June 24, 2014

Go Science DVDs (A Product Review)

As I have mentioned several times, I am not great at teaching Science. I am always looking for something to make teaching Science easier. As part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I had the opportunity to review two Go Science DVDs and I jumped on the chance, hoping to find more valuable Science education resources!
go science dvds product review

What is Go Science?

Go Science is a series of science DVDs carried by Library and Educational Services. Each of the Go Science DVDs features Christian educator (and college professor) Ben Roy who gives science demonstrations that are high energy and sometimes even explosive! Each DVD features about an hour worth of demonstrations with each demo segment running approximately 5 to 12 minutes. Within each demonstration is not only the science experiment, but also a short science lesson and biblical application. These DVDs are recommended for ages 4-12. Each DVD has science experiments within a particular theme. 

Here is the list of themes within the (new!) seven Go Science DVDs (each retailing at $8.97):

*Volume 1: Sound, Gravity, Space
*Volume 2: Life Science, Weather
*Volume 3: Air
*Volume 4: Motion, Friction, Electricity, Light
*Volume 5: States of Matter, Water
*Volume 6: Chemistry
*Volume 7: Engineering, Design, Flight

We chose the DVDs Go Science Volume 2: Life Science,Weather and Volume 7: Engineering, Design, Flight to review.

How Did We Use the Product?

The Go Science DVDs have several very short--just 5-12 minutes--science segments. In each segment an experiment is performed within the topic of study. The episodes are all done in a LIVE taping with a group of children gathered around the teacher Ben Roy. He begins by talking to a few of his helpers (some of the children), explains the experiment he's going to do and gives a wee bit of information relating to the science behind it. He demonstrates the experiment and then when it's done he sums it up quickly. He concludes the lesson by making it somehow tie in with something from the Bible or about God and then ends his lesson with the words "Every time we learn something about SCIENCE, we learn something about our Creator...GOD!"
Yes, Baby Britches IS watching while on his potty chair! LOL!
Ben Roy--the teacher

Demonstrating an experiment using liquid nitrogen
It is very easy to watch multiple episodes at once and we did that. We typically watched 3-4 episodes in one sitting. Sometimes we re-watched a previous episode if the boys enjoyed it.

The first DVD the boys wanted to watch was Volume 2: Life Science, Weather

The Go Science Volume 2: Life Science, Weather had experiments ranging from finding iron in your cereal with a magnet and determining your lung capacity (Life Science) to making clouds from dry ice and a garbage can vortex. Some of these experiments were really interesting and captivated the boys, while others were kind of boring. Many of the experiments on this DVD are able to be replicated at home and the instructor shows you how to do them, as well as the materials you need. The boys most requested episodes on this DVD were "Naked Eggs" (Life Science), "Liquid Nitrogen Cloud" (Weather) and "Ping Pong Cannon" (Weather). Of these three, the episode where they made a liquid nitrogen cloud was their favorite.

Our second DVD was Volume 7: Engineering/Design, Flight.

This was the favorite of the two DVDs we were given. The demonstrations ranged from walking on eggs, flinging a ball with a Trebuchet machine and making a mini water pump with a straw (ie. Centrifuge) to making vinegar rockets, film canister rockets and flying rocket balloons. There were many more easy to replicate experiments on this DVD. The favorite episodes were "Centrifuge" (Engineering/Design), "Vinegar Rocket" (Flight) and "Film Canister Rocket" (Flight). I think this is because these were the three experiments that I promised we could replicate ourselves...

And we did one of them!

The boys gave a shout of joy when I told them  (after we watched the experiment) we had everything we needed to replicate the "Centrifuge" experiment: straw, skewer, tape, scissors, water. We spent about an hour having a blast with our OWN experiment!

The Centrifuge experiment shows how by "stirring" water quickly with a bent and sliced straw that has been skewered, you can make a mini water pump that squirts water---translation: "YOU GET REALLY WET!" LOL!

Here are some photos and a video of our fun:
A skewered straw with two slices in it for bending, taped in a triangle to the skewer.

We have three ready to go!

You can see some droplets of water flying around! He got my camera all wet too!

Baby Britches loved that he could make it work too---but he wasn't as excited about getting water in his face though.

Can you see all the water??? I KNOW we did at LEAST two gallons of water! LOL!
They are a "tad" bit wet--but oh they had a blast!

