Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Curriculum: Home Science Adventures

We have just started using the Magnetism Adventure kit from Home Science Adventures. I do like these kits. We worked through Microscopic Explorations last summer, and this is our second venture. Each kit has a series of hands on lessons, with everything you need included in the box - no preparation time (apart from copying the lesson sheets), no hunting round for household bits and pieces you don't have, and interesting activities. Today we did a levitating needle experiment, using magnets to hold a needle in the air without touching it. Then we experimented with putting different items between the needle and the magnets to see what, if anything would break the magnetic field. The levitating needle had the "wow" factor, and both girls were surprised that even thicker items didn't cause the needle to fall. A simple and effective science lesson, and we are all looking forward to working through the rest of the kit. I think the suggested age range of Grades 1 to 8 is a bit optimistic - even with the optional extra activities suggested in the teacher's manual, I don't think the content is enough for a 13 or 14 year old, but for primary / elementary science these are excellent. The Microscopic Explorations kit was worth the money for the pocket microscope alone. Ours will get used for years!

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