Central Rivers AEA is excited to announce the purchase of Mystery Science for all public and non-public K-5 schools.

FAQ’s

What is Mystery Science?

Is Mystery Science Aligned to the NGSS Performance Expectations?

How long will schools have access through Central Rivers AEA?

How will teachers gain access to Mystery Science?

How much instructional time is required?

What about materials?

Do teachers have to give up instructional units or lessons that align with NGSS they have already created or are currently using?

What about the “extras”, what are they and why might a teacher want to use them?

My teachers have been using a video with their students, everyone receives the same video from Mystery Doug? Who is he and how is he related to Mystery Science?

What professional development will teachers have available to support its use?

What is Mystery Science?

Mystery Science provides ready-made science mysteries for elementary, K-5, school students. Each lesson contains a central mystery, discussion questions, supplemental reading, and a hands-on activity. 

Is Mystery Science Aligned to the NGSS Performance Expectations?

99.9%! If all Mysteries are utilized, all but one (K-2-ETS1-1 in Kindergarten and 1st grade) of the NGSS standards for each grade will be met.   See the provided planning guides and the Central Rivers Alignment Guide for details. 

How long will schools have access through Central Rivers AEA?

Schools will have access to Mystery Science until June 30th, 2023.  At that point, we will re-evaluate to determine if the support from the AEA will continue.

How will teachers gain access to Mystery Science?

For those who already have a Mystery Science account (because you perhaps signed up for a free year trial or your school purchased it this year)- You should not need to do ANYTHING – Mystery Science should have already switched you over. You can check this by looking logging in and looking in the upper left – you should see a heart icon with the words “member of” and then your school building listed.

For those who have not created an account before:

You will need to create an account by clicking on this link:  https://mysteryscience.com/start?code=NBiNApHT and following the on-screen directions.  If you already have an account, you will not be able to create a new one but you will be able to reset your password if you have forgotten it.  We are suggesting you create your account soon so you have this resource available as you plan for next year.  

Who do I contact with questions?

Questions about your account and/or enrollment can be directed to Cari Teske cteske@centralriversaea.org 

How much instructional time is required?

Each grade varies and Mystery Science includes optional activities to extend the lesson.

Grade

Suggested Time

K

Mystery Science recommends teaching the mysteries within each unit in the order they are presented.
The units themselves can be taught in any order. The core Mystery (exploration & activity) are designed
to take 30-45 minutes per week, with 1 hour of Optional Extras per Mystery. The Read Along Mysteries
offer an opportunity to develop students’ literacy as they learn science

1st

Mystery Science recommends teaching the mysteries within each unit in the order they are presented.
The units themselves can be taught in any order. The core Mystery (exploration & activity) are designed
to take 30-45 minutes per week, with 1 hour of Optional Extras per Mystery. The Read Along Mysteries
offer an opportunity to develop students’ literacy as they learn science.

2nd

Mystery Science recommends teaching the mysteries within each unit in the order they are presented.
The units themselves can be taught in any order. The core Mystery (exploration & activity) are designed
to take an hour per week, with 2 hours of Optional Extras per Mystery.

3rd

Mystery Science recommends teaching the mysteries within each unit in the order they are presented.
The units themselves can be taught in any order. The core Mystery (exploration & activity) are designed
to take an hour per week, with 2 hours of Optional Extras per Mystery

4th

Mystery Science recommends teaching the mysteries within each unit in the order they are presented.
The units themselves can be taught in any order. The core Mystery (exploration & activity) are designed
to take an hour per week, with 2 hours of Optional Extras per Mystery. 

5th

Mystery Science recommends teaching the mysteries within each unit in the order they are presented.
The units themselves can be taught in any order. The core Mystery (exploration & activity) are designed
to take an hour per week, with 2 hours of Optional Extras per Mystery.

What about materials?

Each district is responsible for supplying the required physical materials.  Mystery Science has developed Mystery Packs, there is a limited number of packs available for the 2020-21 school year. Several grade levels sold out in 2019-20, so act now!  Reserve supply kits for your teachers.

If you don’t want to order the supply kits from Mystery Science- a master supply list can be found on Mystery Science’s Getting Started Page

Do teachers have to give up instructional units or lessons that align with NGSS they have already created or are currently using?

NO!  There are multiple ways to use Mystery Science, for example:

  1. Only use Mystery Science and address the Performance Expectations not addressed by Mystery Science by using other resources (see table above).
  2. Use some of the Mysteries in conjunction with what is currently being used to form a complete curriculum to address each of the Performance Expectations.  
  3. Use the Mysteries to extend or supplement already developed lessons or units as needed.

What about the “extras”, what are they and why might a teacher want to use them?

The optional extras can be used to extend a Mystery.  These extras may include an assessment, a literacy connection, additional videos, or activities.  

My teachers have been using a video with their students, everyone receives the same video from Mystery Doug? Who is he and how is he related to Mystery Science?

Mystery Doug is a spin-off of Mystery Science.  Mystery Doug is a weekly video series for elementary teachers based entirely on questions real students ask.   Each Mystery includes an ELA prompt for K-1st or 2nd-5th grade students.  These weekly videos can also be found under the mini-lessons tab on the homepage of Mystery Science.

Mystery Doug explores questions like…

  • Could a turtle live outside its shell? – Austin, 2nd Grade
  • Why do I get goosebumps? – Sarah, 3rd Grade
  • Could a fish breathe out of water? Jamal, 4th Grade

What professional development will teachers have available to support its use?

Districts have the option to request in-district support.  Contact Mandie Sanderman at asanderman@centralriversaea.org (regions 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11) or Kay Schmalen kschmalen@centralriversaea.org (regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 6).