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bronxpaddler 01-29-2019 08:46 AM

FOSS vs Lab Aids (SEPUP)
Does anyone have any experience with FOSS kits versus the SEPUP kits (published by Lab Aids)? There is a lot of feedback about FOSS on this site, but not as much from middle school teachers. Which do you like better and why? FOSS or Lab Aids? Many thanks.

Ima Teacher 01-30-2019 01:08 PM

I know our school has FOSS kits. I hear the science teachers mention them, but thatís all I know.

mrteacherguy 04-11-2019 06:47 PM

I was a science teacher at my school for four years, and at the sixth grade level we used both FOSS and SEPUP. Our Weather and Water unit and our Diversity of Life unit were both FOSS, and our Human Body and Energy unit were both SEPUP.

Both kits have their pros and cons.

On the plus side for FOSS, I like the short readings with the Think questions. Some of the labs/investigations can also be really good and provide some "wow!" moments with the students.
On the down side, the FOSS investigations also tend to be designed for class periods that are longer than what most middle schools have. Anything less than a full hour and many of the labs/investigations will feel a little rushed, especially if the students have to set up or put away any materials. I also found that a lot of the concepts that were covered or were supposed to be taught according to the curriculum were sometimes a little to advanced for the supposed age group.

On the plus side for SEPUP, the labs and investigations tend to be much simpler and more straightforward. They were much easier to implement and seemed better geared for the intended age group.
On the downside, the SEPUP books have almost no readings to support the labs. You'll have to find your own articles or books for the kids to do any real reading from.

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