Thursday, March 15, 2018

NatureGlo's eScience MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle (Review)

When the opportunity to review NatureGlo's eScience offering of their MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle arose (shortly after my college Art Ed major Eldest was sending us YouTube videos on Fibonacci from her math class), I thought the timing was rather fortuitous. And since my Youngest enjoys watching a variety of videos, and Art, and Science, and Math... we looked forward the opportunity to explore the Math Connections with the Real World class from the Bundle.

I will say right off the top that these classes are geared towards Middle and High School aged students, so Youngest is a little over his head with these, but I decided it was worthwhile to let him go through the classes (to some degree at his own pace), and glean what information he could at his own level.

The timing of this review was also interesting to me because our local Science Museum currently has a Fibonacci and Golden Ratio exhibit that we were blessed to go visit with some friends. It was a fantastic reinforcement as my youngest was familiar with the concepts, from the first few lessons in the class we were using, and the hands-on activities there helped to cement some of the concepts of how connected Math and Art (and Science) truly are.
Museum of Science Mirror Maze
Some basic information:
The classes in this bundle are
  • Math Connections with the Real World 
    • Introduction and history of the Golden Ratio and Fibonacci Numbers
    • The Golden Number and Fibonacci in Art, Architecture and Nature
    • Fibonacci Numbers - Flower Petals, Seed Heads and More! 
    • History and Golden Ratio of the Great Pyramid of Egypt
    • Quasicrystals and the Golden Ratio
    • The Mathematics of Music
  • MathArt in Ancient Cultures
    • Ancient Babylonians and Plimpton 322
    • Ancient Greek Math and the Platonic Solids
    • Pythagoras and the Music of the Spheres
    • Ancient India's MathARt: Rangoli, Mandalas and The Story of 1-9 and 0
    • Zellige Moroccan Tiles and Other Tesselations
    • Maya MathArt
  • Mathematics in the Arts and Sciences (I) 
    • Renaissance Artist Piero della Francesco
    • Aboriginal Art
    • Celtic Math Art
    • Patterns in Nature I
    • Branching/Fractal Patterns in Nature and Technology
    • Fractals in Nature and Technology II
  • MathArt Patterns in Nature (Not yet uploaded) 
    • Patterns in Nature: Animal Coat Patterns
    • The Geometrics of the Universe
    • Patterns in Nature: The Hexagon
    • Logarithmic Beauty of the Chambered Nautilus Part I
    • Logarithmic Beauty of the Chambered Nautilus Part II
Gloria Brooks is the Owner/Instructor of NatureGlo eScience, and has been teaching since 1997. The online classes are her newest way to reach out to homeschoolers, and are offered as both live and self-paced classes (with some of them utilizing recordings of the live classes). 

As I mentioned above, we mainly walked through the Math Connections with the Real World class, but I took a look at Mathematics in Art and Science as well. Here is a quick run-down of how it looks to work through a class.

After logging in you are taken to a student dashboard. You click on the course that you want to take, and it opens to a page that looks something like this...

Off to the side each lesson can be opened and each section in the lesson shows up. The section are check-marked and lined out as they have been completed. Simply click on the
lesson you want to go to and a page will open up for that particular section of the lesson.

When the student has completed the activity, be sure to click the button that says "Mark Complete" (We forgot to do that for the first few activities... oops!), and then move on to the next part of the lesson.

When your student has completed all of the activities in an entire lesson they will receive an "achievement" graphic.

If you want to get a good feel for NatureGlo's eScience classes, you can visit the website and take advantage of the Free Fibonacci Numbers in Nature lapbook (part of the MathARt curriculum)

If you click on the  "Free Sample Class" Beluga Whale that shows up when you hover over the Class Catalog Tab you will find another sample of what a lesson might entail. Gloria Brooks talks about the Beluga Whale lesson, as well as shows some of how it is set up, with videos, and study guides. If you scroll further down the page you can access a three-lesson class which includes a sample from the MathArt Classesas well as some of the other classes offered :
  • MathArt – Fractals: Infinite Patterns of the Universe
  • Herpetology – Glass Frogs: Transparent Living Jewels (again)
  • Marine Biology – Deep Sea Fish: Gulper eel, Slender Snipe Eel, Barreleye, Oarfish
A note about the class we focused on. I was a little disappointed in the narrated slideshow videos, as they were strictly narrations of the slides. There was no extra information given, as I might have expected from a power point presentation. I was happy to notice when I checked out one of the other classes that the power point presentation was the spine, but that there was additional information that added interest to the slides beyond just reading what was on the page.

I will also say that most of the graphics (the majority of which are lovely and well done) and activities are available on the internet, however, what makes these classes useful is that Gloria Brooks has compiled all of the information for you in one place, and set it up them up in a logical and cohesive manner. The amount of time it would take a typical homeschooling parent to do something similar would be rather onerous.

If you're looking for a less traditional approach to middle/high-school science,  with an artsy or mathy (is that a word? it is now... ;) ) you may wish to visit NatureGlo's eScience web page, and also read some other Homeschool Review Crew opinions. I can say that this class has given my 10 year old a familiarity with the Fibonacci numbers, and the Golden Ratio, which is more than many kids who've graduated high school have, so I take that as a win.

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 
  • Company: NatureGlo's eScience
  • Product: MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle
  • Ages: Middle-High School are the target audience
  • Price: Bundle is currently $536.40 (which is 10% off of a one year subscription. The classes are also available individually for $149.00 each
You can visit NatureGlo's eScience social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and YouTube.

Please do click the banner below to visit the TOS Homeschool 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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