Our Story

Creating "Aha!" moments with hands-on learning


There's a moment that teachers live for. It's the moment when a student's eyes light up as he or she finally solves a tough problem. It's an "aha!" moment, and it wouldn't be possible without creativity, preparation, and a passion for teaching.

At ETA hand2mind, we live for that moment, too. In fact, we have been helping teachers create these moments for more than 40 years. We know that hands-on learning is the key to creating a million moments like that every day, in every classroom across the country.

Hands-On Learning Works

Students learn better when their hands and minds work together. Study after study has proven the power of hands-on learning. But more importantly, countless students have proven it, too. Thousands of high-achieving students in classrooms across the country have been taught using our hands-on resources. These students go on to become productive citizens…solving problems, thinking critically, and intelligently participating in society.

Hands-On Learning is Inherent Learning

Hands-on learning isn’t newin fact, it’s the way we learn from the time we are born. By moving and manipulating the world around us, we make sense of our environment and how things work. When students engage in hands-on learning, they:

  • Achieve at higher levels than those who are not taught with manipulatives
  • Develop critical problem solving and strategic thinking skills to use for a lifetime
  • Learn the value of persistence as they work toward greater comprehension and conceptual understanding

The Triple Play of Student Engagement

There are many ways to teach a subject, but few guarantee student engagement the way hands-on learning does. Teaching with a hands-on approach provides the antidote to boredom and moves students through three pivotal stages of learning:

  1. Concrete (a concept is introduced with manipulatives; students explore the concept using manipulatives in purposeful activity)
  2. Representational (a concept is represented using pictures to stand for the concrete manipulatives of the previous stage; students demonstrate visualization and communication of the concept at a pictorial level)
  3. Abstract (using mathematics as an example, symbols are used to express the concept; students demonstrate understanding of the concept using the language of mathematics)

Manipulatives tap into students' natural curiosity. From math to science to literacy, lessons come to life in three dimensions, sparking an interactive learning process. Using hands-on learning resources, students take ownership of their education like never before.

Hands-On Solutions for a Bright Future

For more than 40 years, ETA hand2mind has been at the forefront of hands-on learning. And we're just warming up. Our development team collectively has 31 teaching credentials and 24 advanced degrees. We know the challenges that students and teachers face. Every solution we create is designed to help students unlock greater understanding, from their first day in preschool to their high school graduation and beyond.

We’re proud of where we've been and we’re excited about where we’re going. Our greatest honor comes from the students and teachers who tell us about their "aha" moments. They are our inspiration. They fuel our passion to give every student a chance to learn the hands-on way.

Leadership Meet the ETA hand2mind leadership team.
Partnerships Working together to change education
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This We Believe