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Merck: Materials Support

The four districts in the Partnership with the Merck Institute for Science Education have varied in their strategies for acquiring, maintaining, and otherwise managing instructional materials.

The smallest district (with 1,700 students in three schools -- two elementary and one middle school) distributes modules to classrooms and laboratories where some units are taught by science specialists. This method, one of the few alternatives available to very small school districts, is not recommended for larger school districts, because it is less likely to lead to a close integration of science learning with other areas than one in which all teachers teach science.

Two of the other three districts chose to rotate modules across schools, scheduling materials so that teachers in one grade could plan together how they would use the modules. These districts have established and maintain their own science materials supply center.

The fourth district refurbishes kits from a central location, but provides each school building with its own modules to circulate among classrooms.

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