Supercharged Science {TOS review}

The excitement that Supercharged Science brings to the classroom is not only the result of the awesome experiments offered in the curriculum, but also that of the love of science Aurora Lipper brings to the screen.

We had the opportunity to review Supercharged Science e-science. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to use the curriculum, but Aurora (read more about Aurora) just happens to be one as well as the author of the Supercharged Science e-science curriculum. Lipper has been working for 10 years to improve science instruction for children and continues to do so as lessons are continuously added to the website. As a result of her efforts, she has put together an e-science curriculum for children ages kindergarten through twelfth grades that is extremely hands-on and thorough with step-by-step instructions for completing experiments, activities and other science projects.

Before we started, I will admit that I heard a lot of grumbling about the pending science we were about to complete. Science has not been given as much attention in our school and the children were not looking forward to working through the experiments. The grumbling subsided when I turned on the computer and let them watch Aurora present and explain the science experiment they were about to complete.

After they watched the video for our first project, creating a robotic hand, they walked through the house and collected all of the supplies they were going to need to complete their project.

The lessons are in a video format, which takes the load off of the teacher, because there is no lesson planning required and Aurora does the teaching. The teacher is probably going to want to participate right alongside of the students, because the lessons are just fun and there is a lot of learning to be had. These are not your basic science experiments.

A lot of the materials lists include items you would find around your home, which made me glad I have held onto to so many items, because you never know when they will come in handy. This box has been sitting in a corner for more than one year and were were able to use pieces of it for one of the projects we did.

There is a “Getting Started” section, but I was still not really sure where to start in regards to topics and what would be appropriate for specific ages. One thing that is nice is customer service (help) is just a live telephone call or e-mail away, so you can have access when needed during regular business hours. I also found the parent resources page quite helpful. Good attention is given to homeschoolers.

OUR EXPERIENCE

We (I) decided the children would make a robotic hand. I wanted to be sure that they enjoyed their first time using the curriculum. Plus, the project looked too cool not to try.

Canyon (age six) was even able to participate, which made it really good.

I had to let go a little and I allowed River to light fire, but he was very careful. Aurora walks the student through each step in the experiments (projects, etc.) and presents the material well, so if your children pay attention, then they will know exactly what to do and what precautions to take.

I really could have let them complete the project alone, because they knew exactly what step came next after only watching the video, which is very detailed, one time. Every time I had them stop to complete a step, they told me (even Canyon) what was next. I reminded them that I too had watched the video before them. The grumbling science children were gone and had been replaced with science lovers who couldn’t wait to finish their project.

Canyon is threading the cord through the straw so that his robotic fingers will flex.

Not bad for a first time project.

Since there are so many videos to choose from, I spent some time going through and found some that I thought would be a lot of fun for the children to complete. We have spent a lot of time going through the Biology 2 unit, because the children always enjoy learning more about how their bodies work.

You may use Supercharged Science as a full science curriculum or as a supplement. Lipper has even put together a reference list of experiments offered through Supercharged Science that are compatible with the science lessons of other curriculum.

I like the range of complexity of the experiments that can be completed. Of the two experiments I am sharing with you in this review, you are able to see that they may take some time (a good day of science) with the robotic hand to the quick and easy experiment that will just give you a quick science fix for the day.

Here, they watched a bar of Ivory soap go from a hard bar to a fluffy (stinky) blob, because of all of the air that is involved in the manufacturing of that brand of soap. This experiment is listed on the website, but came to us in one of the weekly e-mail updates that Supercharged Science sends out after you register as a user.

I think their expressions say it all in regards to whether or not they enjoyed this experiment. Adding science to our classroom has been easy over the past few weeks since we were introduced to Supercharged Science.

This was a fun one and YES, you may try this at home.

Some other features on the website include:

From the website
• Text-book type reading to support the material in the videos
• Hands-on activities and experiments, with videos that guide your kids through them. These activities and experiments are what really ignite a passion for science in most kids.
• Homework exercises/quizzes so you can see what your kids are really learning.
• A live tele-class every few weeks where you can connect with me personally
• Parent resources for helping you give your kids the best science education they can get
• A place to ask me questions (lots of them!)
• Recordings of everything so your kids can do the program on whatever schedule AND at whatever pace suits them.

MY TAKE
As I mentioned before, there are more than 1000 science videos to choose from and more being created at the time of this post. Because of this, the variety and amount of science available daily to your student is incredible.

Besides the cool experiments like the robotic hand that the children were able to complete, I love the fact that the videos are self-paced and very detailed in instruction Although, the children will continue to use the program with me, I would be able to hand them a computer (or iPad and iPhone which they are working on usability now) for them to follow-along and complete the work independently.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
Currently, Supercharged Science is $37/month for the kindergarten through eighth grade level plan and $57/month for the kindergarten through twelfth grade level plan (read pricing details). While, I love the offerings, the monthly price of Supercharged Science would be a little to high for our classroom at the moment, but I do have to say that you get access to so much learning.

Take a look at the offer for a science activity video series that Supercharged Science is, at this time of posting, offering to you for free. You may also gain instant access to free science lessons. Lipper also offers full access for 30-days with the promise of a full refund if you decide the curriculum is not a good fit for your classroom.

You can read more reviews of this item by fellow crew members on The Homeschool Crew Blog.


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