Beginning with two brothers, a neighborhood full of spectators, and a helium-neon laser, Mad Science today deploys entertaining educators around the world to inject hands-on science programs with an element of fun. Nearly five million children annually enjoy accessible lessons, which may take the form of a weeklong summer day program or a birthday party that explains the physics of the Earth's revolution around the guest of honor. Schools host afterschool programs every year, which may include a NASA-approved astronomy series, a Rube Goldbergian introduction to simple machines, or an exploration into the science of toys. Living up to their promise of melding education and entertainment, Mad Science's experts have teamed up with scientists of screens large and small to produce live stage shows such as Star Trek Live, CSI: Live, and Movie Magic.
The staff members at Sylvan Learning's numerous centers understand that each child learns differently. Therefore, they don’t try to implement a uniform tutoring system; instead, they design custom lesson programs based on the results of a skills assessment using diagnostic tools and one-on-one interviews.
Tutors work with students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12, illuminating topics ranging from basic reading and writing to remembering complex algebraic formulas without having them tattooed on your chest. Many of Sylvan’s instructors work in local schools, so they are intimately familiar with common curricula and understand how to gear lessons toward optimal results.
Learning a new language will expose you to new cultures and experiences, but the task may be more challenging for some. Read on for a few tips on mastering your chosen tongue.
It wouldn’t be unusual for a toddler to ask for a cookie in two, or maybe even three languages. That’s because children as young as 2 are hardwired to internalize and mimic whatever languages they hear. With regular use, those skills can last a lifetime.
After a certain point, though, around age 12 or 13, something in the brain—we’re not quite sure what—shifts, and language acquisition becomes markedly more difficult. Straight-A students can find themselves struggling in Spanish class, and even the most persistent adult language learners may never acquire perfect fluency. Although adult brains will never return to their former sponge-like state, there are a few strategies that can ease the language-learning process.
Listening: Children absorb the sounds around them for months before ever uttering a word. This “silent period” is spent internalizing vocabulary and sentence patterns. Adults, too, can benefit from focused listening, whether through movies, music, or podcasts in their target language.
Multiple Methods: Some language classes focus on rote memorization and discussion of grammar, and others use total language immersion to mimic the state of childhood learning. Ideally, language learners should combine elements from both methods. Immersion is a great strategy for practicing vocabulary and conversation, but an adult’s advanced understanding of grammar can make it easier for them to learn new verb tenses and sentence structures.
Motivation: Just as kids approach their first words with enthusiasm, attitude is a critical factor for adult language learners. Students can often stay motivated by setting specific goals, such as holding a conversation with a native speaker or ordering off a French menu using only past participles.
Fearlessness: There’s no getting around the fact that adults have a harder time mastering new pronunciations. However, a fear of mispronunciation shouldn’t stop someone from practicing their new language aloud. Many cultures are used to hearing their language spoken with a foreign accent, and even imperfectly structured sentences can still convey their meaning through context. In short, practice makes perfect—even if it isn’t perfect in practice.
The owners of Big Z Cleaners, Twin City Dry Cleaners, & Squeeky's Cleaners & Laundromat wash and dry-clean garments with environmentally friendly practices and a keen eye for detail honed over a span of 40 years. After dry-cleaning silk blouses, suits, or dress shirts stained with business-related marinara sauce, specialists press collars and cuffs and preserve their shapes with a customizable dose of starch. The team also carefully executes wash, dry, and fold services that conclude with exemplary folding and placement on hangers.
When she’s not teaching creative writing or crafting award-winning songs, Kate Callahan helps high school seniors channel their own creativity into college essays. A 12-year artist-in-residence in West Hartford public schools, Kate walks students through essay-writing step-by-step, from brainstorming to revision. Along the way, she shows pupils how to incorporate creative elements into their pieces, such as dialogue or building suspense. For students who already have an essay ready, Kate happily makes content or grammar suggestions during her one-on-one Skype or in-person sessions. Along with seniors, she extends her services to juniors, who can develop and refine their pieces a full year ahead of the application grind in senior year.
Since 2002, Rock House's system of musical instruction—which comprises DVDs, books, and Web-based lesson support—has helped aspiring rock stars to master strumming guitars, plucking basses, and tickling keyboards to a variety of different genres. Several renowned blues, rock, and metal artists have participated in the Rock House program, including members of Megadeth, The Gary Hoey Band, and Parliament-Funkadelic. In addition to their training materials, Rock House also certifies instructors at local music centers so they can conduct one-on-one private lessons tailored to enhancing students' strengths and neutralizing their weaknesses, such as the inability to destroy a guitar on the first smash.