Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Go Science Review

Go Science Review

We are reviewing two Christian Go Science DVDs from Library and Educational Services. We chose Volume 2: Life Science and Weather and Volume 5: States of Matter and Water. These videos and experiments are presented by Ben Roy and are ideal for children ages 4-12 (each video has a suitable age range listed on the website). My almost-three-year-old watched the videos and then participated in the activities as well, without any alterations to the experiments, so some older toddlers may be interested in participating with their older sibling. I based my choice of DVD's off of the experiments list and what I felt both of my children would be capable of working with. They both enjoyed the science demonstrations and participated in answering questions before and after they watched the experiments.

Go Science Review

We watched both DVD's straight through on the first day, because it had been dreadfully hot outside and Bean was demanding "For Science!" activities. We have watched many different science shows before, but none quite like this. On Go Science there is a different classroom-size group of students along with Ben Roy completing each activity. It was nice to see that the kids' answers and observations seemed unique, rather than scripted, as these videos were originally filmed for a Christian TV broadcast. Ben Roy introduced each experiment with an upbeat attitude and encouraged students to participate and answer questions. Each science video consists of multiple experiments (over 80 in the entire series!) that last about 3 to 10 minutes. At the end of each demonstration, Ben Roy explains how each time we learn something about science, we learn about the Creator.

Starting the next day after our initial run through of the two DVD's, we began watching one experiment per morning. Bean would want to watch them right after breakfast, so we planned each experiment to take place after the video finished. I made sure to have all the materials on hand the night before, so they were all ready to go. We only completed experiments that required materials we already had on hand, though we did our best by using replacement materials where we could. Sometimes Ben Roy used scientific technology that we simply don't have at home, so if we had to, we researched ways to complete the experiment without them. For the most part many of the experiments were doable for a homeschooling family and others were more suitable for a science lab. But at the end of the day, my kids learned something knew about science and that's the important part!

Since there are no additional materials that come with the DVD's, I created some science activity pages of our own to accompany a few of the experiments. These consisted of simple question flash cards (What happened? Why did that reaction occur? What is your hypothesis for the outcome? etc), scientific method fold-outs, charts and note pages. Some we used for each experiment and others we didn't even get around to using. But we will save them for future experiments! I personally think that this series would pair well with a printable science companion guide, for both the teacher and students. Some of the experiments are not suitable in a home-setting, so those could be simply observation and question printables.

My kids are not in public school and are too young for a science fair project, but these experiments would be a great learning tool for those who are in school or homeschooled and have one coming up. Especially if they want to see how these experiments are done first, as some kids are visual learners. While I was in school we often watched science videos before completing experiments. It's now become a habit of ours to watch science experiments completed by someone who explains the scientific process better than I can before we do our own experiments.

There are so many fun science experiments on each DVD and it really had been hard to choose just two. We are glad we chose the ones we did because they ended up being very entertaining and educational and my kids really loved the experiments! They have been a great addition to our science lessons, although I really wish there was a printable teacher and student guide for the kids who want to complete these activities at home (provided they have the necessary tools and equipment). But it was easy enough to replicate some of them at home without one. 

Below is a list of the experiments that were included in Volume 2 and 5 of Go Science. The experiments we recreated at home have an asterisk next to them. 

Volume 2: Life Science, Weather

Go Science Review

Life Science:
Flashlight-Animal Eyes*
Animal Skulls*
Bobby Pins*
What Are You Looking At?*
How Much Do Your Lungs Hold?*
Eating Nails for Breakfast
Naked Eggs*

Fire Tornado
Ping Pong Cannon
Liquid Nitrogen Cloud
Cloud in a Bottle*
Garbage Can Vortex

This DVD had many life science activities that were easy to do at home. My kids especially enjoyed the Naked Eggs experiment. The Flashlight-Animal Eyes experiment was one that we were already familiar with, but it was fun to revisit. My daughter's favorite experiment was the Bobby Pins one, and she now, randomly, likes to check peoples hands to see if they can feel the points on the bobby pins. All but the Cloud in a Bottle weather experiment were new to my kids. Munchkin especially enjoyed recreating the Cloud in a Bottle experiment (many times, I might add), while Bean wishes we were able to create the others at home! Please note that we do not own any animal skulls, so instead we used a book that has wonderful illustrations of skulls. 

Volume 5: States of Matter, Water

Go Science Review

States of Matter:
Ice Cream*
Density Column*
Ice Block Melt*
Run Through Corn Starch and Water*
Pitcher of Cold Water Put in Hot Water*
Putting Ice in Water Float or Sink*
Making Butter*

Traveling Water*
Antimagnetic Water*
Pouring Water*
Burning Water

We especially enjoyed the states of matter activities! Specifically, my kids loved playing with oobleck again, making ice cream and butter (which came out delicious!) and they had so much fun exploring ice, melting and water! This was definitely our favorite DVD of the two, mainly because we were able to do nearly all of the experiments at home. Whenever we are learning about an experiment, we make sure it is one that we can do at home so they can enjoy some hands-on learning and make their own discoveries. The only reason why we did not try the Burning Water experiment is because we just haven't gotten around to it yet, unfortunately.

Overall, we enjoyed both DVD's and felt they were helpful for observational science. We understand that not all science experiments can be conducted at home, so at times like that, having science DVD's like these are helpful to further learning.

The price of each DVD is $8.97 and $59.82 for the complete set of 7 Go Science DVD's.

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