Silverback Academic Media is a team of remarkable, passionate, and curious teachers who have successfully established themselves as the pre-eminent science workbook producers in New Zealand. All the resources they create are new from the ground up, based on face-to-face relationships with teachers and developed in response to their comments, ideas and suggestions. Their aim to produce dynamic, exciting and engaging science workbooks that exceed the needs of teachers and learners means continuous dialogue with the real context of classrooms. A staunchly New Zealand company, Silverback Academic Media uses environmentally sustainable business practices to keep their carbon footprint small.
The sciPAD series revolutionises what teachers and students think a science workbook should be. The series offers comprehensive, exciting, engaging workbooks for science students who come to the laboratory with a range of interests, backgrounds and learning styles. All topics covered provide a complete and in-depth span of the New Zealand Science curriculum without being loaded with superfluous information outside the scope of the given unit. Each sciPAD workbook includes a range of investigations, stimulus material, literacy tasks and activities to engage and challenge students.
The sciPAD series covers all levels in the secondary school curriculum, from junior science to senior Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. Every topic a student is expected to know is summarised, helpful hints are included, and key concepts are reinforced. Worked examples guide and encourage students, enabling teachers to teach low-ability and high-achieving students while giving every student the opportunity to progress. Questions are given in the format of the national examinations, and provided with ‘walk-throughs’ to guide students to structure extended answers. Hints are designed to get students moving towards the top of the marking system. Each unit ends with two pages of review activities to consolidate key terms and concepts, and each chapter ends with a full exam for reinforcement, practice and preparation.
The sciPAD workbooks contain learning outcomes and key word lists clearly linked to the syllabus, which give students and teachers confidence that they have the correct content and materials. Content is carefully geared to the appropriate reading level, and tasks are designed to explore abilities at a range of levels. The workbooks provide comprehensive notes and activities designed to develop understanding in a supportive manner, while stand alone exercises can be set as homework to reinforce and consolidate class work.
Each sciPAD resource supports teachers with clear diagrams, concise notes and relevant contexts that enhance and reinforce student learning. Downloadable digital versions and answers are provided to use on smart boards or through data projectors. Silverback Academic Media’s answers website contains all answers for free in both interactive PDFs and printable PDF form. Students can access the answers web-app by scanning the QR code found in the back of their sciPADs, and technicians notes for various sciPADs are also made available for free online.
“We use Scipads for all year levels, and as the Teacher In Charge of Chemistry I use them with my senior chemistry classes. Junior Scipads are clear, give good information which is accessible to all learners, and have a mix of engaging activities which are fun to teach and learn with. The senior Scipad books are similarly useful, and also have clearly scaffolded links to the expectations of each achievement standard. I also value that students can use Scipads outside of class to become more independent learners. The makers of Scipad are in touch with Science pedagogy and produce the best quality product on the market.” – Bryar Lovell-Gibson