Monday, April 23, 2012

Got Duct Tape?

"Hello, my name is Jason from!"  So begins the friendly greeting of each of 23 different science experiments featured on Volume 1 of Amazing Science!  If you have common household items like duct tape, eggs, matches and magnets, you are ready to go. 

Jason Gibson "has earned advanced degrees in Engineering and Physics, worked as a Rocket Scientist for NASA, and has a passion for teaching Science and Math!"  Unlike some engineers, Jason does have some personality and does not talk over your head.  His tone is conversational and his attitude is happy.  He shows and explains the materials you need for each experiment, and then goes on to demonstrate some amazing feats of science.  With the use of  several camera angles (including the ones like they use in cooking shows, top down), you get clear pictures of what is happening in the experiment.  

Some of the experiments we had seen and done before:  Egg in a Bottle, Lifting an Ice Cube with a String, Keeping Paper Dry Under Water, and Invisible Ink.  A couple of the experiments went right along with our Apologia Physical Science and General Science texts:  Matchstick Speedboats, Floating Eggs, Balloon in a Candle Flame, and the Density Tower.  And a couple of them were brand new and pretty impressive:  Building a Lemon Battery, Making a Cloud in a Bottle, Building a Motor with Lights and, one of my favorites, Dry Ice Bubbles!  There are more, but you get the idea!

Mr. Gibson does a good job of presenting each experiment in an organized way.  I liked how his props were often colorful so that you could really distinguish all the parts.  We've done Color Changing Milk before, but he got even better results than we did, so it was fun to watch.  After each demonstration, he goes on to explain the science involved, covering "electricity, magnetism, heat, temperature, pressure, surface tension, buoyancy and much more."  The experiments average about 10 minutes, though a few are closer to 15 to 20 minutes long.  My kids found some of the explanations slightly redundant, but the information was always good and the demonstrations themselves were great.

This volume appears to be religion-neutral -- with no mention of God or evolution that I picked up on.

You can get all 23 experiments together on 2 DVDs on their website for $19.95, a $5.00 discount from the retail list price.  Or, you can download all the experiments to your computer for only $17.99 and not have to worry about shipping!  Besides Amazing Science!, have other math, science, physics and chemistry DVD sets available.  You can also get free videos e-mailed to you if you join their mailing list.

I think these DVDs would be good for kids who LOVE science as well as those who STRUGGLE with science.  Seeing some of the demonstrations might be a good way to provoke interest in your children who are normally less interested.

As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, I received this 2-DVD set for free in exchange for an honest review.  

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

God's Nature Reflects God's Nature

Today I walked down a single block in a very small town.  On my right was a lovely landscaped retention pond with a fountain bursting forth from the center.  Nearby a tall white heron stalked its dinner.  On my left, in an even lovelier ditch -- lovelier for its wildness -- was a mini-woodpecker.  I've never seen one on the ground before...taking a break from pecking.  His Clorox-white feathers were startlingly clean, his brown feathers ruffling in the light breeze.  Just feet from him, waddling in the tiniest puddle were three ducks, as alike as they were different.  Each had its own pattern of brown and white, all distinguishable as separate and individual.

Hidden by his very stillness, a blue heron stood tall behind these diminutive ducks, thinking I could not see him.  I am so glad I saw him -- and all of the rest of those creatures.  They reminded me of my God's infinite creativeness, His perfection, and His power.  "God is in the details."  Why make so many different kinds of birds?  Why not just one?  And why not all the same color?  Because He could.  Because it is part of His nature.  Because He could not make a world devoid of COLOR and full of care.  He did not create ugly.

When you look in the mirror you can know that you also are a part of His masterpiece.  You are unique and specially designed.  God did not create anyone else who is exactly like you.

For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead...Romans 1:20a