever. A Natural Approach to Chemistry (NAC) is a new high school chemistry program developed by Ergopedia for Lab-Aids, one of our publisher partners—and a provider of curriculum, research, evaluation, and professional development to support K-12 science education. NAC starts afresh by making chemistry a successful experience for all students. Energy, atoms, and systems are conceptual themes that unify chemistry and connect chemistry to all of science. Throughout the program, examples are drawn primarily from the chemistry of the environment and the chemistry of the human body. This approach makes chemistry both relevant and engaging for students. True to Ergopedia's philosophy of hands-on learning, A Natural Approach to Chemistry features 62 carefully designed laboratory investigations. This practical framework guides and encourages student inquiry, yet also allows the educator to cover the content in a reasonable time frame. After three years of developing new, non-toxic experiments, we are proud that you can dispose down the drain all of the chemicals used in NAC! This is real chemistry without hazardous chemical disposal fees. The Lab-Master has a completely safe test tube heater that can boil 20 milliliters of water in two minutes. No Bunsen burners are needed.




The Concord Consortium

Started by Dr. Bob Tinker, The Concord Consortium is an educational technology “think tank” with decades of experience evaluating and creating software, hardware, and curriculum. Ergopedia's partnership with the consortium involved creating interactive DVD lessons as part of an NSF-funded project, Science of Atoms and Molecules (SAM). Ergopedia worked with the consortium's award-winning Molecular Workbench software to create 46 short, interactive DVD lessons that enable students and teachers to visualize and explore advanced concepts related to atoms and molecules. Each lesson begins with a few minutes of content followed by an interactive simulation, an interactive question, or both. The lessons include topics in physics, chemistry, and biochemistry. Ergopedia made extensive use of Jmol scripts to produce molecular animations to visualize three-dimensional effects, such as how bond polarity affects surface charge distribution and how molecules “recognize” other molecules by matching surface charges and shapes.