Review ~ Supercharged Science
Science is one of my favorite subjects and my children to. I'm always on the lookout for fun experiments and learning ideas for my hands on children to use.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this product for review, all opinions are 100% my own. This post may contain affiliate links my full disclosure can be read here.
Last year I discovered Supercharged Science and signed up for some of their free classes. We were blown away! My children just LOVED them, especially my oldest daughter. One class I remember was on Alternative Energy where we learned how solar panels and wind power work. Then she showed the kids how to build a solar oven.
I had planned to buy a membership to this site, so I was very excited when I was given the opportunity to have a subscription to review.
Supercharged Science was created by Aurora Lipper, a former NASA rocket scientist who has a passion for teaching. She became troubled by how board students were in their science classes and decided to come up with a better way to teach. Science in elementary and high school are normally taught with text books and have an experiment added in now and then. Really it is pretty dry reading.
Aurora decided to start with fun experiments FIRST to get the children engaged in doing a hands on project. Naturally after a child has been building things they develop and interest in how and why it works that way. How can I make it better they wonder. This fits in very well with how we like to learn things at our home.
The e-Science curriculum comes in two sets K-8 and K-12 grades. We were given a years subscription to the K-8.
When you log in I highly recommend watching the videos in the Getting Started section. They explain very well how the program works and how to find things on the site. Also in this section is a guide on how to use e-Science as a supplement to your existing science curriculum. There are PDF's available that cover 22 science programs currently. In these guides it matches up what e-Science units correspond with the chapters in other science programs. You can also use e-Science as a stand alone program, it is a very full one!
The program starts with 7 units and each month 1-2 units are added, there are currently over 20 units. We started off watching the Unit 0 Overview of Science and the Scientific Method Tips & Tricks. There is so much good material here! Including setting up a science journal.
The units currently available cover mechanics, motion, matter, energy, sound, astrophysics, chemistry, light, electricity, magnetism, alternative energy, thermodynamics, electronics, life science, and biology. There is also a cool section for science fair projects!
We decided to start our experiments with Unit 1 Mechanics. This unit covers force, gravity and friction. Each unit has a PDF lesson plan you can download. This includes a material list for the experiments, a vocabulary list, unit description and overview. It also covers step by step all the experiments. This is great if your are a parent/teacher who wants to teach the lesson yourself or just have an idea what your children are learning in the video lessons.
We then watch the video introduction, that has Aurora explaining the subject and showing some experiments on why this topic works. After that we go to the video experiments and watch them. Then the kids pick a few that they would like to try.
I would often print out the reading material for my oldest daughter age 11. She would add this to her science notebook and highlight what she felt are the most important parts.
I just love that you can leave comments and ask questions about the units and experiments and hear back from Aurora for help!
Some of our first experiments were on force. One that the kids especially liked was on building different types of bridges. They learned how some shapes are stronger than others and had fun practicing building different bridge types. Then they thought this looks a lot like the Angry Birds game. lol The next thing I knew they were building their own fortresses and shooting clay "birds" at them. Also a good lesson on forces and strength.
Building a bridge with a corrugated support. They had fun seeing how many "people" AKA clay balls each bridge could hold.
They tried building tall bridges or towers to see if they worked better.
Then they build bridges out of just clay. Of course you had to add a river under it. :)
Then it turned into an Angry Birds tower.
What I love about this program is it makes teaching science so easy and fun! Aurora has a passion for teaching and it comes across so well in her videos. She makes complicated ideas sound very simple and helps you to understand them with a range of experiments.
I love that each unit has a wide variety of experiments so depending on your children's interests and learning styles you should find something that interests them. This also works very well for family unit studies. I love that all of my children can learn the same topic if they want to and there are experiments suited to many ages.
Even with a large selection of projects to work on, I found we have most of the materials needed already. Any small things that were missing we easily found at the dollar store. There are some more detailed experiments that you may need to go to electronics store for parts.
The e-Science website also works very well on our Android tablet. I love this because it frees up the computer for other uses and we can watch the videos anywhere in the house. I've read the videos do not play on iPads because of the flash format, but they are trying to work on a fix for this.
If your interested in trying out e-Science they have a FREE Homeschool Science Guide with over 30 fun activities you can download. I also would recommend joining their mailing list, so you will hear about the awesome free classes Aurora gives.
The K-8 e-Science membership is $37 per month and the K-12 membership is $57 per month. As I mentioned earlier your subscription starts with the first 7 units and extra sections to help you get started. However if you would like access to later unit emailing e-Science they say they will gladly open it up early for you!