4/11/13

Supercharged Science ~ E-science {Crew Review}

 Supercharged science header

I think science can be the most fun and yet the most challenging subject to teach. It’s the most fun because it can be so hands on but it’s challenging to teach because, let’s face it the average home school mom doesn’t have a degree in science and there are all kinds of technical terms and complicated concepts. Aurora Lipper founded Supercharged Science because she wants “to get kids crazy-wild about science.”  She is a scientist who has taught science at all levels, Kindergarten to College! With her e-Science lessons, she makes science fun and understandable!

Using Supercharged Science in our house:

There are two levels to the e-Science subscription program.  Level 1 targets grades K-8 and is $37 per month.  Level 2 is the high school material.  For $57 a month you gain access to the material for grades 9-12 in addition to the content for grades k-8.  The grade 9-12 content would also be good for advanced grades 5-8.

For this review period, I did not use Supercharged Science with Supergirl. She did “hang out” with us for some group sessions but I focused on using this with my 8th grader, my 10th grader, and my 12th grader.

This is a very thorough program. There is so much available in each study unit that it can be overwhelming. It really helped to go over the getting started portion and to have the girls each explore the units and make a list of units they’d like to cover.

At first I planned to use the curriculum conversion chart and I choose units and lessons based on the topics from our regular science curriculum. We started with the topics that overlapped Physical Science and Chemistry and we watched science experiments and chose a few activities to do as a group.

My husband had a couple of weeks of Friday’s off so I made him the science activity coordinator. We *all* were excited to try the Electrolysis Activity. This is one of the grades 9-12 activities and required some wire (we had left over from a science kit), test tubes (from a science kit we already owned), a glass jar (I have lots of those!), some tape, a 9 volt battery (needed to buy that) and a few other things.  Our experiment failed to produce the gas (the prevailing theory is that we did not get enough conductivity from the battery to the wires and we might buy a clip thing to attach the wire to the battery instead of tape) but because of the great science video, the girls (with Daddy!) were able to see what *should have happened*.

Two girls and daddy working on experiment

I realized after a couple of weeks that it would be *better* for *my* family if I had the girls working more independently. By working independently, they could:

  • Choose topics that most interested them
  • could choose to coordinate study units with their science textbook
  • read the lessons themselves
  • take responsibility for choosing activities and gathering supplies
  • allows them to read through the lesson material and complete written questions at their own pace.

Doing the experiments as group is quite fun so I plan to continue to have occasional “group science days,” but switching to more of an independent study approach has been a great method, especially for Turtlegirl.

Turtlegirl measuring speed of objects rolling down a ramp.

Why this program has such great appeal for me:

  • Can be used as a supplement or along side a more traditional textbook curriculum
  • One monthly subscription can be used by the whole family
  • Can be used independently by older students
  • Can be used to teach multiple levels at the same time
  • Videos that clearly explain the concept
  • Shopping lists for all the activities
  • Most experiments and demonstrations use items found around the home or that are easily obtained
  • If an item is not common to have around the house there is a link for purchasing the item from an online electronics or science supply store
  • I don’t have to teach the science but I can participate in the fun!

Thoughts from Turtlegirl: (Age 15, 10th grade, lover of science)

I love science, and I have always wanted to do more experiments. I really love this program because it contains a variety of topics that I am interested in. I like how there is a video overview at the start of each lesson, and that I can either do the reading first or the experiments first. I love the way she teaches, with bits of humor and clear explanations that make it obvious that she loves science. It’s actually rather infectious. I also like how easy the experiments are to do. I like the science journaling methods they use. I like that there are exercises at the end of each lesson for both the lower levels and the 9-12. I love everything about this program, and I recommend it to anyone who wants to do science. Period.

Thoughts from Boobear: (age 17 grade 12):

I enjoy her enthusiasm for science. It is not a subject that I particularly care for, but it makes it easier to learn when you have a teacher who really enjoys what they are doing. I liked how the website was laid out, it made it easy to find what I was looking for. I enjoyed watching and doing the experiments that I could and learning why they work. Some of ours didn’t work well, but at least we knew how it was suppose to turn out.

Thoughts from Tailorbear (age 14 grade 8):

I loved her multi-sensory approach. I loved that when we were talking about something complex, she would throw in something funny, for example, “mercury is a dangerous liquid. So if I tell you that there’s mercury in that cup, RUN!” These comments make me feel that I don’t have to be a genius in order to understand what she’s talking about. Oh, and the experiments? *evil smile* The instructions are precise and clear whether they are written, or viewed.

My Thoughts

I love Aurora’s enthusiasm.  I love how she takes complicated concepts and vocabulary and explains them in “plain English.”  I love that I could use this one program with ALL four of my girls and know that all of them would be getting a solid science education. Turtlegirl is considering pursuing a college degree in a STEM related field. I think e-science from Supercharged science is giving her a way to explore more science topics than she could from just a standard textbook approach. I admit I’ve not been very excited about high school science until now. Aurora has re-ignited a love of science for Turtlegirl and in turn that has sparked my desire to learn alongside her! Please take the time to visit these links and try out the free lessons and samples.

    Supercharged Science Log

Visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to read what others have to say about e-science from Supercharged Science.

 
All information is correct and accurate as of the date of this review.

You can read my other Schoolhouse Review Crew Reviews by clicking here.

This Graphic contains the FTC Regulations statement for Reviews.

Thank you Aurora and Supercharged Science for the one year of access to all units!

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