A few weeks ago the boys and I were poking around Borders and we spied some new science kits from Mythbusters. We all love Mythbusters in this family. It is one of the first shows that I recommend to homeschool families, especially ones with boys. It is no secret that I am a science geek but the messaging in Mythbusters is what I truly love. The show promotes the message that it is not only OK to make mistakes in science, but sometimes it is preferred. So many of our inventions have come from ‘mistakes’. But in a world where kids are constantly drilled the ‘right’ answer I fear we have created a generation of kids afraid to make mistakes. Public schools don’t have time to let kids figure things out on their own, so when they do have ‘science’ they have to make sure that the kids get the ‘right’ answer all wrapped up in a 45 minute class period. Which of course, usually means spoon feeding them the answers. This is where we, as homeschoolers, have a real opportunity to change things for our kids. We can let them wonder, ponder, try, fail, leave it, come back to it, and try again as much as we like. It is precisely this reason that I love Mythbusters for showing kids that the way real scientists work. But, yet, I digress off on another tangent….
OK, so even with my love of Mythbusters, I was not about to shell $19.99 for a kit. So, I filed it away as something fun to look at later, when they went on sale! I was surprised that week when I got an email from Marie at Team Mom Media asking if she could send me one to review (funny how the universe does things like that) and I readily jumped.
She sent us the Weird World of Water kit. This is what the kit contains:
The kit contains most things you need for the experiments. The boys wanted to do this one:
which is essentially a bottle rocket but they were sad to find out I didn’t have any baking soda in the house. They settled on creating a vortex. I have done this one plenty of times in the classroom and surprised they had never done it in public school. It is so easy to do. You just take two 2-liter bottles and connect them together. You use a fancy little screw cap that comes in the kit (or you can buy for $5 at any teaching store). I have even heard tale that duct taping them together real tight works. This is the effect of putting momentum on the top bottle (giving it a little swirl)
The boys were fascinated with it and kept it going for a while putting in glitter and then beads that came in the kit.
I promised them that I would go get baking soda so they can do the pantry rocket soon. So, would I recommend this? Yes! With the caveat that I think the price point is too high. The book is the best part of it and does a wonderful job explaining the concepts in true Mythbusters style. $9.99-$14.99 is probably a better price point so if you can find it on sale, go for it! I know Target, Walmart and ToysRUs are selling it as well as Borders. The age range of my boys was just about right (11 and 13). It is made for kids 9 and up. Just be sure to have baking soda on hand….