Friday, April 11, 2014

Supercharged Science {Crew Review}

Science can be a boring; you read the textbook, do the worksheets, and take the test. Or Science can come alive with videos and fun experiments.

This is where Supercharged Science and their e-Science Premium Membership make teaching science so much more fun and productive.

Supercharged eScience Review

What It Is:

This online learning program is meant for grades K-12. The founder of Supercharged Science, Aurora Lipper, has been an instructor at the university level and was also a rocket scientist for NASA.

On the website there are currently 20 different topics you can choose from. These include:

  • Motion
  • Energy
  • Sound
  • Light
  • Electricity
  • Magnetism
  • Life Science
  • Biology

...and many more.

When you click into any of the topics you will find the lessons. Within each lesson there is the Lesson Reading, Experiments & Videos, and Exercises.

The Lesson Reading is a approximately a two page text of the subject. The text can easily be read aloud to all ages, and defines words, gives explanation, and helps the student to understand the concepts they will be learning. Each page is printer friendly; there is additional downloads for high school students.

The Experiments & Videos section is as varied as it sounds. Some of the videos are as short as a minute, and others run longer. Most of the videos are of experiments being done, but others are short clips that help to further teach the concept.

The Exercise section are lists of questions that you can ask your child on the topic. There is one set of questions for elementary and middle school students, and a separate set of questions for high school learners. The answer key is conveniently provided on the same page. The website encourages your child to keep a science journal; this is place where they can record what they have learned, what experiments they have done, and the questions and answers to the Exercises.

Supercharged eScience Review

What You Get:

You can purchase a monthly subscription to this e-science learning program membership for $57. This includes access to the entire site, for grades K-12. If you have younger children, you also have the option to have access to the material for grades K-8, which is only $37 a month.

This includes all the answer keys to the exercises, videos, and even shopping lists, so you can plan in advance for the materials you will need. But most of the materials for the experiments can be found around hte house.

You can also download a free copy of the Science Activity Video Series and Guidebook. This is an excellent way to check out Supercharged Science and see if it would be a good fit for your family.

How We Used This:

Our family does science on our little homeschooling co-op, and Supercharged Science was the perfect fit for us. We chose to focus on the unit on motion, since we are learning about physics in co-op. We had the kids all watch a 12 minute video, where Ms. Lipper talked about Newton's Three Laws of Motion. She had all sorts of objects in front of her, and would use them as examples while she spoke.

The velocity reading section was all about Isaac Newton, and went into detail describing his three laws. The text for high school students was more advanced, and talked about types of motion, distance and time, inertia, and even went into applications of calculus. The questions for high school students were word problem style, and gave every day problems that the student needed to solve using the information they had just learned.

But the part that we were all looking forward to were the experiments.

The first one we did was a velocity experiment: The kids took turns dropping things from our second story window, that looks out into the living room. (This window is strictly off limits, except for science experiments.)

We used a stopwatch and kept track of how long things took to hit the ground.

Through the experiment the kids learned about acceleration and how quickly objects reach terminal velocity. The older ones did another activity and, using the formula on the website, figured out the actual velocity speed our objects traveled.

What We Thought:

My kids learn best when they get to do something. I do believe that reading a text, especially for the older students, is important, but for those dry section in science learning, Supercharged Science fits into our schooling nicely. Looking ahead to our next co-op science year, I see many places where we can insert lessons, videos, and experiments for Supercharged Science, and am thankful that this resource is available to me.

I did wish that the website was organized better; it did take me some time in the beginning to navigate and figure out what we should do. Ms Lipper though, is a very engaging teacher and I really appreciated how she described things to the students. She has a way of explaining topics that make them easier to understand. This did really help the younger ones in our co-op with science.

So check out Supercharged Science, and see if it would be a good fit for your family. You can see a pdf User Guide here, which shows how the units are arranged.

And do click below to read what other Crew members thought of this fun science resource!

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