Ben Roy’s Go Science Series 2 from Library and Educational Services is an incredible and entertaining set of DVDs (which can be purchased singly or together) of filmed experiments in front of a studio audience of children. Our family reviewed them and found them both fun and fascinating!
Every homeschooler knows that there are experiments that YOU SHOULD NOT TRY AT HOME. Whether it’s because of safety concerns (we don’t REALLY want our kitchens to explode), lack of proper equipment or materiel (do you have liquid nitrogen in your homeschool classroom?) or lack of training on the part of the instructor, there are times we can’t do everything we’d wish in our homeschool science classes. Well, Ben Roy of Go Science Series 2 has all those things we might lack—proper training, appropriate equipment and the understanding of how to safely undertake some of these wilder experiments. He is a science professor at University of Tennessee–Chattanooga; he has produced science lessons for the Weather Channel; he’s the former director of News Channel 9 “Science Theatre.” All of these, plus his obvious love of science and the scientific method, qualifies him to bring fun experiments to life for our families. The DVDs are produced for children ages 4-12, but I think my husband and I enjoyed these as much as our 12-year-old son did!
The entire Go Science Series 2 set includes these seven DVDs:
- Volume One: Sound * Gravity * Space
- Volume Two: Life Science * Weather
- Volume Three: Air
- Volume Four: Motion * Friction * Electricity * Light
- Volume Five: States of Matter * Water
- Volume Six: Chemistry
- Volume Seven: Engineering * Design * Flight
Each DVD has a running time ranging from approximately 55 minutes to just over an hour, and the videos contain a wide variety of experiments, each one lasting from 4-8 minutes. So you can see that you’ll get a lot of interesting experiments in one hour! Many of them you can actually replicate at home….and others you won’t be able to. But you and your children will thoroughly enjoy learning with Ben Roy as he unfolds the secrets of science in these videos.
We received two DVDs to review: Motion * Friction * Electricity * Light and Chemistry. I’d love to tell you a little about each one!
Motion * Friction * Electricity * Light
This video’s experiments describe principles of friction and motion, energy and the natural laws that govern them. Did you know that ripping a tablecloth off a table expresses friction and motion? Roy introduces us to potential and kinetic energy (not to mention conservation of energy) using bowling balls, basketballs and high bounce balls. We learn how to turn a nail into a magnet, and how to build a simple motor. And, we learn about the refractive power of soap bubbles!
We are always enormous fans of chemistry, and this DVD did not disappoint us! We learn from Ben Roy about surface tension, catalysts, and…perhaps most exciting…explosions of various types! Some of our favorite experiments introduced us to: why hydrogen can be used for rocket fuel; how to make instant snow; how to create Silly Slime. And many more!
One thing our family especially enjoyed about the Go Science Series 2 DVDs was the Christian worldview that underscores each episode and experiment. Ben Roy believes that as we engage in scientific discovery, we learn more about the character and works of God. As a matter of fact, his closing words in each experiment are: “Every time we learn more about science, we learn more about our Creator–God.” We’ve always believed that science and God are not mutually exclusive. How refreshing to find a science series that is in agreement with that!
The Go Science DVDs could be used in many ways! Here are some of the ways we recommend Go Science to be utilized for your family! You could use them in your own homeschool for family viewing, like for a movie night. You could also pair them with the science topics you’re learning with your curriculum. You could even use them as jumping-off points for experiments you’d like to do at home…..well, MOST of them, anyway! (You might want to avoid the ones that utilize hydrogen and propane, or liquid nitrogen, for example.) Our family thoroughly enjoyed watching them together, but I know we’ll revisit them again and again when we study different units in science. We enjoyed them, and we happily recommend them to you!
Other TOS Crew members used and reviewed various titles in the Go Science series. You can read about their experiences at the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.