Friday, May 11, 2012

Review: Go Science and Library and Education Services

Go Science / Library and Educational Services

Price:  $8.97
Age:  6 to 14

The chance to review two science CD’s also gave me the chance to discover Library & Educational Services.  This is a web site that sells wholesale to resellers, educators, libraries, churches and schools.  The best part – home educators are included!  I’ve always believed that as a home educator we should have the same opportunities to purchase wholesale as the public and private schools.
Per their web site:

“For over thirty years, LES has been committed to excellence in both our customer service and our product selection.
With our variety of Christian, wholesome, and educational DVDs, CDs, books, games, and more—PLUS our personal, superior customer service, we are confident that you will return to LES again and again!”

I’m impressed with the amount of stock they offer.  What I like best is that I can find DVD’s on topics that are hard to find in the local library or store.  For example, we’re considering taking a trip to Yellowstone and there are numerous videos available on that location.
For this review, I received two videos from their science section.  Go Science Volume 4 – Chemistry, States of Matter, Life Sciences and Go Science Volume 6 – Water, Space, Solar System.  We were allowed to pick from their selection of Go Science videos choosing the ones we felt worked best for our family.

Each video on the back states: “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!”

My boys ages 12 and 14 and I watched both of the videos.

What we liked:
  • The experiments were interesting and fun.  He uses fire, explosions and interesting approaches to teach different concepts.  For example, he did an experiment with root beer floats.  However, it wasn’t what you’d expect – he was showing that a can of regular root beer will sink while diet root beer will float. 
  • Ben Roy, the presenter, obviously has a passion for what he is doing.  It’s great to see someone motivated by his love for science.
  • The students in the video were asked to help with the experiments.  The boys enjoyed seeing young people engaging in the experiments as well, not just as an audience.
  • Mr. Roy often connects what is happening in the experiment to God and creation. 
  • He always reminds us that we are learning about God.  In fact, in Volume 4 – he relates much of what is going on to Biblical truth.  This video was more about biblical story than science, but we did enjoy the way he made the connections!  For example, he shows how fire burns paper and leaves ash.  He states the Devil tells us that our sin is still left over like that ash.  However, he then lights flash paper that totally burns up and uses that to show that God cleanses us of our sins.  Nothing is left. 
  What we didn’t like:
  • While the experiments are applicable to older students, the presentation is very much an early elementary format.  
  • With some of the experiments, he shows the outcome but doesn’t go into detail about why it happened.  What was the chemical reaction, what caused the result.  For older students, the why is very important.
  • Additional camera shots would help the home audience see the results of experiments.
  • Sometimes he says science helps us learn “about our Creator God!” but doesn’t say how so.  The experiment alone isn’t as evidential as explaining how unique and intricate the world is and how it points to design.  Again – for older students, he needed more depth.
Here’s an example of the videos:

We enjoyed the opportunity to watch the videos.  The experiments were interesting, and it was fun to try to figure out the outcome before he revealed it.  As noted throughout, these videos target young or early elementary students in their format.  However, the experiments, if taken into more depth would be applicable for older students as well.
If I were to use these when my boys were younger, I would have used them as part of apologetics.  Showing how God is in the details.  The biblical stories he provides and examples he uses through his experiments would be great jumping off points for in-depth discussion of how we see evidence of God in everything.

To see additional reviews by the TOS Homeschool Crew – click here.

Disclaimer:  I received these two videos free of charge as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew in exchange for my honest review.

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