Thursday, May 17, 2012

Go Science! The Object of Science

 I've been a member of Library and Educational Services for years, and appreciate the prices they offer on so many different educational materials (Just a note, in order to purchase from Library and Educational Services you need to create a wholesale account as a homeschooler, but there is no obligation to purchase, you just have the opportunity to save!).  The number of products offered is rather large, and portions of it change regularly, so it isn't surprising that my next review item was one I hadn't seen before.
As a member of the TOS Review Crew, I was offered my choice of 2 DVDs from the  Go Science DVD series, distributed by Library and Educational Services.

The titles in this series are:
Vol 1: Motion and the Laws of Gravity
Vol 2: Simple Machines, Sound, Weather
Vol 3: Magnetism, Electricity, Engineering, and Design
Vol 4: Chemistry, States of Matter, Life Sciences
Vol 5: Air, Flight
Vol 6: Water, Space, Solar System

Because we've reviewed Chemistry and Physics items this year, I thought that Vol 2 (Simple Machines) and Vol 4 (Chemistry) would be good choices to reinforce some of our learning.

Ben Roy, who teaches science methods at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga is an energetic scientist who engages the younger ages with dramatic demonstrations of scientific properties.

I particularly appreciate his key "Catch Phrase":
"Every Time we learn something about Science, we learn something about our Creator God!"

Ben's background in science enables him to show some simple as well as some rather exciting (Don't-do-this-at-home) experiments that each serve as an object lesson for a spiritual application. This is a very cool idea. A good object lesson will endure in a child's memory for a very long time.

My initial expectation was that these videos would demonstrate and explain scientific principles from an academic standpoint. That particular expectation was not entirely met. The format that has been chosen for these videos (About 3-4 minutes for each episode), does not leave time to fully explain the how or the why of the experiments, but does provide enough time to create some interest in the topic which can be captured for further exploration. There is also a certain "Wow" factor for the younger set in these videos.

Here's a sample video for you to check out:

Demonstrations on the Chemistry/States of Matter/Life Sciences DVD(With our quick thoughts):
  • Chemical luminescence (nice "Wow" factor~ but don't know "how" it was done)
  • Exploding Bottle (Very cool.... my Littlest's favorite)
  • Exploding Balloons (Also impressive)
  • Flash Paper (pretty exciting)
  • pH (great visual. We did something similar in our general science class last year)
  • Root Beer Float (This one is a fun party trick... ;))
  • Liquid Nitrogen (This one is definitely not a home trick....)
  • Single Cell (life science discussion about ostriches/single cells {eggs})
  • Optical Illusion (Obviously  talks about senses~ another good object lesson that can be replicated at church)
  • Lycopodium Powder (I thought this one was cool, and good application as well)
  • Camouflage (This one can be done at home with polymer crystals... great object lesson for AWANA or children's church!)
Demonstrations on the Simple Machines, Sound, and Weather DVD:
The demonstrations on this DVD had more explanation that the Chemistry DVD, so they met my initial expectation a little more. Most of these experiments could be fairly easily replicated, and a few of them would make good science fair demonstrations. Hurrah!
(I've added a few comments for some of the experiments here as well)
  • 1st Class Lever  (Each of the lever and the incline plane experiments could be done as object lessons fairly easily)
  • 2nd Class Lever
  • 3rd Class Lever
  • Incline Plane
  • Pulleys (Mechanical Advantage ~ can you guess the object in this lesson?)
  • Trebuchet ( great go-along for David and his sling)
  • Singing Glasses ( love this one!)
  • Singing Rods (impressive)
  • Sound Waves (Fun!)
  • Singing Pipes (this one is a little more dangerous~ but neat to watch!)
  • Making a Cloud (Requires dry ice~ cool)
  • Weather Balloon
  • Tornado Tube
  • Air Pressure
Nitty Gritty ~
Library and Educational Services Go Science DVDs
Recommended Ages: 5-11 (The back of the DVD says 6-14, but I think Library and Ed pegged the age just right!)
Price: $8.97 individually or $47.95 for set of all 6 DVDs

Be sure to visit the TOS Review Crew Blog and see what others had to say, particularly if you are interested in a specific title, as all 6 were reviewed. As always, I hope that this review was useful to you as you choose where to best spend your homeschool budget.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this/these item(s)/service for free as part of the TOS Crew Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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