ScienceStart! Zipkits are
designed for early childhood educators. The ZipKit Manual contains all the
information needed to create and maintain a rich parent-outreach
program. It was developed over a 5 year period in a
Head Start program, responding to the Head Start mandate to reach out to
parents and engage them as their children’s primary educators. The
program has also been popular in school-based preschool programs and in private
preschools serving affluent families. Topics
and materials are familiar to parents and capitalize on children’s curiosity
about their everyday world. The ZipKits can be used for many forms of
parent outreach including classrooms, home-visits, and parent-child gatherings.
Zipkits contain instructions and all the materials needed for adults and
children to carry out a science investigation together. These materials are for
the family to keep. Each ZipKit activity opens with a statement that there are
no right or wrong ways to do the activity.
The activities offer an opportunity for the parent and child to explore
together, for the child to demonstrate what s/he is learning in school, and for
the parent to support this learning. Often the activity is shared with siblings
and other family members.
ScienceStart! ZipKit Manual is designed for use
by classroom teachers and contains:
information about science education in early childhood
for organizing a ZipKit Program at your school
of readily available materials for assembling ZipKits
sheets to photocopy for inclusion in each ZipKit
charts, and other written materials as required for each ZipKit
ScienceStart! ZipKit Manual contains instructions
for 22 ZipKits. These can be used with
any preschool or after-school program.
They are sequenced and designed to coordinate with each module for
classrooms using the Complete ScienceStart!
ZipKit activity is organized according to a simple science cycle and encourages
inquiry-based questions, practicing science process skills such as making
predictions and keeping records.