If you are a regular follower of my blog, you know being a teacher of two boys that I LOVE to use hands-on, exciting curriculum and products! We’d much rather do experiments instead of just reading about science, but sometimes certain activities are too dangerous, too messy, or require more materials than we have on hand. Well, I have found a solution!
Go Science DVDs produced by Library and Educational Services
are a GREAT way to make science fun without having to put together elaborate experiments yourself. Go Science has done all the work for you!
We received two DVDs to review: 1) Chemistry and 2) Engineering-Design-Flight
These programs are geared toward ages 4-12 (although my 14 year old enjoyed them too 🙂 ) and retail for only $8.97 each!
First, let me tell you a little bit about the teacher in the videos. The presenter, Ben Roy is the past director of the WTVC Newschannel 9 Science Theater and now teaches at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He has also served as an elementary and middle school principal and teacher. Ben has produced science lessons for the Weather Channel, About.com, and a Christian satellite broadcasting network. After watching the first few segments, I could tell that Mr. Roy has a love of science, a passion for teaching, and a strong faith!
The first video that we reviewed was Volume 6: Chemistry:
The Chemistry DVD contains 11 lessons and experiments on the following topics (each segment is anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes long):
Milk and Food Coloring
- Elephant Toothpaste
- Staying Dry – Diapers
- Lava Lamp
- Instant Snow
- Silly Slime
- Hydrogen Bubbles
- Grain Elevator
- HHO Generator
- Mentos Fountain
How We Used the DVDs:
Since I know that Brendan and Ryan learn better by actually “doing” versus just “watching”, I decided that we would perform some of the experiments. I chose to conduct the experiments from the Chemistry DVD (instead of Engineering-Design-Flight ) since most of them only required common household products.
First, I watched the videos myself and collected the supplies needed to perform several of the experiments. Then I had Brendan and Ryan conduct the experiments and form a hypothesis about they thought was happening. Lastly, we would watch the video segments to watch Ben conduct the experiment and explain the results. Even though the videos are geared toward younger children, Brendan and Ryan didn’t complain about watching them and Ben did an excellent job keeping their attention 🙂 .
Our first experiment – Milk and Food Coloring:
It was cool to see how the protein in the milk and the water tension held the colors together until the soap broke it apart!
Our next experiment was called Stains:
One of my favorite aspects of the Go Science DVDs are how Mr. Ben Roy uses each experiment to point to God. For example, for this lesson he talked about how Jesus washes away our sins and they “disappear” just like the color in the water did!
Our third experiment, Staying Dry – Diapers was a favorite 🙂 !
I LOVED how the kids wanted to keep experimenting with the absorbent granules to see how much more water it could hold!!! There is nothing better than when your kids WANT to keep learning and exploring a topic all on their own – that in itself makes Go Science a winner in my eyes!
The Silly Slime experiment was fun too! I put the ingredients in the cups and had the kids guess what they were. They guessed milk, sugar, baking soda, and flour. It was actually water, white glue, and borax. Good thing I remembered to tell them NOT to taste anything 🙂 !
I decided not to use food coloring for this experiment so the kids wouldn’t have colored hands.
Elephant toothpaste??? I thought that we had yeast for this experiment, but realized at the last minute that we didn’t have any. Not a problem! We used baking soda instead and although our “toothpaste” was thin, it still worked and the kids had fun making a mess!
Time to make our own Lava Lamps:
The second DVD that we received was Volume 4: Engineering, Design, and Flight
The Engineering-Design-Flight DVD contains lessons and experiments on the following topics:
How Much Will it Hold?
- Leaning Tower of Lyra
- Nail Balance
- Walking On Eggs
- Bed of Nails – Small
- Rocket Balloons
- Vinegar Rocket
- Toilet Paper on Paint Roller
- Film Canister Rocket
Like I said earlier, many of the experiments on the Engineering-Design-Flight DVD are more complicated to perform at home so it was nice to be able to watch somebody else do all the work!
What we liked most about Go Science:
First and foremost, that each experiment and lesson points to God. Each segment ends with this quote: “Every time we learn about science, we learn more about our Creator, God!”
- Ben Roy’s enthusiasm for learning and science!
- That safety is mentioned often and the kids are reminded to never try any of the experiments without asking for their parents permission first.
- The fact that we could watch and learn from the larger, more difficult experiments in the comfort of our own home without the work and mess.
- That each lesson/experiment was short and to the point (great for kids with shorter attention spans).
My only suggestion for improvement:
It would be a HUGE help if a list of required supplies for the experiments was provided with the DVDs. Instead, I had to pre-watch each segment and take notes myself (maybe that’s lazy on my part, but as a busy homeschool mom, timesavers are wonderful 🙂 ).
I think that Go Science DVDs would be a terrific supplement for any homeschool family who likes to have fun while learning!