(Podcast: Wizard IV Steve Jacobs discusses Ace Hardware Science and the mission to inspire a generation of tinkerers. Listen here.)
January 27, 2014 – What child or parent hasn't raided the kitchen or garage for a last-minute science class project? To assist in this endeavor, Pitsco Education kits are appearing across the country in Ace Hardware stores that offer Hardware Science projects.
Hardware Science is a program available to Ace retailers that encourages children to explore science in an everyday setting, using products and instructions found at their neighborhood hardware store. Teachers can also take advantage of their neighborhood store to provide project suggestions for those in search of hands-on science connections. Each project provides children with a fun and engaging science experience, teaching them the basics of thinking like a scientist and providing a supplementary learning experience to their in-school science education.
Ace retailer Wayne Kamitaki developed the Hardware Science concept with Steve "Jake" Jacobs (Wizard IV), who was the science director and writer of Mr. Wizard's World on Nickelodeon for 25 years and currently serves as one of the science consultants for MythBusters on the Discovery Channel. The pair looked to Pitsco Education to help bring the prepackaged product line to fruition. Jacobs also developed project-based video demonstrations that local retailers can play in stores. Always open to new ways to bring hands-on STEM projects to students, Pitsco came on board.
“Our typical school market is what we have always focused on, but we've been looking to increase our business in retail," explained Bill Holden, Pitsco product development specialist. "No other opportunity has looked as good and as promising as this one, partly due to it being in conjunction with Wizard IV and the video demonstrations. There is a definite educational component within this venture."
Some of the Pitsco kits available through Ace include the hydraulic-powered T-Bot® Robotic Arm, solar cars, mousetrap vehicles, and catapult and trebuchet kits. There are also a number of project components such as wheels, axles, gear fonts, and solar panels. To help the Ace stores take advantage of the Hardware Science program, Jacobs is also offering his expertise for in-store demonstrations.
Currently, more than 200 Ace Hardware stores offer the Hardware Science kits and materials.
Pitsco Education is the leading provider of age-appropriate, student-centered K-12 STEM learning solutions. Our standards-based curriculum, products, equipment, and materials promote student success through positive and challenging learning experiences, and our hands-on solutions teach core concepts and career skills in science, technology, engineering, and math.
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