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.
Believing that learning and behavioral disorders stem from improper communication between brain hemispheres, Brain Balance Centers offers a drug-free, multi-faceted program to boost brain function. Physical and cognitive exercises combine with easy-to-follow dietary changes to address social, academic and behavioral issues associated with ADHD, Asperger's, and other social and learning disorders without the use of medication. Now more than 50 Brain Balance Centers practice this Hemispheric Integration Therapy, with professional teams tailoring programs to help kids improve focus and behavior, academic performance, communication, and social skills.
SIGNING Basics' instructors help their students learn to speak without uttering a word. Through private lessons and group classes, they teach American Sign Language to students of all ages and backgrounds. Introductory lessons lead students through the basics of the sign-language alphabet and movements. Advanced classes show students how to carry conversations, enabling them to communicate effectively or correct baseball coaches' faulty ?charge the mound? gestures. Instructors also offer workshops that impart basic techniques for businesses and groups.
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Mad Science's beaker-wielding instructors use eye-popping demonstrations to instill academic yearning in scores of young pupils. In the first half of the Wiggly Worms and Animal Friends workshop, each musketeer gets her or his own personal worm to offer insight into the subterranean lifestyle. Workshops proceed by conducting high-pitched choruses of "The Worm Song." The second half of the session teaches the basic biology of various species through the use of puppets, pelts, and scale models whose pun-filled monikers incite cheap reptilian chuckles.
Brian Leaf has spent countless hours parsing through Family Guy, Twilight, The 40-Year Old Virgin, and myriad other pop-culture phenomena—not for his own amusement, but to pick out SAT and ACT vocabulary words lurking in the scripts, which he's compiled in six books. A seasoned test-prep instructor, Leaf has helped thousands of students surmount standardized tests through his books and workshops, which dole out insider advice for taking the entire tests as well as specific subjects such as math, reading, and dodgeball.
Students leave each session with a collection of McGraw-Hill guidebooks, tips on stress management and avoiding common avoidable mistakes, and strategies for each subject.