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Compass Learning Encourages “Curiosity” With Expanded Middle School Science Offering For New Version of CompassLearning Odyssey®

Austin, TX – August 16, 2012 – Curiosity and science go hand-in-hand. Compass Learning encourages curiosity with the expansion of its Middle School Science curriculum with the latest release of CompassLearning Odyssey®. The updated science curriculum includes hundreds of new activities, quizzes, and tasks that empower teachers to engage students in key tenents of science and exploration.

“We’ve all been captivated by NASA’s most recent mission to Mars, and we know it wouldn’t be possible without science,” said Ann Henson, vice president, curriculum and instruction and customer service for Compass Learning. “Science is all about capturing the imagination and expanding possibilities. This latest expansion to our Middle School Science curriculum provides teachers with the ability to engage students in compelling content that can make learning science fun and entertaining while at the same time delivering academic results.”

Henson added, “As success like that of NASA inspires more students to explore Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) subjects, we believe our digital content can empower teachers to engage students through activities that meet the needs and expectations of students who are digital natives.”

The new version of CompassLearning Odyssey’s Middle School Science curriculum offers:

  • 45 new interactive Flash activities expanding on key topics, including Forces, Evolution, Ecology, Chemical Reactions and Human Interactions with the Environment;
  • 45 new quizzes;
  • 187 new Odyssey Writer, Odyssey Community and Authentic Tasks throughout the Middle School Science courses; and
  • New Authentic Tasks that engage students in possible STEM careers.

“With the expansion of Odyssey Writer, Odyssey Community and Authentic Tasks, we are providing opportunity for students to practice their scientific writing skills, including arguing from evidence to support their explanations,” said Adam Percival, manager, science at Compass Learning. “Students will also discuss scientific topics with peers and investigate concepts in greater depth through online games, videos and explorations. These activities create a richer student experience, provide more practice for students and allow teachers to assess student understanding at a deeper level. The goal is to prepare students for careers in science so that they can continue to make accomplishments like the Mars rover Curiosity possible.”

The Middle School Science offering is bolstered by other summer 2012 features, such as:

  • More flexibility to customize, control and add curriculum, content and authentic tasks for a teacher’s unique teaching situations; and
    • Innovative course and grade-management features that help teachers spend more time teaching by reducing administrative tasks;

“Our student-centric approach to providing curriculum and content empowers teachers to unlock every student’s potential for academic success and personal growth,” added Eric Loeffel, chief executive officer for CompassLearning. “The expansion of our Middle School Science program supports core science and STEM programs and provides advanced opportunities for kids to apply and enhance their understanding of science tenets, as well as explore careers in science and related fields to meet the demands of the 21st century.”

Added Percival, “When you look at the people behind the top science breakthroughs of 2011, they were engaged early in their lives by teachers or mentors who offered them the opportunity to explore their interests and allow their curiosity to take them in new directions.”

The top 10 Science Breakthroughs of 2011 as ranked by Science Magazine:

  • HIV treatment as prevention (breakthrough of the year)
  • Japan’s Hayabusa spacecraft
  • Ancient interbreeding
  • Photosystem II, a protein used in photosynthesis
  • Pristine gas, possibly from the Big Bang
  • Microbiome
  • Malaria vaccine
  • Exoplanets
  • Designer Zeolites
  • Senescent cells

For more information on CompassLearning Odyssey visit: www.compasslearning.com/odyssey

Watch the video interview about the new Middle School Science offering.

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About Compass Learning

Compass Learning provides K-12 educational software that empowers teachers to unlock every student’s potential to ensure academic success and personal growth. Our student-centered approach provides comprehensive solutions that address the needs of every student and student-type to create personalized learning and differentiation programs that reach, engage and inspire students to succeed. With our software, teachers and administrators can more efficiently and effectively manage student progress, freeing valuable time to focus on doing what educators do best – delivering academic results. Both of the company’s software solutions, CompassLearning Odyssey® and Renzulli Learning®, deliver academic rigor that is based on nearly 45 years of research into how students learn.  Aligned to state and Common Core Standards, Compass Learning’s solutions fully support classroom and district accountability. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, CompassLearning serves more than 7,500 schools across the United States.