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Educational programs

The Writing Company has developed educational programs and curricula for adults and for students at every level, mostly in the areas of water, energy, and environmental awareness.  In addition, we have conducted countless teacher workshops on a range of topics, consulted to school districts and universities, and worked on federally funded curriculum development projects. 

Our educational and curriculum development goals are straightforward:
• To develop materials that are engaging and relevant to learners.
• To develop materials that are teacher friendly, low-cost, and easy to implement.
• To employ sound pedagogy.
• To provide tools that will help learners succeed.

A Sampling of our Educational Programs

Adventures in Solar Energy
Where It Is Used:  The state of Connecticut
Grade Level:  High School

Funded by the state’s Clean Energy Fund, “Adventures in Solar Energy” addresses solar motion, principles of solar thermal energy and solar photovoltaics, and societal issues that affect adoption and use of new technologies.

Where It Is Used:  The state of Connecticut      
Grade Level:  K-8

Funded by the state’s Energy Efficiency and managed by the public
utilities, eesmarts is a school outreach program designed
to increase student understanding of energy, our energy resources -
including clean and renewable resources such as wind, solar and hydro - and energy conservation.

Where It Is Used:  Southern California

This 6th-grade unit for students throughout Southern California
addresses a range of issues related to water, all in a newspaper format. 
It addresses reading, science, mathematics, phonics, art, geography,
and social studies in a humorous yet substantive way.

The Qualities of Water
Where It Is Used:  Southern California

This innovative inquiry-based middle school and high school curriculum supplement contains three sections.  The first engages students with the wonders of water; the second provides low-cost/no-cost constructivist activities related to eight water quality parameters, such as dissolved oxygen, pH, and microbiology; the third applies the earlier lessons to water supply and public health problems facing society.

Your World/Our World
Where It Is Used: National/International (Scotland)

The Writing Company serves as editor and writer for Your World,
a magazine that brings the complex world of biotechnology to young
people and lay adults.  Now in its tenth year, issues have focused on
genetic engineering, biomedicine, the environment, and agriculture. 
Each issue contains an article on the relevant science, several
application articles showing how the science is being put to use,
questions on the ethics of biotechnology, a profile of a professional
in the field, and a classroom activity.

Water Politics
Where It Is Used:  Southern California

This activities-based program consists of ten case situations, each of which addresses a key topic pertaining to Southern California's water.  Students first discuss and debate possible solutions to problems on their own, then they discover how the "experts" solved them.  It includes an innovative unit comparing the water resources, geography, and economies of southern California and that portion of the Middle East that includes southeastern Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Israel, and Palestine (the Tigris, Euphrates, and Jordan River watersheds).

Regional Water Quality Testing Program
Where It Is Used: Eastern Massachusetts, San Diego County, California, and Tijuana, Mexico

This hands-on, customized water quality testing program enables
students within specific water districts or geographical regions
to test raw water for such qualities as temperature, pH, dissolved
oxygen, biochemical oxygen demand, turbidity, total dissolved
solids, nitrates, and microorganisms.  It includes a suitcase
of testing equipment a comprehensive curriculum guide, and teacher
training workshops.

Where It Is Used:  San Diego County, California

An innovative "careers" program for middle school /high school.  It includes a CD-ROM, a video, descriptions of 55 jobs, and 12 interactive lessons.  The lessons are keyed to the state educational frameworks and engage students in the type of work individuals must do in their jobs.  Each lesson spotlights a job that must be performed by someone working in that career and frames a problem in the form of a lesson for students.  In the microbiologist lesson, for example, the students must examine laboratory water samples to determine if they contain excessive levels of E.coli bacteria.  In the GIS lesson, the students must manipulate GIS layers to build a map.

Water Ways
Where It Is Used:  Southern California

In fifth grade, California's students study U.S. history.  Water Ways is a supplement to the fifth grade curriculum that examines three historical periods using water as a thematic focus.  The first period is pre-Columbian North America; the second is colonization; and the third is the westward expansion and industrialization.

Water Wisdom
Where It Is Used: Eastern Massachusetts
Water Wisdom
is a multi-disciplinary high school water awareness/water conservation curriculum consisting of 24 interdisciplinary stand-alone activities.  Each activity can be completed in a single class period.  It won the1990 Camel Award from the American Water Works Association for being the nation’s best school-based water awareness program.

How Many Light Bulbs Does It Take To Change A People?
Where It Is Used: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire

This energy conservation awareness program was created as a collaborative effort between a large electric utility and an influential environmental organization.  It provides fifth through eighth graders with a fundamental understanding of the relationship between energy and the environment, as well energy efficiency and energy conservation.  The program includes software that enables the students to conduct an energy audit of their own homes.  It won the 1994 Massachusetts Governor's Energy Award for Education.

Math at Work and Skill Builder Series from Enterprise for Education
Where It Is Used:  National

The Math at Work series focuses on real professionals doing real jobs.  Each booklet profiles one professional doing math as a daily part of his or her job.  Students solve the problem as they work through the booklet.  Enterprise's Skill Builder series builds student awareness of issues related to electricity, electric safety, energy conservation, water conservation, and more.  (Available for sale from Enterprise for Education; contact The Writing Company for details.)

Risk:  Taking Chances, Making Choices
Where It Is Used:  National

While many in the general population fear relatively unlikely risks, our young
people often knowingly put themselves in positions of serious risk through
such activities as drinking and driving, smoking, and drug use. 
This workbook walks students through an actual risk assessment
to quantify the risks they take in their own lives and helps them make
more informed choices. 
(Available for sale from Enterprise for Education; contact The Writing Company for details.)

Hazardous Materials Video Series
Where It Is Used:  National

One of the nation's premier engineering firms expanded its training capabilities by creating and selling a series of videos pertaining to the proper handling and disposal of hazardous materials.  We worked with them to develop the collateral materials that accompany this 14-program series.

Please contact us for samples or more information

Contact Us

Main Office
46 Springfield Street
Watertown, MA 02472

617 924-7122