This was a GREAT experiment for a hot muggy day---and we kept the "pumps" to use more in the future (which they have been very regularly!). I plan on doing a detailed version of us making the experiment to share with you (because it's SUPER fun) at another time.

What Are Our Thoughts on the Product?

Little Britches enjoyed the experiments--though he obviously enjoyed some more than others. He didn't really care about the God or Bible tie ins as he was just focused on the experiments results. He found the second DVD we watched (Volume 7: Engineering/Design, Flight) to be much more fun. He does like to watch them again, but he's very specific about WHICH of the segments he wants to re-watch.

Baby Britches liked to watch the episodes and then tell me about what happened. He also loved the "pumps".

I liked the experiment demonstrations a lot--I also liked that if it was something that could be re-created at home, the information was verbally given on what you would need to do it. I've already been told we will be doing the "Naked Egg" experiment ourselves (and a few others).

I don't really think that there was enough science background for each of the demonstrations. It was very generic and rushed and I don't feel the actual science lesson was explained clear enough on several segments. I think the closing remarks--taking each experiment and relating to the Bible--were hit and miss. Some were great tie ins (like the Liquid Nitrogen Cloud tying in to God being in a cloud leading the Israelites in the Wilderness, or God not wanting us to waste our energy on things not of Him, or using the Bible like a flashlight to help us "see" in the world of confusion) but some were a bit sub-par...like they were trying too hard to make a connection that just wasn't there and sometimes it's a connection that was centered around a particular religious belief that might not be held by others (for instance our family believes in the resurrection to life, so the heaven principles were something we skipped over). As I mentioned above, each segment always closed out with the teacher saying the same thing ""Every time we learn something about SCIENCE, we learn something about our Creator...GOD!" These are definitely Christian science videos and I like that about them.

And finally...I admit it. I found the teacher cheesy. LOL! He was so canned and so fake as he talked to the children--I also laughed whenever I saw him looking at his hand when talking to one of his helpers--to remind him of their name! (snicker) But this cheesy-ness wasn't something my boys picked up on...and since it's recommend for ages 4-12...I guess it's okay!

Would I Recommend Go Science?

I think they are fun videos. Many of the experiments ARE cool and they do share what kind of supplies you could use to experiment yourself. But I'm a bit confused on what you would really use the DVDs for in a homeschool setting. They aren't a class or seminar--not like a curriculum. They are just short experiment demonstrations with minimal Science lessons. I guess you could tie them into something you are learning already...or watch if you have a kid that just liked all things Science! I will probably pull these out in the future when we are studying something related where we could do the experiment ourselves--but not really for any other reason.

Some thing I WOULD recommend them for--summer camps, vacation bible schools, or homeschool co-op Science class. I think that there are enough experiments that can be replicated that they would be great for any of those events where an activity was needed. I especially thought this watching all the experiments on the Volume 7: Engineering/Design, Flight DVD. I kept telling Little Britches, "Wouldn't this be so much fun to do with everyone at summer camp?" He always vehemently agreed with me and then wanted to know if I could get them to do it at the summer camp WE are going to in August. LOL! If I was ever needing to come up with fun activities for a group of kids at summer camp, I TOTALLY see myself reaching for these videos. 

I really do not see us purchasing any more at this time--but we would definitely watch them if someone gave them to us. This wasn't a "WE LOVE IT!" product, but we did enjoy it. 

Want To Learn More about Go Science?

If you are interested in learning more about the Go Science DVDs (retail $8.97 ea) or Library and Educational Services, please feel free to check out the websites and these social media links:

Library and Educational Services Facebook Link: http://www.facebook.com/libraryanded
Library and Educational Services YouTube Channel (where you can see samples from the DVDs : https://www.youtube.com/user/LibraryandEd/videos

You've read our review on two of the DVDs in the NEW Go Science DVDs collection--but there are five other DVDs! Make sure you check out what my fellow Schoolhouse Review Crew members thought of their DVDs!
Click to read Crew Reviews
Crew Disclaimer

Thanks for stopping by today! I have another review--a curriculum review this time--that will be going LIVE on Friday, June 27th! Make sure you come back--or at least get signed up to receive my new posts in your email! And don't forget that you can always find me over on my Farm Fresh Adventures Facebook Page!

As always, you can find a complete listing of all my curriculum and product reviews by clicking the Curriculum & Product Reviews page tab

Have a great week!

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