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Biography

Light Up Education, LLC

Light Up Education LLC (LUE) is based out of Raleigh, NC and is a pioneer in the development of science and engineering curricula intended for elementary age children. Sam Dirani and Matthew Mendler founded Light Up Education in 2011 after collaboration with Hilburn Academy, an elementary school in the Wake County Public School System. Working closely with educators, they have developed educational content that has been successfully field-tested in the classroom.

LUE is seeking to promote scientific awareness and problem-solving abilities in children while ensuring that the material is presented in a fun and engaging manner. Their online program, Adventures in Science with Matt and Sam was originally created in 2009 and has since become an integral part of LUE. The program consists of three sections; a variety of live-action video adventures that introduce students to a loveable cast of characters on an enduring quest for knowledge, downloadable workbook pages that continue the adventures and online games that challenge students through friendly competition. The program currently supports a majority of first grade science curricula and STEM initiatives around the country and is being offered at no cost to all.


Cofounder Bio and Background

Matt Mendler is originally from Pennsylvania. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from NC State University, Raleigh, NC, in 2002. He has over ten years of professional experience in the pharmaceutical industry, and has demonstrated expertise in the development of educational content through digital editing.

Sam Dirani was raised in North Carolina and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences along with minors in Genetics and Technology Education from NC State University in 2001. He has over four years of professional science experience including work in the fields of genetics, biochemistry, and microbiology. Sam returned to school in 2005 to pursue a career in design. He received his Masters of Industrial Design from NC State University in 2008. and has since worked as a designer, teacher, and fabricator.

Matt and Sam first met in 2000 while enrolled in their respective undergraduate programs at NC State University. They share a passion for science and an innate curiosity regarding the nature of the universe. They also share an interest in film production.

Matt and Sam were inspired, at young ages, by educational programming of the day. Television shows like Sesame Street and 3-2-1 Contact, helped them develop a sense of wonder and curiosity about the surrounding world. They are very passionate about educational reform, informal education media, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs. In 2008, they combined their scholastic and professional experiences and focused their efforts on creating a company that would make a positive impact on the presentation of science and technology instructional material to elementary age children through entertainment.

They began with an eight month project to develop the instructional content and the technical skills they would need to create the program. By the end of the project, they had created new characters, learned the ins and outs of film production, editing, and puppetry. In 2009, the program Adventures in Science with Matt and Sam was born.

Adventures in Science with Matt and Sam is a multifaceted supplemental science program, which focuses on the teaching of science through entertainment. The primary objective of the program is to encourage future scientists and get kids excited about science now and for the rest of their lives by providing an engaging introduction to science at an early age. They hope this program will become a powerful teaching and learning tool available to teachers and educators everywhere.


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Mission Statement

MISSION: To increase scientific awareness and cognitive problem solving abilities in school age children, utilizing a variety of entertaining and engaging techniques that focus on developing the imagination and minds of young children while fostering excitement about science, learning, and asking questions for a life time.

Here at Light Up Education, we believe that once children gain a fundamental understanding of how the world works, they become empowered to open their minds and see the surrounding world in a different light. Todayís basic scientific understanding in the general US population is severely lacking. In such an environment, ignorance and complacency are the intellectual enemies of our children.

Children can get lost in television, the internet, and games at very early ages. We want to use these media outlets to encourage learning, to help them develop new ways of thinking about things, of seeing the world around them. Basically, we seek to educate as-well-as entertain, to empower children to ask questions about anything that piques their curiosity, to learn about science, and to teach them it's good to be inquisitive.

The main objective of LUE is to introduce science to children at an early age, to encourage the development of future scientists and to not only get kids excited about science now, but for the rest of their lives. We have developed Adventures in Science with Matt and Sam as a multifaceted supplemental science program, which focuses on the teaching of science through entertainment. We hope this program will become a powerful teaching and learning tool available to teachers and educators everywhere.

Starting with science, and a fundamental understanding of how the world works, we can all help save this world together. After all, no one is going to save us and the world from all our problems. We have to do it ourselves. Letís help light up education and brighten our childrenís future together.

--Sam and Matt


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FAQ

What is Adventures in Science?

Adventures in Science with Matt and Sam is a free, multifaceted, supplemental online educational program consisting of live-action video adventures, online games, as well as downloadable material. You can check out the program here.

How can I become a sponsor?

We have many options available for sponsorship. Click here to learn more about our sponsorship program.

How is Adventures in Science used in the classroom?

Adventures in Science videos can be played in the classroom to begin engaging the students in science discussions. Online Games complement the videos, as well as the specific curricula, and can be played on Smart Boards, iPads, or any traditional computer. The games allow students to play on teams and work together to find the answers. There are also printable materials for students to demonstrate their science understanding.

Is Adventures in Science available in other languages?

Unfortunately at this time we can only provide our programming in English. Once we receive sponsorship, we hope to be able to provide all our programming in multiple languages.

How did Matt and Sam get started?

Matt and Sam have always wanted to make a difference in this world and help in any way they can. A few years ago, they combined their love for science and passion for education which eventually lead to the founding of Light Up Education, LLC. You can read more on the Bio page here.

Do you put on live shows?

Adventures in Science Live! is currently in development. Any new updates can be found here.

How much does your program cost?

Our online program is completely free to all users, we just ask that you register by contacting us here.

How can I donate?

Thank you in advance for your help. You can easily and safely donate to Light Up Education through PayPal here.

Where does my donation go?

Your generous donation goes toward supporting our people, infrastructure, and helps us improve our website and keep it up and running. We will also use your donation to keep developing new educational content and materials.

Why are you doing this?

We want to change the way people view the world and especially to encourage curiosity and the love for science in children from an early age, to get children excited about the world around them, and to keep asking questions for a lifetime. You can learn more by visiting our media section below.


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Contact

Light Up Education LLC
Raleigh, NC
919-617-7836
mattandsam@lightupeducation.com


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Media

LUE Press Release (70kb pdf)

LUE Brochure (3mb pdf)

Adventures in Science Poster (1.5mb jpg)

Puppet Matt (1.5mb jpg)

Puppet Sam (1.7mb jpg)



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© Light Up Education 2012