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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Go Science DVDs-Library and Educational Services Review

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A few years ago, I was introduced to Library and Educational Services (LES).  LES is a wholesale supplier of wholesome, educational books, DVDs, CDs, and more.  Their prices are outstanding, and their services and shipping have always been wonderful and prompt.  In fact, they are the company that provided us with these Go Science DVDs to review, and I added a few other things to my “cart” (some Drive Thru History DVDs for next year) when they sent me the science DVDs, because their prices just can’t be beat. 
We were offered our choice of 2 out of 6 possible Go Science titles.  Because my kids are older, for the most part, I chose Volumes 3 (Magnetism, Engineering, Electricity, and Design) and 4 (Chemistry, States of Matter, and Life Sciences).  Here’s the “official” scoop on the DVDs.

Even kids who claim an aversion to science will be engaged by the high-energy science demonstrations of Ben Roy! Ben teaches science methods at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and is the former director of a science program on television. With this expertise, Ben captivates, motivates, and inspires students to be excited about science, while providing effective instruction based on science phenomena. Each spectacular demonstration of physical or chemical science has a spiritual application and points to our Creator!

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Each DVD is about 45 minutes to an hour long.  The target age range is 6-14.  They each contain individual segments which feature one science experiment each.  For example, Volume 4 has segments entitled “Exploding Bottle”, “Flash Paper”, and “Lycopodium Powder”, just to name a few.  The DVDs were filmed in front of a live audience of enthusiastic children, some of whom serve as volunteers for the experiments.  Mr. Roy finds a way to tie every science discovery into some Biblical truth.  Each segment ends with, “Every time we learn something about science, we learn something about our Creator God.”
The pros:  My youngest child (7) loved these.  Her 10 year old brother liked them too.  The segments are short and engaging.  The experiments are “cool”, like flash paper or lighting up a light bulb via a connection made with salt water.  But the very, very best part of these is the Biblical application.  For example, in the experiment on lycopodium powder, he challenges one helper to grab a watch out of a beaker of water without getting his hand wet.  It’s impossible, as we all know.  But then he covers the water with lycopodium powder and has another helper try.  Her hand gets coated in powder but stays dry!  He uses this to demonstrate how the Bible tells us to be “in the world” (in the water), but not “of the world” (getting wet).  It is a GREAT visual representation of that lesson!
The cons:  My older kids (ages 12 and 14) were disappointed that more of the “how” and “why” parts of the science experiments were not explained.  Yes, flash paper is totally consumed by fire, but how?  What makes an acid an acid?  What makes a base a base?  What is the reacting agent that turned the ammonia purple?  Why does vinegar turn it clear again?  They wanted more information.  They also felt the segments were a bit overacted, especially if you watch several in succession.  And by watching several in a row, you notice that there are definite inconsistencies in the audio levels of some segments verses others!
The bottom line:  I like these videos.  And my youngest daughter wants the whole collection.  I think they’d make amazing tools for churches too.  The idea of using science experiments of explain Biblical truths is creative and powerful.  But I also think the target range is perhaps optimistic, and I would love to see a series of “deeper” science videos that had the same approach with a little more meat (science and spiritual) to them for older kids.
The Go Science videos are available from LES for $47.95 for all 6 DVDs, or $8.97 each.  To order them from LES, go HERE.  To see what other members of the TOS Crew had to say, go HERE.
Legal Disclaimer:  As a member of the TOS Crew, I received 2 Go Science DVDs of my choice to review.  Those free DVDs were the only compensation I received, and all opinions expressed are my own.
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