Thursday, June 26, 2014

Review: Go Science DVD's

Recently I had the privilege of learning about (and signing up with) Library and Educational Services for wholesale and discount pricing on many of our favorite supplemental materials. I also had the opportunity to review two of the DVD's from the Go Science DVD Series 2.

What is Library and Educational Services? It is a family based business that sells educational materials at a wholesale price to schools, teachers, churches, bookstores, day cares, libraries, and HOMESCHOOLERS! They have a wide range of media materials, including books, video, and audio, and covering topics from faith and Christian character building to science to history and everything in between!

What is the Go Science Series? This is a set of seven DVD's that covers a wide range of scientific topics, (80 experiments in all) including:
  • Sound, Gravity, & Space
  • Life Science, Weather, & Light
  • Air
  • Chemistry
  • Motion, Friction, Electricity, & Light
  • States of Matter & Water
  • Engineering, Design, & Flight
What is included on a DVD? Each DVD is about an hour long, and includes multiple short segments (ranging from 3-10 minutes each) of experiments. The experiments take place in a group setting, with a large audience of children watching and participating as helpers. The scientist is Mr. Ben Roy, a real life Science professor who has also done science programs for television shows. 

What age is this geared for? The recommended ages are 4-12. The live audience children are within that age range as well. My 9 and 12 year olds watched these videos. I think they were perfect for the 9 yr old. The 12 yr old thought they were a 'tad bit juvenile' but she did still enjoy them, and actually learned quite a bit too!

How did we view these?  At first, my intention was to watch one or two segments and then do the experiment at home if possible. Once the children started watching, though, they did not want to stop. They were completely captivated by the experiments, and ended up watching the entire DVD in one sitting. For this review, we watched the 'Chemistry' DVD and the 'Motion, Friction, Electricity & Light' DVD. 

What about the experiments? Many of them utilize materials that typically you might not use in experiments with younger children. Some of the results were quite dramatic which made me glad the girls were watching it and not necessarily making a huge mess in the kitchen actually doing it! It was great for them to watch and see what happened. We chose several simple experiments to repeat at home. Not all of ours came out as well as the ones on the DVD, but it was still enjoyable, and at least the girls knew what was 'supposed' to happen from seeing it done on the DVD. One thing I loved was that Mr. Roy and the child helpers all wore safety glasses and discussed safety while doing experiments that could have some hazards, as that helped to reinforce the "safety first" lessons I try to teach at home when doing science experiments. 

How about the spiritual application? This was absolutely my favorite part of these DVD's. Mr. Roy ties in all sorts of spiritual lessons while completing the science experiments. Each lesson has at least one statement included that reinforces what is being seen. For example, on the Chemistry video, Mr. Roy does an experiment that discusses the properties of bleach, and how it can cleanse stains. He demonstrates this by mixing bleach into a glass full of water dyed red with food coloring. Of course, the bleach turns the water clear again, and he points out that accepting Christ as our Savior can also cleanse the sin from our lives. The experiment illustrates the object lesson simply and clearly. At the end of each segment, Mr. Roy repeats the same statement:

"Every time we learn something about Science, we learn something about our Creator, God."

I agree 110% with this statement, and love how it is repeatedly reinforced throughout the entire DVD. I truly believe that learning about the nature of God is one of the main reasons to study Science! What a blessing to find a DVD that so aptly illustrates that purpose.

How much do the DVD's cost? Each DVD is sold individually for $8.97 but the entire series of all 7 DVD's can be purchased for $59.82 (a 40% savings!) In order to purchase from Library & Educational Services, you must first create a wholesale account. Teachers, homeschoolers, missionaries, resellers, or librarians can sign up for a free account.

My favorite moment: I overheard one of the girls discussing hydrogen atoms with her older sister who is currently taking a college Chemistry class. Not only was she able to intelligently discuss the subject, but her sister seemed surprised and impressed with how thoroughly she grasped it. Actually, I was a little surprised myself, and asked how she knew that information. The response? "I learned it from the Go Science DVD!"

The girls' favorites: Kelly loved the fizzy Mentos and Melissa liked the bleach turning the dyed water clear. The girls also liked the dog who was present on the screen for many of the lessons, and they liked watching children help with the experiments. They thought the teacher, Mr. Roy, seemed very excited about Science.

My final thoughts: I really enjoyed these videos, and would not hesitate to purchase the rest of the series. They are the types of videos that the children will want to watch again. They give great starting points for performing experiments at home - watch the video then try it with the kids! Kids think these are very cool.

You can connect with Library and Educational Services on Facebook. 

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