Small People

Small People

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Supercharged Science Review

At my house, science is one of those subjects - you know, the ones that can often be accompanied by heavy sighs and slumped shoulders. In order to make it at least slightly interesting for my girls, there needs to be some hands-on, tactile learning going on. Just reading about it in a book is not enough to catch their interest or comprehension. Supercharged Science makes this so much easier with their e-Science Homeschool Science Curriculum.

For this review, we received one year's access to the e-Science Homeschool Science Curriculum for all levels. This is an online resource at Supercharged Science that offers videos, activities, experiments, and projects for grade levels pre-k through eighth as well as advanced topics for high school students.

The e-Science Homeschool Science Curriculum is arranged in 2 ways - by grade level or by topic. For science in our homeschool, we've always done in-depth studies into topics so this is the way we have chosen to use this curriculum. For families who prefer to cover a variety of topics across a grade level, choosing the grade level approach would work just as well. Each grade level covers multiple concepts across a few topics. For example, the seventh grade has three broad topics - life science, energy, and physics of light & lasers. These are broken down into activities for concepts such as cells, DNA, genetics, skeletons, potential energy, kinetic energy, refraction, reflection, beam scattering, and much more.

Like I mentioned, we have chosen to use this curriculum by topic, and I let Caelin and Brittany choose the topics they wanted to study. (Normally I choose what they study, but we've already begun our summer which means learning gets to be more student-led. We'll go back to me choosing topics in August.)

There are twenty-one units of topics to choose from beginning with Unit Zero: Overview of e-Science. Some of the topics include mechanics, matter, energy, astrophysics, chemistry, magnetism, life science, and earth science. Once the girls chose a topic, they watched the intro video for that topic. They then clicked to get started with lessons. It would take them straight to lesson 1 for that topic, but there was also a list of lessons on the side panel so they could jump to any lesson for that topic that interested them. Each lesson had a reading that gave detailed information about the concepts in that lesson along with diagrams and pictures to help with comprehension. One of the suggestions is for students to take notes in a journal. Brittany took notes during the readings as well as while watching the videos.

After reading, the girls would go to the list of experiments. Each experiment was accompanied by a video showing how to complete the experiment. The girls chose one experiment for each lesson. We usually tried to choose experiments where we already owned most, if not all, of the items needed. Each lesson also had exercises, which were questions to answer to see how much they learned from the reading and activities. These were both online and available to print out. Because we are on summer schedule, we chose to just discuss the questions. When we return to our regular school year, I will print out the questions for the girls to answer and have them added to their portfolio for the year.

Caelin chose Unit 19: Biology 2 - Skin, Bones, Muscles, Cardiovascular. Through her training for track and field, she has become increasingly interested in these topics so this was a great way for her to learn more about them.

One of her favorite activities was creating a robotic hand which was a model of the way the muscles in the hand work. Using items we had around the house - cardboard from one of the many boxes we've had delivered, plastic drinking straws, rubber bands, and some cord (plus a hot glue gun), she was able to get her "hand" to move each finger.

She also explored how the esophagus muscles work to move the food from the mouth to the stomach. I love how, again, this was an activity she could do using items found in our house - some old nylons and a tennis ball.

Brittany chose Unit 4: Energy 1 - Pulleys and Levers and then also began Unit 5: Energy 2 - Potential and Kinetic Energy.

While studying pulleys and levers, she did an activity to examine how an inclined plane is the same as a spiral staircase. I love how this took a concept from words on a screen to actual physical knowledge of being able to see it, touch it, manipulate it.

During the unit on potential and kinetic energy, she created a catapult using craft sticks, rubber bands, a plastic spoon, and aluminum foil. Here's what she had to say about what she learned from this: "When the ball of aluminum foil is sitting on the spoon, it has potential energy. Once it was in motion, it had kinetic energy. I learned that it could go from one type of energy to another."

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Are you interested in what other reviewers have to say about Supercharged Science? Check out more reviews from the Homeschool Review Crew.

e-Science Homeschool Science Curriculum {Supercharged Science Reviews}

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