Explore Science Through Play

About Science Wiz

The award winning ScienceWiz line got its start in 1995 when we released our first title ScienceWiz Electricity. Our line of science kits stemmed from Dr. Penny Norman's volunteer work teaching science in her children's elementary schools and her ScienceWiz after school and summer programs. With initial development supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Franklin Foundation, each of our kits is created with the goal of teaching fundamental scientific concepts to children through hands-on play.

From of our offices in Richmond, CA we work hard towards our goal of providing children a basic foundation in science. Each new title we release is focused on a distinct topic. With so many disciplines in science, our work may never be finished. Along the way, we hope to inspire young minds to love learning as much as we do.

About Us

About the Author

Penny Norman

Penny Norman, Ph.D. earned a doctoral degree in Biophysics from U.C. Berkeley.

She became involved with the development of primary grade science materials through volunteer work, which she began as her own children started school. During this process she became deeply concerned about the limited exposure of elementary age students to the physical sciences. Dr. Norman's concern has translated into a 15 year effort to test and revamp science materials for the primary grades. Her work with children developed into a product line initially under the auspices of grants from the National Science Foundation and the Franklin Foundation. Her published titles reflect Dr. Norman's extensive testing and involvement with children and teachers and her love and commitment to both.

The ScienceWiz Books and Kits created by Dr. Penny Norman have received awards from Scientific American, Good Morning America, Dr. Toy, National Parenting Magazine, American Specialty Toy Retail Association, Creative Child Magazine and Woman's Day Magazine, to name but a few. The ScienceWiz line has also been covered by NPR radio on Science Friday and received accolades from the Women's Society of the IEEE.

A story she has heard often from consumers describes how much 5 and 6 year old children cherish the Electricity Kit. They will keep it under their pillows and continue to play with it for weeks. Mothers says their children are so attached to the kit because the visual instructions allow them to do the activities on their own.

About the Editor

Ann Einstein

Ann Einstein has been an elementary education teacher in the Berkeley Unified School District for many years. She has been involved with the education of children for most of her adult career as a director of early childhood education programs, as a teacher and coordinator of gifted and talented programs, and most recently as an elementary education teacher.

She has been an editor of the ScienceWiz books since 1994 when she edited the ElectroWiz Electricity book.

Anne has the capacity to see the world through a child's eyes and has been invaluable in keeping each science kit clear from a child's perspective.

To quote an Einstein of a earlier generation:

"We never cease to stand like curious children before the great Mystery into which we were born."

About the Designers

Harry L. Nelson

Mathematics is recreation to Harry L. Nelson. In fact, in the 1970s he was the editor of the Journal of Recreation Mathematics for over 5 years, and as Emeritus Editor, is currently on the Editorial Board of that publication.

In 1978, with David Slowinski, he discovered the then largest known prime number. In 1980 Harry became associated with the Cray Blitz computer chess programming endeavor, with Robert Hyatt. This effort culminated in Cray Blitz winning a string of Computer Chess World Championships.

With degrees in mathematics from Harvard University and Kansas University he ventured to the west coast where he worked as a computer expert at the University of California's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for 30 years.

When not hiking or playing bridge, he devotes his time to the development of puzzles and games with his company Minimax Game, Inc. Minimax's is a "think tank" for games. Harry is leader of the Har-e-brain Corps whose members assist him in game development. There are currently 20 mechanical puzzles and/or games on the U.S. market for which he has made substantial contributions, including RUSH HOUR®. Cool Circuits TM is Harry's second game being published by ScienceWiz. Look for his other new ScienceWiz product, Pohaku TM .

Harry has four children and nine grandchildren. He and his wife, Claire, live in Livermore, California.

Hiroshi Yamamoto

Hiroshi Yamamoto is a charter member of the famous NOBrain Corps and is also a part of the Har-e-brain Corps. He is the originator of many puzzle concepts including STORMY SEAS ® and LUNAR LOCKOUT ®.

Hiroshi tutors junior high school students who are preparing for the national entrance examinations for high school in Japan. He also writes for a mathematics magazine which is distributed locally.

Presently, he is devoting himself to puzzles because he loves them. His goal is to "continue to design original things." Cool Circuits TM is one of his novel 3-dimensional puzzles and the first to be produced by ScienceWiz.

Hiroshi Yamamoto lives in Matto city in Japan, which is about one hour's flight northwest from Tokyo.

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