{Homeschool Product Review} ~ Supercharged Science

Science can be a tricky subject for homeschoolers. Especially when you need to do labs and experiments in your classes. This is where Supercharged Science and their e-Science Homeschool Science Curriculum can help immensely.

Supercharged Science is an online science program created by Aurora Lipper. She got her mechanical engineering degree from Cal Poly and then went on to get her masters degree and pilot's license. She also worked at NASA as a rocket scientist. She then went on to become one of the youngest instructors at Cal Poly, teaching in their engineering department. While teaching there, she realized that much of the younger years of science learning (elementary, middle school, high school) are dry and boring. Her students were interested in science, but had been bored by the technical and complicated lessons in their earlier education. So she set out to create lessons that would make science interesting and captivating to younger students.

What is amazing about Aurora is that she does not come across as a typical science teacher. She loves what she is teaching and wants to give that same passion and love to her students. She has the ability to captivate her audience, and make the driest subjects in science more interesting.

The website is organized into two areas: you can look up all of her videos and experiments by topic or by grade level. You can see the topic page below.

Topics range from motion, energy, sound, chemistry, biology, earth science, electronics.... and much more. Grade levels begin with Pre K and go all the way through grade 12 and even beyond. And what makes this so easy to navigate is that you can move between topic or grade level, choosing what your child learns.

We decided to go with a grade level. Nutsy just finished a more intense science year so I opted to check out 5th grade. In this grade level you can choose chemistry, life science (human anatomy), earth science, and astronomy.

We went with earth science and spent all of our time here during the review period. At the beginning of the section are the key concepts and goals of the course, and then the lessons/science experiments are listed. At the time of this review, there were 18 lessons, making it perfect to do twice a week, for a 9 week quarter.

Each lesson has a short section to read. There is a list of needed materials, and then there is a video to watch. The video is of Aurora herself doing the experiment.

Below the video the instructions for the experiment are listed out - this is a huge plus to me because different students learn in different ways. One of my children absolutely loves seeing the video, while another gets so much more out of reading the instructions.

The lessons also had downloadable worksheets as well, which I really liked.

Another great feature are the comments.

Beneath each lesson is a place where you can comment or ask questions. Aurora herself answers each and every one. They are good to read as well - for example during one experiment on supercooling, we realized from the comments how important it was to keep the salt from touching the water.

Here we are, doing the above mentioned experiment. We supercooled ice by adding salt to it and also had a glass of water in the middle.

The very neat thing was that we had a thermometer and when we tested the water we could see it continue to go down.

We learned from the reading text that this happens in nature in ice storms and cumulus clouds, when water drops are below freezing but still liquid.

As the experiment progressed, we fill in the worksheet with our data.

And yes, we got the temperature of the water to go below 32 degrees and still remain a liquid. Once we hit about 30 degrees we followed the directions and dropped a piece of ice into the cup. This caused the temperature to actually go up to freezing, and the piece of ice formed ice crystals in the water.

It's really hard to see it in that photo, but there were small crystals hanging off of the piece of ice.

Another experiment we did was to actually make clouds in a glass. We did this by placing a glass of ice over a glass of boiling water. This is showing exactly what happens in weather when a cold front hits the warmth that comes from the ground.

The cloud formed in our glass, and we even got water droplets, or rain on the side. We experimented with different levels of water and ice, to see which worked better.

This experiment made it very easy to identify the three states of matter. Part of the worksheet activity was to diagram the experiment.

While doing all of these experiments, Aurora of course, has the proper lab equipment. But she is quick to give you alternatives so you can do these right in your own home.

There were a couple of times that I did not plan ahead. Yup, confessions of a homeschooling mom! For one lesson we needed sodium acetate to make hot ice sculptures. Now don't fear, that might sound like you have to order it off of some science site, but you can get it by just purchasing one of those hand warmers in the camping section in any store.

This was where I absolutely loved that there was a video in each and every lesson. We were able to watch the video and see the reaction as the sodium acetate was activated.

Other experiments in this section of 5th grade earth science were removing salt from water, observing convention currents with food coloring, air pressure in a bottle, and flying machines with homemade hot air balloons.

Learning about water pressure with this fun experiment.

And no, we did not make a mess on the kitchen floor!

Here we were learning about air pressure and how our lungs really aren't that strong.

I really love this online science program! You can use it in many ways. There is enough material to use this as a complete course by grade level, or you can look up lessons by topic, and add more to your current science program. Aurora is also always updating the site and sending out new lessons - in fact she is currently updating the website to be even more user friendly. All of the lessons, experiments, and worksheets will not change and still be available, but the format will be easier to navigate.

I highly recommend this online science learning program, Nutsy NEVER complained when I told her it was time to do science, and she loved seeing the results from her experiments. Click below to check out what others thought about this program as well!

e-Science Homeschool Science Curriculum {Supercharged Science Reviews}

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