The Science/Math Resource Center (SMRC) is designed to meet the science and math instructional needs of LBUSD teachers, and therefore students, by providing science and math materials for loan and purchase, as well as lesson resources and staff development.
The Science/Math Resource Center system of loaning materials and equipment to teachers is the most cost-effective response to meeting present science and math education needs in LBUSD. It provides for these materials and equipment to be shared among all K-12 schools in the district, thereby alleviating the need for expensive duplication of equipment throughout the school system.
The SMRC is a virtual marketplace for materials and ideas. Teachers check out models of hearts, teeth, flowers, leaves, cells, protozoa, volcanoes, and land forms; as well as globes of star patterns, the solar system and ocean feature models. They borrow preserved specimens of plant groups, and invertebrate and vertebrate animal groups. Collections of shells, rocks, seeds, fur, feathers, and even buttons and beans used for classification activities, are taken into classrooms. Equipment such as microscopes, Ohaus balances, pulleys, prisms, sound instruments, batteries, glassware and weather instruments are loaned to teachers for a three-week period. There are science-related videos available for checkout as well. There are also numerous math manipulatives for checkout, including geo-boards, unifix cubes, fraction squares and circles, base ten blocks, "Judy" clocks and plastic money.
In addition to the loaning of equipment and materials, a variety of consumable science materials may be purchased by teachers, with their principal's approval, for use by the school site. A "Science Consumable Materials Order Form" is used for item selection and to authorize transfer of the expense to a site account. Items available for purchase include live animals such as protozoan, worms, snails, crayfish, crickets, goldfish, guppies, salamanders, frogs, lizards, geckos, skinks, garter snakes, mice, small rats, hamsters and small rabbits, and their habitats. Also for purchase are land and aquatic plants, soil, seeds, chemicals; and groceries with science applications such as baking soda, vinegar, food coloring, spices, detergent, marshmallows, plastic baggies and cups. Opportunities are provided periodically for special orders such as vegetable plants, ants, butterflies larvae and praying mantis egg cases.