Tuesday, June 24, 2014

REVIEW: Go Science (Series 2) DVD’s by Library and Educational Services

My kids were thrilled to be able to review a couple of the Go Science (Series 2) DVD’s by Library and Educational Services.

 

WHAT IS IT?:

Go Science Series 2 - Set of 7 DVDs

The Go Science (Series 2) DVD’s are a collection of video segments depicting cool science demonstrations that were originally taped for a Christian television broadcast.  Each segment ends with the same phrase that every time you learn more about science, you learn more about our creator, God.

Each science demonstration lasts for approximately 3-10 minutes, and each DVD runs close to one hour in length.  Each DVD focuses on particular disciplines of science, so collect them all for an exciting array of demonstrations for the science enthusiast in your house!

Many of the science demonstrations show experiments that it wouldn’t be safe to conduct at home, so it gives your kids a chance to witness some things about science that they may not otherwise get to see.

These are recommended for ages 4-12, but really, the whole family can enjoy these exciting displays.  They are available to purchase for just $8.97 each and would make great gifts for the little scientists in your family!  Take a look at a video excerpt from Volume #1 to get an idea of how wonderful this series can be.

I’ll be discussing volumes 2 and 4 for this review.  Volume #2 includes these experiments:

Life Science:

  • Flashlight-Animal Eyes
  • Animal Skulls
  • Bobby Pins
  • What Are You Looking At?
  • How Much Do Your Lungs Hold?
  • Eating Nails for Breakfast
  • Naked Eggs

Weather:

  • Fire Tornado
  • Ping Pong Cannon
  • Liquid Nitrogen Cloud
  • Cloud in a Bottle
  • Garbage Can Vortex

Volume #4 includes these experiments:

Motion:

  • Tablecloth Trick
  • High Bounce Balls
  • Marble Gravitron
  • Yo-Yo Big Spool
  • Bowling Ball

Friction:

  • Friction
  • Floating Rice

Electricity:

  • Simple Motor
  • Nail Magnet
  • Jumping Rings

Light:

  • Food Coloring and Bubbles

 

OUR EXPERIENCE:

We got to select two Go Science DVD’s for the review, but my kids all wanted different ones.  They were so excited that I went ahead and selected two but then ordered the rest of the series myself to save for their birthdays!  Won’t they be surprised?!?  We settled on Volume #2 and Volume #4 for the review.

Volume #2 covered Life Science and Weather.  I’m going to summarize for you the experiments that we saw in this video.  Ben Roy is the host, so that is who I’ll be referring to in each of the demonstrations.

