By Melissa Karsten / January 15, 2018

The Big Book of teacher resources

Do you have a stash of your favorite catalogs in a drawer, on a shelf, or on your desk somewhere? It might surprise you in today’s digital world, but many people do. Technology has brought us a long way – have you seen our new mobile-responsive website?! But theres something about flipping through catalog pages to get your shopping and exploration started! Thats why Pitsco continues to mail our catalogs and make them available digitally too.

Over the years, the size, products, and name of our main catalog has changed, but the passion to provide teachers with great resources hasn’t. You might remember catalog names such as Neat Stuff or Ideas & Solutions, but the one that has stuck is the Big Book, which started in 1995 when our biggest catalog ever was a whopping 468 pages and a yearlong project.


We continued to get orders from this 1995 catalog for the following 15 years. According to Pitsco CEO Harvey Dean, “It was a classic that teachers didn’t want to let go of and was continually used!”


Of course, Big Book has changed over the years. Our graphic artists reminisce about the days of using hot wax or delivering files on magneto optical discs for film output and then hand delivering the film to the out-of-town printer. Talk about labor-intensive and time-consuming!

Nowadays, the yearlong process of building the catalog has been cut down to around four months, which includes photography and all the other backend tasks that have to be completed to make the catalog happen. And the biggest time-saver of all – the final digital file can be uploaded online for the printer in about 45 minutes.

The Big Book has an amazing past. For instance, a little-known fact is that for several years, the now internationally award-winning photographer Nick Vedros of Kansas City was greatly involved in creating some stunning covers for the Big Book. Having the meetings at Nick’s studio with other Pitsco creatives to compose the ideas and shooting them are fond memories of Harvey’s.

Through the years, this all-around creativity has fueled Pitsco in its effort to continually offer industry-leading hands-on STEM education.

Also, think about how many products we use to fit on 400 pages. Wow! We’re talking about thousands. All this in an effort to provide resources for a wide range of STEM and classroom needs. We’re all about flexibility.


And our 2018 Big Book is available very soon! So, if you dont typically receive our print catalog, visit our website to request a copy be mailed to you or download your digital copy now!

TOPICS: Tags?, IN THE CLASSROOM, Giveaways, Makerspaces, STEM, Resources

Melissa Karsten

Written by Melissa Karsten

Anyone that knows me well knows I love to ask questions and get excited about learning. So, it’s been awesome throughout the last 13+ years with Pitsco to have so many opportunities to ask educators questions online and in their classrooms and learn from them. But, I have to say, my favorite part is witnessing the students’ “aha!” moments using the hands-on approach. Being a crafter – I’d love to be on "Flea Market Flip!" – I can relate. Now, if there were just a few more hours in the day for my digital projects, gardening, beekeeping, running, and what I call puppy time!