Education

The RIDER Institute is committed to helping science education at all levels, including giving presentations and developing innovative curriculum materials for a wide range of topics. Please contact us if you are interested in scheduling a paid presentation or in inquiring about other educational services we offer.

Dr. Rider has over 30 years of experience teaching and running science education programs, including:

Conducting classroom presentations, auditorium lectures, and hands-on lab activities for grade levels K through 12. Dr. Rider has visited over 100 schools and can be booked for individual presentations or entire courses.

Developing curriculum materials, running teacher workshops, and training presenters in subjects including biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, engineering, math, and archaeology. Curriculum materials developed by Dr. Rider have been used by Science News, the Broadcom MASTERS national science fair, MIT, the National Science & Technology Medal Foundation, Science Club for Girls, and other organizations.

Creating and running the MIT Science on Saturday program 2006-2018. Science on Saturday hosted up to 5,000 students and parents per year with on-stage demonstrations and hands-on activity tables on topics ranging from underwater robotics to neuroscience. Dr. Rider can provide single shows or a series of events for other organizations that are interested in similar programs.

Judging science competitions, including the Broadcom MASTERS national middle school science fair, high school International Science and Engineering Fair, Lemelson InvenTeams national high school competition, Massachusetts state middle school and high school science fairs, and Massachusetts Outstanding Biology Teacher Award. Dr. Rider is available to help judge, advise, or run other science competitions.

Developing and presenting university courses and adult community education courses on topics in a wide range of scientific fields, as well as on the broader societal implications of scientific discoveries and inventions. Dr. Rider can be booked for individual presentations or entire courses.

Summarizing university-level science and engineering courses in readable overviews of 100 pages or less.

Advising and mentoring students who are interested in conducting science fair projects. Dr. Rider can offer advice on everything from project ideas through experiments to display boards for students who would like to aim for awards in state and national science fair competitions.

Tutoring and advising young students who are several years more advanced than their regular school classes and would like to learn much more challenging material in biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, engineering, math, or other fields.

Some feedback from parents of students in our educational programs:

We’ve attended most of the presentations over the past year or so and enjoy it every time. Great program. Thanks so much for the effort and time that goes into each session.

Ryan

We attended the Science on Saturday… and it was fabulous! Son Justin is 10 and was thoroughly engrossed with the presentations and the hands-on time afterwards.

Ramona

Absolutely LOVE this program. We have been to two sessions and plan to go to as many as we can… Honestly I love the series myself. As an adult it is such a nice way to spend the weekend learning about amazing things that are the positives of mankind!

Parul

Just wanted to let you know that this was the highlight of our weekend — THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!

Gina

It was a great experience to attend the Science on Saturday presentation and hands-on activities with my ten- and six-year-olds. Thanks a lot and looking forward to more such initiatives!

Ranjith

We went to the program on Saturday. It was my kids’ first time, and they loved it. Thank you for having the program.

Rose

Todd, thank YOU for organizing this wonderful event! Both the kids and parents were having a lot of fun, and I was very happy with the amount of interest in the superconductor demo. I can’t wait to do more like this!

Sasha

Another great presentation on Saturday… As the teacher in the group, I’m always looking for ideas I can steal and bring back to my classes; this time it was the ink drop in glycerin. The kids got the biggest kick from the Van de Graff generator and pictures they took of each other’s hair standing up.

Doug

I would like to thank you and the sponsors for the lively, interesting Science on Saturday shows that you present. My daughter is 12 years old and she loves science. We’ve been coming to SOS since last year… They bring science to life!  There’s nothing like watching someone using a mallet to smash a watermelon frozen with liquid nitrogen to get an audience’s attention… Thank you for showing kids these possibilities in such a fun and accessible manner.

Elaine

Some feedback from students:

Dr. Rider gives the best lectures and runs the best labs which I credit with laying the groundwork for my current success in organic chemistry.  He really helped me develop and deepen my love of science, which has led me into a STEM major.

Josh

Dr. Rider’s articulate teaching and engaging classes—infused with a healthy dose of pop culture—made science truly enjoyable. His lectures and hands-on laboratories gave me a foundation in a wide variety of scientific disciplines that I still employ to this day.

Dante

I loved Dr. Rider’s biology class; it was hands-on and eye-opening! I’m now pursuing biotechnology because of it and its impacts. I can’t recommend his courses enough!

Dylan

I have taken a few of Dr. Rider’s classes and they never failed to be exciting and very informative, while maintaining a friendly atmosphere. He would always bring interesting things to class, and there was a strong focus on active, hands-on learning. We even got to play with Geiger counters one day!

Oliver

Dr. Rider was a very positive, helpful, and funny teacher. He was very nice, and more than willing to answer questions or have conversations with you after class if your curiosity still wasn’t sated. His teaching has done wonders for me, and continues to give me opportunities and skills I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

Karin

Examples of K-12 science curriculum materials

Science Presents
Science Presents
Sumerian
Mini Science Kit
Mini Science Kit
Fossils
Fossils
Minerals & Rocks
Optics
Optics
DNA-RNA-Protein
DNA-RNA-Protein

Examples of university-level science curriculum materials

0. Introduction

1. Applied Mathematics

Physics:

2. Classical Mechanics 
3. Electromagnetism & Acoustics 
4. Nonrelativistic Quantum Physics 
5. Statistical Physics 
6. Special & General Relativity 
7. Relativistic Quantum Physics

Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering:

8. Mechanics of Materials
9. Fluid Mechanics & Aerodynamics
10. Thermodynamics & Propulsion
11. Heat Transfer

Nuclear Engineering:

12. Nuclear Physics
13. Fission Power
14. Plasma Physics & Fusion

Electrical Engineering:

15. Analog & Digital Circuits 
16. Semiconductor Devices 
17. Solid State Physics 
18. Optics & Quantum Electronics

Chemistry:

19. Inorganic Chemistry
20. Organic Chemistry
21. Materials Science

Earth Science:

22. Geology
23. Oceanography
24. Meteorology

Biology:

25. Cell Biology
26. Biochemistry
27. Molecular Biology & Genetics
28. Microbiology
29. Zoology
30. Botany

Medicine:

31. Cardiopulmonary & Renal Physiology 
32. Gastrointestinal Physiology 
33. Neuroscience & Sensory-Motor Systems 
34. Immunology 
35. Reproductive & Developmental Physiology 
36. Miscellaneous Tissues

Please consider making a financial donation to the RIDER Institute to support our work, and please help spread the word about our programs.

Please contact us if you are interested in scheduling a paid presentation or in inquiring about other research or educational services we offer.