  • Flashlight-Animal Eyes:  He talked about how light is reflected back from a spider’s eyes into your own eyes.  It’s the same with dogs, cats, deer, etc.  God made them that way so they can see better at night.
  • Animal Skulls:  He showed different skulls and identified the animals from which they came.  He talked about the position of their eyes and how eyes on the side of the head indicate the animals is a predator that must seek out its own food, but eyes on the front of the head (like humans) indicate that the animal is not a predator.  He also talked about the kinds of teeth they have.
  • Bobby Pins:  He talked about the sense of touch and the ability to feel pressure on your hands vs. other parts of the body.  To demonstrate this, he used either one or two bobby pins and pressed them into the hand of someone with their eyes closed.  The participant had to identify whether they felt one or two points.  When placed on the hands, the participant could correctly identify either one or two points every time.  But the further up the arm he moved the bobby pins, the less accurate the participant became in identifying one or two points.
  • What Are YDSCF1984ou Looking At?:  He discussed how when you look at a person, you naturally focus only on the eyes and mouth.  To demonstrate this, he took a photo of someone the audience knew and held it upside down.  The audience members easily recognized her until he turned the photo right-side up.  Then it was crazy-looking!  This was because in the photo, her eyes and mouth were placed upside down on her face.  But because we focus on only the eyes and mouth, they recognized her when the photo was upside down but the eyes and mouth were right-side up.  Isn’t that interesting?  We thought that was pretty cool.
  • How Much Do Your Lungs Hold?:  He filled a jug with water and floated it atop an aquarium roughly 2/3 full of water.  With a tube attached to the jug, he had a participant blow into the tube to displace the water in the jug with air, pushing the water out into the aquarium.  In doing this, he was able to demonstrate the capacity of the participant’s lungs.  It was kind of surprising how much air a person’s lungs could actually hold!
  • Eating Nails for Breakfast:  He mashed up cornflakes and water together in a zippy bag until it turned to mush.  Then he stuck a bar magnet down inside the mush, rinsed it in a bowl of water, and dried it with a paper towel.  Then he showed how the filings of iron from the cereal had stuck to the magnet by floating them in a bowl of water.  Amazing!  The kids and I pretty much freaked out at that point.  We never expected to find iron filings in our food, so we vowed right then and there to try this experiment at home!  He explained how God designed our bodies to need certain minerals, and iron is one of them.  He said it’s essential to the functions of our blood.  Very interesting!
  • Naked Eggs:  He dropped an egg into a beaker full of white vinegar and shoDSCF1986wed how bubbles immediately begin to rise from the surface of the egg.  He explained how the vinegar reacts with the calcium carbonate in the shell and slowly dissolves the shell itself.  He showed how after seven days, the shell is completely resolved.  All that is left is the contents of the egg inside a membrane that you can now see through.  He explained how this relates to the calcium in our bones that is needed to keep our bones strong.  He suggested that we limit our consumption of foods and beverages (like soda) that deplete the calcium from our bones.
  • Fire Tornado:  He lit a can of Sterno inside a metal screened cage.  Then when he spun the cage around, the air blowing in at an angle caused the flame to become a fire tornado!  That was pretty neat!  He related this to how our words can also become a “fire tornado” if we let them get out of control.  Very good point.
  • Ping Pong Cannon:  He took a long piece of PVC pipe and covered one end with tape.  Then he placed a ping pong ball all the way at that end inside the tube.  Then he covered the other end with tape.  He set an empty soda can in front of the empty end of the pipe.  Then he vacuumed out the air from the pipe so it was vacuum sealed.  Then he punctured the end with the ping pong ball using a pair of scissors.  The pressure of the air pushing into the tube launched the ping pong ball out of the far end of the tube with such force that it completely punctured the soda can and came out the other side!  He picked up the ball afterwards and showed the dent in it from the impact.  Wow!  We never imagined the ping pong ball would be forced out so hard that it would go right through the soda can!
  • Liquid Nitrogen Cloud:  He poured liquid nitrogen into a plastic storage tub.  The condensing moisture created a cloud above the container.  Then he poured hot water into the tub containing the liquid nitrogen, and a GIANT cloud erupted into the crowd!  It looked like an atom bomb exploding!  He related this to God returning in a giant cloud and taking us into heaven.  This experiment looked so cool that the kids and I had to rewind it and watch it several times!  Awesome!
  • Cloud in a Bottle:  He pressed the valve from an air pump onto the end of a plastic bottle that contained a small amount of alcohol.  Then he pumped air pressure into the bottle.  The pressure creates heat in the air molecules.  When he removed the valve, a thick cloud immediately formed inside the bottle!  When he pumped pressure into the bottle again, the cloud disappeared, and when he pulled the valve off, the cloud immediately reappeared!  He related this to God’s creation of the water cycle and how this is what keeps our earth moist.
  • Garbage Can Vortex:  He created a vortex with two plastic bottles taped together and swirled the liquid inside, creating a “tornado.”  Then he took the bottom out of a trash can, leaving a round hole in the end.  He filled the trash can with fog and tapped on the other end, creating rings of smoke that were sent into the air!  Then he demonstrated this again using a trash can that had a square hole in the end and asked the audience members if they thought it would create a square ring of smoke.  They thought it would, but when he tapped on it, it made the same round rings of smoke!  He explained that this is because a square is not a strong shape in nature.  It is a law of nature that strong things are round, like the egg shell we looked at earlier.

The kids really enjoyed the video.  They are ages 14, 9, and 6, and all of them thought it was cool.  I found myself telling my husband about the iron filings in the cereal as we went to bed that night, and even he was surprised by the outcome!  Pretty cool. 

So on another day, we broke out Volume #4 on Motion, Friction, Electricity, and Light.

