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After School Club FAQ

Mad Science takes all the hassle and frustration out of running an after-school program because we do all the work for you!

The following provides you with additional information as to how a Mad Science after-school program works:

  • Registration Materials: All registration forms are provided. They are customized for your program, delivered to your school and bundled for each teacher’s classroom.
  • Payment Processing: Mad Science can collect all funds through check, credit card, or on-line registration.
  • Age/Grade Level: Mad Science offers instruction in an age and grade appropriate manner using a variety of teaching methods to ensure each participant benefits from the instruction. Therefore, students in kindergarten through to grade 5 can participate in Mad Science after-school programs.
  • Instructors: We recruit individuals who have experience in classrooms or of working with groups of elementary-aged children. It is mandatory for all our instructors to pass a series of background checks before they are appointed.
  • Supplies: Mad Science provides all the equipment and materials required to run the after-school program. Our certified instructors arrive in Mad Science lab coats at least 10 minutes before the class begins, to set-up their equipment. At the end of the class, the Mad Scientist makes sure the room is neat and tidy.
  • Take-Home Materials: During each class, students make and take home a science project related to the topic covered in that class. Along with this take-home project, parents will receive an email that describes what they learned during class along with additional activities to extend their science fun and learning at home!
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What is Mad Science?

We are the world’s leader in fun science for children. Founded in Montreal, Canada in 1985, Mad Science has grown to over 200 locations in 26 countries. Our unique brand of hands-on science gives children a clearer understanding of how science affects the world around them. Students get excited about science through conducting fun experiments and watching captivating demonstrations. Mad Science of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill has been serving the Triangle area for over 12 years.

Is this a stand-alone after-school program?

Our programs can fit in with existing enrichment programs or stand alone. We can adapt to most situations.

Who can participate?

Mad Science instruction has been developed specifically for kindergarten through 5th grade students. We use a variety of instruction methods to ensure that all students benefit from the experience. Where possible, we will group students by grade level (e.g. K-2: 3-5) when enrollments and instructor availability support the formation of multiple classes.

What topics are offered?

Rockets, lasers, slime, bubbling potions and chemical reactions are just a few of the class topics. Mad Science offers in our after-school programs. We currently have 11 different 4-week sessions (44 unique classes) and will be adding more. Our offerings are alternated to keep the topics fresh for returning students and those new to Mad Science.

How long are the programs?

Our standard program is held immediately after school for 1.5 hour and typically lasts for 4 or 8 weeks. For year round schools, classes are offered for two tracks at a time, with a duplicated session immediately following for the remaining two tracks. Because of the flexibility of our programming, Mad Science can accommodate program requests of 4 to 16 weeks. We will be happy to discuss any atypical scheduling needs.

Who are your instructors?

Mad Science recruits former teachers and current college students majoring in education with previous classroom experience or have worked with groups of elementary aged children in other settings. Our instructors are required to complete extensive training and receive classroom certification. All Mad Science instructors must pass a series of state and national criminal background checks.

What is the cost?

The typical cost for a standard 4-week session is $65 per student ($69 for Wake County schools), all-inclusive for most schools. Standard 8-week sessions are $119 per student ($129 for Wake County Schools).  There is never a registration fee, deposit or cancellation fee associated with our programs. There is no cost to anyone sponsoring a Mad Science after-school Science Club. In some instances, the sponsoring organization will add administrative costs to our fees.

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How much of our time is required to administer the program?

If you choose the turn-key approach, the client coordinator will only invest about 2 hours over a 4 week period for the first series. The amount of time involved usually decreases for subsequent offerings. Most of your involvement is upfront by providing details necessary to set up the program and to help coordinate with the school. Mad Science will take care of everything else!

How much lead time is necessary to set up a Science Club?

The more lead time you give us the better. This increases your choice of dates and times. In some instances, we may be able to launch a program in less than 4 weeks.
Our Typical Schedule:
- 4 weeks - Finalize details of the Science Club
- 3 weeks - Conduct free, all-school 30 minute assembly - Display announcement materials - Send registration materials home with students
- 1 week - End registration and process enrollments - Issue student confirmations and class rosters CLASS BEGINS!

When should we start our Science Club?

Most organizations start their Science Club during the first to fourth week after school starts and offer 3 series during the school year. Mad Science can help determine the best dates for year round schools to accommodate for all tracks. Presenting Science Clubs with greater frequency increases the opportunity to match different student schedules and can accommodate students unable to get into any given series.

