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Queries and Replies

Replies to Query:


Many LSC's have introduced curricula that rely on kits which...

Reply 1:

We have established a Science Resource Center which circulates science kits, mostly FOSS K-6, to 64 sites. Currently we have 750 kits in circulation. Initial start up costs were supported in part by a grant from Dow Chemical and with technical assistance from the NSRC programs. Most kits were purchased over the last several years with district dollars, and replacement of the consumables is born by the sites as part of their instructional budgets. Our estimate of a site with 40 teachers, K-6, is between $1200 and 1300 dollars for the entire site, or about two to three dollars per student. It also depends on the numbers of modules used that need live animals or plants, etc. We have a complete catalog of replacement costs established and provide the option of sites purchasing the replacement kits to replenish kits they may have on site. Our center replenishes the kits we circulate and then return it into circulation for the next teacher. Our average circulation right now is about 90 kits a month. It is going to increase very soon because of monies made available to sites by the Department of Education for science (Calif.). If you would like a copy of our annual report to principals please let me know. I would be glad to share this information at the meeting if requested.


Jerry David Valadez, 1/15/1999

Reply 2:

Data provided by the NSRC suggest that the long term cost of kits is not substantially different from the costs of text books. This is a reasonable approximation; although the data would not stand up to a real economic analysis because they do not separate capital costs (ie the initial purchase price) from operational costs (the costs of on going refurbishment and replacement). I suspect that the latter costs are less than text book costs; and that the main challenge is to find help in funding the initial capital costs of the kits. The issue is political as well as economic If Kits are better (and they are), then you have to find a way to convince the districts to budget yearly expenses for kit use. Our experience is that this can be done if you give the administration sufficient time to build such costs into the budget.


Jack Collette, 1/17/1999

Reply 3:

Delaware has a Resource Center which has over 2000 kits and serves over 120 schools in the state. WEB page is which and has information about Resource Center operation and kit costs. Or call the Resource Center Manager, Glenda Wagener.


Jack Collette, 1/17/1999