Sunday, May 13, 2012

Review: Go Science

Our latest review products came from Library and Educational Services or LES--a company I often buy from.  They have great prices on radio theater Cd's, Bible studies, flannel board figures, and more.  In fact when I heard they were shipping me these two DVDs, I asked if I could add a few more purchases to the box.  The review items are two volumes from a series called GO Science.  Each DVD is about 40 minutes long and contains 9-12 demonstrations.

Do your kids like explosions?  Would you rather view them safely on the TV than try to set them up in your basement?  I was perfectly happy to let Ben Roy show what happens when you put a lit match under a balloon filled with hydrogen or cap a bottle filled with liquid nitrogen.  Other demonstrations were of a much tamer nature:  a study about buoyancy with two cans of root beer or seeing how many chicken eggs could fit inside an ostrich egg.

Did you know you can boil water over a flame in a paper cup?  What do you think happens to common objects in the frozen blackness of space?  The first half of this DVD covers experiments with water, the second half deals with outer space.  There's even the trick we've probably all tried--swinging a bucket of water over our head without spilling.

First, I have to say that my son loved these videos.  He felt like he was one of the students in the audience--going so far as to raise his hand hoping to get picked to answer a question.  Ben Roy's  bubbly enthusiasm for science (and kids) spills off the screen.   I love his tag line, "Every time we learn about science, we learn something about our Creator--God."   As an introduction to science, these videos are great when you're still trying to develop that sense of wonder and show that learning can be fun.  Mr. Roy also covers important safety issues like using safety glasses and never sniffing beakers of unidentified chemicals. 

As a teacher though, I don't think these videos go far to log as science for older kids (the recommended age range is 6-14).  These are really "demonstrations" not "experiments."  There is no hypothesis, and sometimes even no explanation for what we see.  In the case of the exploding bottle we're simply told that it contains a "dangerous gas" but we never learn what that gas is.  Similarly we don't learn what two chemicals are combined to create luminescence in the test tube. 

You might want to consider using these DVDs in Sunday School or VBS.  Each demonstration ends with a reference to how perfectly God created our world, or the dangers of sin, or how God can forgive our sins. It goes back to the tag line  "Every time we learn about science, we learn something about our Creator--God."  There is a feature to select chapters on the DVD so you could choose the demonstration that best firsts you Bible lesson.  If you show them for a class please note there are no captions available.  You can view a sample for yourself.

As I mentioned, these volumes are part of a series.  Other titles include Magnetism, Simple Machines, Flight and Motion.  LES offers these videos at a significant savings($8.97 vs $14.95) to qualified buyers (resellers, educators, librarians, home educators, as well as church leaders such as pastors or directors of children’s ministries.) 

Others on the Homeschool Crew viewed the other titles so you'll want to click here and see what they think.

Disclaimer: I received two free Go Science DVD's for the purpose of completing this review.  I received no other compensation for my honest opinions.

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