Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Amazing Science! A TOS Review

Today I am going to tell you about a DVD set called Amazing Science, by ScienceAndMath.com.
This past month I had the opportunity to review Amazing Science, Volume I, which is a two-DVD set.
Now, before I go any further I need to explain to  anyone who has not read any of my previous reviews, my son that I am homeschooling is like the old Life Cereal commercials from the 1970's, where the kids were trying out this new cereal, and then they say, "Let's give it to Mikey! He won't eat it. He hates everything!" My son is like that kid when it comes to things I receive to review. Where other reviewing moms are telling me how excited their kids are over each new box that arrives in the mail, my son just rolls his eyes and groans. So...

Imagine my delight when I came out one morning to find my son delightedly watching the Amazing Science DVD 1!  And loving it! What a treat for me as a mom!

Now before he had even started the 2nd DVD, he was tired of it, but that's okay. That just means that I have more experiments in my arsenol that I can be prepared with to have him do, experiments I can spread out over a period of time, and be able to explain to him what exactly happened and why.

So on that first day, he watched experiment after experiment after experiment. And then he pulled out supplies and began doing experiments!  He was going so fast I had no time to photograph; I had to go back later and do some myself so I could provide some photographs! Get this: when I was doing the experiments on my own, photographing, my 22-year-old was watching and thought it was so cool that she had to do it again herself. She wanted to change an aspect to see how it would change the outcome!

So, the experiment that I recreated is called "Color Changing Milk". The materials required are a dish of milk (preferably whole milk, but I used 2%); some food coloring, some grease-cutting dish soap, and a cotton swab.
Once you have the milk on the plate or in the bowl, you put food coloring in. (I used only red because my son had used so much food coloring doing this on his own before I got there...)

 You need to put some soap on the tip of the cotton swab.
Then you dip the cotton swab into the middle of the food coloring color blotch, and watch what happens!
 Isn't that cool stuff!

Now, let me clarify for you what I love, love, love about these DVDs: Jason Gibson, the experiment demonstrator, explains clearly and completely, in a scientific way, exactly what has happened in the experiment. I can't tell you how many cool experiments I have done from books where, well, that was cool, but what does it mean? And I would be unable to explain anything to my students, but merely say, "Wasn't that cool?" 

So, what a treat to watch Jason's demonstration and then have him explain so that I can understand what is happening. "It's an interaction between the soap and the milk,..." and "What's happening is this is an example of how soap really works..."  He explains that good quality dish soap specially made to bond to those fat molecules and proteins, and these fats and proteins are in milk. So the soap is actually bonding to those molecules, latching on to them. The soap bonds to the proteins, and makes them swirl and move. After a while the experiment won't work any more because all of the fat has bonded to the soap. And the surface tension is also disrupted by the soap. 

We did another science experiment called "Exploring Air Pressure". We started with a dish of colored water, a candle, and a jar that was able to fit over the candle.

 Next we lit the candle. We want the air around the candle to get hot.

 Now, with the candle burning nicely, we lowered the jar down over the candle.

 The candle is using the oxygen in the jar and heating up the air. As the candle burns, the water level begins to rise in the jar.

 The candle went out, because there was no more oxygen in the jar. The air that was left behind starts to cool off, contract, and had lower pressure, lowering the pressure inside the jar. The higher pressure outside the jar pushes water up higher in the jar. So, first the water went up because the jar used some of the oxygen; second, the water rose even higher because of the air pressure inside the jar being higher than the air pressure outside of the jar. Very cool. Well explained. I feel so smart!

There is also a free demonstration video for you to see on YouTube:

 Amazing Science Volume 1 sells for $19.95. Go to that link to see the Table of Contents -- 23 experiments in all, using mostly household items. (Okay, I'm sorry, I don't own copper pipes, special magnets, and I don't even own the right size jar to do the hard-boiled egg trick right now, but the items that you don't own are not hard to get at your local hardware store.) Because this was labeled "Volume 1", I know they must be planning to do more of these wonderful Science demonstration DVDs in the future!

 ScienceAndMath.com has a goal to "bring you the very best Science and Math videos to tickle your curiosity and entice you to want to learn more about the world around you!" In addition to the Amazing Science DVDs, they have Science DVDs for Chemistry and Physics, and they have Math DVDs for
Basic Math DVD Course
Algebra 1 DVD Course
Algebra 2 DVD Course
Advanced Algebra DVDs
Geometry / Trig DVDs
Calculus DVD Course
They also have a Basic Math Word Problem DVD, which I own, so it was fun to make the connection that, "Oh! I've seen this guy before!"

I really think this company has a bright future, and this Science DVD is worth the price. I am looking forward to integrating the rest of it into the rest of our school year, and I am sure I will be looking to buy more materials from this company in the future.
  • This product is a non-consumable.
  • This product's popularity in our house ranged from 12-22, because that's the range that we have. I think this product would hold the attention of all of your homeschool students.
  • The purpose of this product is to excite your students about Science, and teach them in an educated fashion.
  • This DVD set can be watched all at once, in sections, or spread out to do one experiment per week, and then you can research deeper into the topic of that experiment. The experiments in this DVD set will be performed when your backs are turned, even though the warning is clearly and regularly stated, "Do this with adult permission and adult supervision." You will run out of food coloring, matches, eggs, milk, and anything else these experiments call for.
  • You and your students will have fun.
Hey, what can I say? "Mikey" liked it!

I received DVD set of  Amazing Science, Volume I  in exchange for my honest review. I was not paid for my review, and this is my personal opinion of the product. I tell my own opinion, whether it is good or bad.

This has been a TOS Homeschool Crew Review.
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Go to the TOS Homeschool Review page to see more reviews of this product.

Let me know what you think. Throw me a comment. Thanks!