  • Tablecloth Trick:  He talked about inertia and how things at rest want to stay at rest.  He placed a plate and a vase of flowers on a table that was covered with a tablecloth.  He counted down and then had a participant from the audience pull the tablecloth off as fast as he could.  Remarkably, the items on the table didn’t even move at all!  Inertia is a law of nature, and everything in nature obeys this law.  He related this to how we also must obey the laws of God.
  • High BoDSCF2002unce Balls:  He stated that a basketball had potential energy in it, and then he had one of the participants drop it on the ground.  It bounced high, using kinetic energy.  Then he had a participant drop a smaller rubber ball, and it also bounced high.  But neither one bounced as high as it started out.  Then he balanced the smaller ball on top of the basketball and had someone drop it from the same height.  The small rubber ball bounced VERY high.  It created a lot of kinetic energy.  He related this to how God placed a lot of energy in our universe so that we could survive.
  • Marble Gravitron:  He began spinning a marble with a glass turned upside down on the table.  Then he continued spinning it and lifted the glass and rotated it all the way over while still spinning the marble.  He explained that centripetal force got the marble spinning.  Then inertia kept it in place.  He related this to how if Jesus is our focus, then we move only in the direction God wants us to follow and will be guided by good forces.  We should seek God first every day, and our paths will stay focused.
  • Yo-Yo Big Spool:  He had the participants try to play with yo-yos.  Then he took out a big wooden spool with string wrapped around it.  He pulled it up high and showed how the spool went the opposite direction that he was pulling.  But if he pulled the string at a lower angle, it rolled along right towards him.  He related this to how sometimes we feel up, and sometimes we feel down.  But we can’t trust our feelings.  We have to trust in God, because our feelings can be just like yo-yos.
  • Bowling Ball: He had a participant begin swinging a bowling ball that was suspended with a cable.  It swung like a pendulum, and he talked about how there was not any danger of being hit with the ball as it swung back because it lost energy as it moved.  He said this was another law of nature.
  •  Friction:  He had two children sit on a plank of wood while holding a cable and then had another child attempt to pull them, but they didn’t budge due to friction.  Then he had them repeat the exercise, but this time, he placed tubes underneath the plan as the girl pulled them.  This time, the plank moved forward with the children on it because the tubes were able to roll along underneath it because they had less friction.  He talked about how friction helps us as we walk so we don’t slip. 
  • Floating Rice:  He had a child place a skewer into a container full of rice and showed how he could not lift the container by pulling up on the skewer.  Then he tried it again with a bottle.  That didn’t work, either.  Then he did it in another bottle, and the skewer did lift the bottle!  It worked this time because the rice in the bottle was more tightly packed, and it put enough pressure on the stick that it was able to lift the bottle.  He related this to how there are a lot of people packed onto the Earth, and how Jesus wants to save all of them.  He pushed down on the rice in one of the other containers, and then it lifted that container, too!  He said this is like spreading the word of God to all the people so they, too, can be saved.  We were a bit surprised at how this experiment worked.  We had thought perhaps the rice was wet until we saw him just pack it down, and then it worked. 
  • Simple Motor:  He had a participant wrap a wire around a D battery into a coil.  Then he removed the coiled wire from the battery and wrapped one end of it around thDSCF2003e coil to keep it coiled.  He had a participant place a ring magnet onto the side of the D battery.  Then he took a pair of scissors and scratched the insulation off the magnet wire.  Next, he placed a paper clip on each end of the battery and slid the two long ends of the coil of wire into the loops of the paper clips.  Low and behold, the coil began spinning!  They had created a motor!  He said that our bodies generate electricity, and this allows us to move and function.  God made our bodies this way so they would work!  We thought this was a pretty cool experiment, and this was one we were pretty sure we were going to try at home!
  • Nail Magnet:  He had some participants wrap coated wire around nails.  The insulation on the ends of the wire were stripped off.  Then he had them connect the ends of the wires to a battery.  This created an electromagnet.  By doing this, the kids were able to pick up a whole bunch of paper clips all at once!  The electricity from the battery strengthened the magnetic force.  He related this to how the electromagnetic field around the earth protects us from the sun.
  • Jumping Rings:  He had a big electromagnet called a jumping ring.  He had a participant place a ring on top and then turned on the magnet.  Wow!  The ring flew up into the air!  Then he poured liquid nitrogen into a cooler and dropped the aluminum rings into it so they would get to be 190 degrees Celcius just like the liquid nitrogen.  Then he put one of the cold ones onto the electromagnet and turned it on, and it flew way up even higher than before!  The cold ring was a superconductor.  He related this to how God wants us to be supercharged with His power and give our hearts to Him.
  • Food Coloring and Bubbles:  He put a couple of drops of red food coloring in some water and mixed it up.  He related this to our sin being red like crimson.  Then he said he would try to “wash our sins away,” and he added some dishwashing liquid and mixed it up to create bubble soap.  He noted that the bubbles they mixed up with their hands were white, even though the liquid was red.  He said God takes our sins away into purity like white, and the bubbles in the container looked white because when a bunch of them are together, they look white.  Then he took some plastic wrap and showed how it was clear, just like one bubble by itself looks clear.  Then he had some participants fold the plastic wrap over and over again many times and showed the audience how it now looked white!  What happens is that the light is being refracted by all the layers, just like the bubbles all bunched up together, and then it looks white.  He related this to how God takes our sins away and makes us white as snow.

Overall, we thought the videos were really good.  Haylee (age 9) said “they were cool” and she “liked all the experiments.”  Hayden (age 14) said he liked how “it had a multi-purpose format where on one hand, the experiments were informative, but at the same time, it communicated a consistent theme of following God.”  Holden (age 6) said “some of them were so cool, but the one with the cloud was awesome!”  I, too, liked the way Mr. Roy tied in real-life spiritual lessons to many of the experiments in a way that made you stop and think a little deeper about the relationship between science and God’s awesome creation.  I also liked that there was a good mix of experiments you could recreate at home if you wanted, but you could also enjoy seeing some demonstrations that you might otherwise never get to witness.

Haylee enjoyed them enough that she was already asking to watch some of the other DVD’s I purchased to save as gifts, so I guess that idea has been overruled!  Smile

Find out what other Crew members had to say about these and other Go Science DVD’s by clicking the banner below.