Friday, June 27, 2014

Go Science DVD's (States of Matter, Water, Engineering, Design, Flight)

A couple of years ago I reviewed two DVD's from Library and Educational Services' "Go Science Series 1." Littlest has enjoyed watching them, and was very excited to be able to watch some more Go Science Experiments this year. The TOS Review Crew was able to choose 2 Go Science DVDs  from the 7 DVDs in Series 2. We chose to review Volume 5 and Volume 7, as they seemed to have topics that would engage my youngest.

  • Volume 1: Sound, Gravity, Space
  • Volume 2: Life Science, Weather
  • Volume 3: Air
  • Volume 4: Motion, Friction, Electricity, Light
  • Volume 5: States of Matter, Water
  • Volume 6: Chemistry
  • Volume 7: Engineering, Design, Flight
Ben Roy teaches Science at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, but he also engages younger students with science for Bible Clubs, and Vacation Bible School. His science lessons always include the catchphrase "Every Time we learn something about Science, we learn something about our Creator God!" and he often includes a good object lesson, which I appreciate when looking for material when I am asked to fill in for Council Time at AWANA or Sunday School.

Here is an example of Bob Roy's video lesson style: 

Volume 5 included all of the following experiments~ Most could be easily duplicated at home, while others required materials that wouldn't be so easily obtained (The Ice Block Melt comes to mind), or are *not* recommended for home use. My commentaries on the individual experiments will mostly be my "pros" ~ I will address a couple of "cons" at the end. 

  • States of Matter:
      • Ice Cream ~  (This is always a fun experiment, and yummy, too!)
      • Oobleck ~  (*I* like this experiment, but my kids are "Texture challenged" and don't appreciate *goo*) 
      • Density Column ~  (Always a good lesson)
      • Ice Block Melt ~  (This was a cool lesson, with an unexpected outcome!) 
      • Run Through Corn Starch and Water ~  (Another "gooey" experiment~ need lots of corn starch for this one, but it would be fun for a group lesson)
      • Pitcher of Cold Water Put in Hot Water
      • Putting Ice in Water Float or Sink~ (Great point in this lesson)
      • Making Butter ~ (This was the first experiment that my son asked to duplicate at home... it hasn't happened yet, but it will!) 
  • Water:
      • Traveling Water ~ (Tricky experiment, good lesson)
      • Antimagnetic Water ~ (Fascinating experiment) 
      • Pouring Water ~ (Simple experiment with a practical point)
      • Burning Money ~ (Very exciting, but don't try it at home!) 

  • Engineering/Design: All of these experiments were fun to watch~ more intriguing for the slightly older crowd in the age range.
      • How Much Will it Hold(Don't judge by what you see!) 
      • Leaning Tower of Lyra ~  (A classic physics experiment) 
      • Nail Balance (  :) Learn to amaze your friends!) 
      • Trebuchet ~  (Fun to watch this large scale Trebuchet)
      • Centrifuge ~ (Unfortunately, our hot days, which have been few and far between this June, didn't coincide with a time to try this one out, but when they do, we may add our own video to this review~ :) )
      • Walking on Eggs ~ (Not planning to duplicate this experiment, but it was fun to watch)
      • Bed of Nails-Small ~ (Good object lesson here...) 
  • Flight:
      • Rocket Balloons ~ (Learned something we didn't know!) 
      • Vinegar Rocket ~ (Another great object lesson, but do this experiment outside!)
      • Toilet Paper on Paint Roller ~ (*This* is my answer to which way the TP should go on the roll... not really addressed in the experiment, but it relates a little) 
      • Film Canister Rocket ~ (While not always necessary, safety goggles are definitely a good idea for this particular experiment~ which should take place out doors!) 

Leaning Tower of Lyra ~ Center of Gravity
Side note: the recommended ages for these videos are 4-12. I would probably put it closer to the 4-9 age range, as Mr. Roy is a little "over the top" enthusiastic at times, which is great for the little ones, but not as much for the older ones. 

I mentioned that there are a few cons, slightly nit-picky, but depending on your family, they might be good to know. 
  1. Mr. Roy uses the words "interesting" and "cool" enough that they lose their punch ("Interesting" regularly shows up 3-8 times in the average five minute clip).  I understand that he is speaking to a young audience, so he can't use obscure synonyms, but he might want to work on expanding his vocabulary just a little bit more to make things a little more... fascinating, thought-provoking, clever, ingenious, inventive, amazing ... As the older sibling/parent watching these episodes, the lack of variety in vocabulary became a little wearying... 
  2. Sometimes there was a bit of a stretch between the relation of the experiment to the lesson, but I can live with that. 
All things considered the Go Science Videos are appropriate for their intended audience, and my youngest enjoys them. Indeed, he has turned the title into a chant, similar to those heard at his brother's baseball games... "Go, Science! Go, Science! Go, Science!" 
Again, I need to remember some of these object lesson/experiments for potential use at AWANA if/when I am asked to fill in for council time. :)

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 
  • Company: Library and Educational Services
  • Product: Go Science DVDs Volume 5: States of Matter, Water, and Volume 7: Engineering, Design, Flight
  • Ages: 4-12 (Publisher recommended... My personal recommendation is 4-9)
  • Price: $8.97 
  • Note: You must sign up for an account with Library and Educational Services in order to purchase from them, but if you do, I expect you will be pleased~ I have often found some great nuggets for purchase here. 
Please click the banner below to visit the TOS Review Crew and see what others had to say. As always, I hope that this review was useful to you as you choose where best to spend your homeschool budget.

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