When should we schedule classes?

Mad Science has the flexibility to conduct classes at your location on any day of the week or multiple days of the week. A great way to allow more student participation is to consider offering Mad Science classes on two consecutive days during the week (e.g. Tuesday-Wednesday) or another combination that includes an odd and even day (e.g. Monday and Thursday). Adjusting the days each time a series is presented allows for students on different schedules to participate. The popularity of some days may limit your options so call well in advance to check availability. 

What if our schedule does not correspond with typical start dates?

Mad Science after-school Science Clubs can start at any time during the school year. You do not have to offer a Mad Science class during the standard periods. Combinations of 4-week, 6-week and 8-week series (or other durations) can be offered during the school year.

How can we predict enrollment?

We have found that student enrollment may exceed 10% of the student body and should be planned for. The level of participation is affected by many factors including day of week the Science Club is scheduled, distribution of flyers, exposure to our stage show, season of year, parent resources, etc.

How is registration handled?

There are three ways to handle registration:
Registration and payments are submitted directly to Mad Science. This turn-key approach is the easiest and most efficient for your organization and for parents.
Registration and payments are submitted to your organization. Mad Science receives the bundled material from your organization and processes the paperwork and payments.
Your organization collects and processes all of the paperwork and payments. Also, you will need to provide Mad Science with participant information and class rosters on forms that we supply. Your organization pays Mad Science within one week after the first class based on the number of registered participants.

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Do you have a minimum and maximum class size?

Our classes require a minimum enrollment of 10 paid students. Class size will be limited to 20 or less, given the interactive and hands-on nature of our instruction. We may be able to offer multiple classes if additional instructors are available. A second class will be created when the 30th registration is received, allowing for the creation of 2 classes of 15, pending instructor availability. A program may be conducted even if the class minimum is not met, at the discretion of Mad Science.

When is payment due?

From parents: Payment is due one week after registration. Mad Science accepts checks by mail and online credit card payments. From your organization: If you choose to process registrations and payments, Mad Science will invoice you for the number of participating students after the first class. Payment is due one week following receipt of the invoice.

What is your refund policy?

A full refund will be made to parents who withdraw their child prior to the second week of the program and inform Mad Science in writing. This approach allows students to experience our program the first week and in the rare case they are not enjoying it, receive a full refund. No refunds are given for withdrawal after the second week of a series however the student may have an opportunity to participate in a future Mad Science program on a prorated basis.

What is your inclement weather and class cancellation policy?

Mad Science will follow the school closure policies for inclement weather and will reschedule a class immediately following the conclusion of the last session. In some instances, Mad Science will need to schedule a double session in order to ensure all tracks in the class will be able to attend. This also applies in the rare case that Mad Science is unable to conduct a class. Any cancellations due to scheduling errors by the sponsoring organization and any other events beyond our control will be arranged at the discretion of Mad Science.

What does Mad Science need from our organization?

Mad Science will need someone from your organization to provide us with details and help with any coordination. When possible, we recommend reserving classrooms used for grades 3 to 5, with adequate chairs and work surfaces. The instructor will need a table for their equipment, access to electricity and water, and the ability to darken the room. Children should not be dismissed to Mad Science until the final bell unless your organization can provide supervision. The Mad Scientist will arrive at the final bell to set up and supervise students. Generally, Kindergarten teachers will escort Kindergartners to the Mad Science classroom, please let us know if this is not an option. This 10—15 minute period will be used for a bathroom and snack break.

What does Mad Science expect of students and parents?

Mad Science strives to provide fun and safe science activities for all children participating in our classes. We follow school policies on student behavior and stress their importance in every class. Our instructors use different approaches to manage students and a parent is only contacted for help if the child consistently distracts other students—despite our best efforts. We ask parents to assess their child’s ability to handle an extended school day before registering. Parents are encouraged to ask their children about their experience with the program and provide Mad Science with feedback. Parents can support the learning and fun at home by engaging their child in conversation using the reference information we provide. Parents may observe a class and participate when appropriate. All parents and guardians are required to be registered with Mad Science before being allowed to pick up a child. Finally, we ask that children be picked up promptly at dismissal time.

Satisfaction is guaranteed!

The Mad Science guarantee is simple: If you are not satisfied with the Mad Science experience, we will do what it takes to make it right.

Starting a Mad Science after-school science program is easy…just click here

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