Go Science DVDs (Crew Review)
Science is one of my weakest subjects when it comes to homeschooling. That’s why I’m thankful for products like the Go Science DVDs distributed by Library and Educational Services. They sent me two titles from this series to review: Volume 4 (Motion, Friction, Electricity, Light) and Volume 7 (Engineering, Design, Flight). It was a welcome opportunity to get my kids’ heads out of the books and give them a chance to see science in action.
If you homeschool and you’re not familiar with Library and Educational Services, I encourage you to visit their website to get to know them. They provide character-building educational products to wholesale buyers (including homeschools). From Bibles and books to CDs and DVDs, they’ve been offering quality products at discount prices (30%-70% off, sometimes even more) for over 35 years.
The Go Science DVDs feature brief video segments that show teacher Ben Roy helping guide a group of children in various science demonstrations. The videos are distinctly Christian and help kids learn about many different aspects of science while always giving glory to God.
When you first play the DVD, the main menu shows the featured topics. You can either select “Play All” or click on a topic to open a sub-menu where you can select individual experiments.
Here are the experiments included on the two DVDs we watched:
Volume 4: Motion, Friction, Electricity, Light
(running time: 55:03)
- tablecloth trick
- high-bounce balls
- marble gravitron
- yo-yo-big spool
- bowling ball
- Floating Rice
- Simple motor
- nail magnet
- jumping rings
- Food coloring and bubbles
Vol. 7: Engineering, Design, Flight
(Running time 56:09)
- How much will it hold?
- Leaning tower of lyra
- Nail balance
- Walking on eggs
- Bed of nails-small
- Rocket balloons
- Vinegar rocket
- Toilet paper on paint roller
- Film canister rocket
How We Used It
We started to watch the first video all the way through, but Ian started getting antsy by the time we headed into “Electricity.” Each segment is separate from the rest, so they really don’t need to be watched in one sitting and we just saved the rest of the DVD for another day. That proved to be a better way to watch them anyway because it gave the boys time to think about what they’d seen rather just moving on.
It also gave a chance to play around with some science at home. Most of the experiments we just watched, but there were a few that Ian wanted to try, and if I had the materials to do it at home we went for it.
What We Liked
It might sound funny, but I liked that some of the experiments didn’t work right the first time. Isn’t that the way it happens when we do them at home? It seems like so often things go perfectly for people on television, and then when we struggle it seems like we’re doing something wrong. Seeing some of the failed experiments took the pressure off when we tried them ourselves.
Actually doing the experiments was definitely the boys’ favorite part of going through the DVDs. The first one we did involved picking up a marble with a wine glass without touching the marble with our hands (moving the glass in circles). In the video (on Volume 4), Ben Roy did it pretty easily, so we knew this was one we wanted to do ourselves.
I tried it first, and I was able to get the feel of it pretty quickly. It took Ian a little longer, but once he got it he was really proud of himself.
All the segments on flight (from Volume 7) were fascinating and made Ian want to try them himself. We tried to copy the film canister experiment, but we never got more than a little “pop” out of ours. I think our lids didn’t seal quite as well as the ones on the video. Still, the boys had fun doing it themselves rather than just watching.
I appreciated the way Ben Roy used the experiments not only to teach science but as object lessons to teach biblical principles. For example, as the kids in the audience got a surprise when they found out which of two cylinders actually held more volume, he pointed out, “Things aren’t what they seem sometimes…We can’t judge people by what we see. Sometimes what we see can fool us.”
There were several memorable object lessons that made these videos much more than just science demonstrations. I really liked the way my children were able to learn that science isn’t an end in itself. Rather, it is just one more way we get to know the Lord.
“When we learn more about science, we learn more about our Creator God.”
What Could Have Been Better for Our Family
I wish the Go Science DVDs came with a little more guidance on how to do the experiments yourself. Even just a materials list broken down by segment with would be really helpful. Many of the items used were things we had around the house, but a few others would need to be purchased ahead of time. They wouldn’t be hard to find, but we didn’t really know what we needed until we started watching the videos. We would definitely have done more of the experiments if I had known what materials they required.
Just the Facts
- Recommended for ages 4-12 (My 4-year old enjoyed parts of the DVDs, but my 6-year old definitely got more out of them.)
- 7 DVDs in the Go Science series
- Price: $8.97 each (or $59.82 for the entire series)
My Overall Impression:
The Go Science DVDs are a fun way to get kids interested in hands-on science. They’re not as fast-paced as other science videos we’ve seen, but they did manage to keep my kids’ interest in smaller doses. Ian liked them enough to want to get the others in the series, and I definitely will keep them in mind when looking for ways to supplement our science program in the future.