Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Young Scientists Club

The Young Scientists Club is great way to introduce kids to science with the added fun of getting something in the mail.  For about $15/month, you get a science kit in the mail that contains most of what you need to complete six or so simple science experiments on a particular topic.  You add household items (i.e. vinegar, a two liter bottle, etc.) and you are ready to go.  An included booklet has a parent section with many details about the experiments and a child section written by "Celsius the Science Bug."  Celsius takes your child through the experiments and gives explanations for what is happening.  Each kit builds on the next, so you often use what you learned or built in the previous kit to help with the next one.

In truth, many of the experiments are the same as the ones you can find in any good library book.  The genius of the kits is in stringing them together in a way that makes sense and in providing all the unusual items.  For instance, a kit about light includes a small prism.  A kit about the senses includes several packets of powders to use to find the different taste buds on your tongue.  Also, getting a kit in the mail makes it all the more exciting.

Although the website lists the kits for ages 5-12, we have found that they are getting a bit elementary for my 9 year old who is exposed to a lot of science outside these kits.  Even he, though,  learns something new with every kit.  We often supplement the kits with books from the library on the same topic.

Life science, earth science, physics, and chemistry are all covered by the 36 kits which are available.  They form a great enrichment program for any child and a good basis for a homeschooling science program.

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