I’ve often said that a key ingredient to being a successful homeschool mom is being excited about learning, and that’s exactly what Aurora Lipper brings to homeschoolers with SuperCharged Science. We’ve been reviewing the e-Science Homeschool Science Curriculum and Aurora’s excitement is honestly contagious. Here’s more about this amazing science program for kids.
Meet Aurora Lipper
One of the biggest strengths of this science program, for me, is the teacher. Aurora Lipper is an engineer who has worked with NASA and now teaches kids about all areas of science. She reminds me a lot of Ms. Frizzle in the Magic Schoolbus—she’s got the same wild, curly hair and exuberant attitude about science.
We’ve used other online science resources where the focus is on the science. The videos show experiments, or drawings and diagrams, or animations, while a voice talks over it all. For kids who are into the science, that’s great. However, I think a big part of what drew my kids into SuperCharged Science was a feeling of connection with the teacher.
All the videos we’ve watched have been taught by Aurora Lipper. She does use other videos, like footage of an ROV exploring the ocean, and demonstrates experiments. But she’s in each and every video, talking as fast as I do and even inviting kids to answer her questions (“just shout it out like I can hear you!”).
Since she’s clearly super excited about what she’s discussing (even if it’s rocks, which isn’t her favourite topic, as she admits!), it’s easy for the kids to get excited.
Using SuperCharged Science
SuperCharged Science covers all science from grades 1 through 12. There are two ways to use the program: by topic or by grade level.
Sunshine (grade 5) decided to explore by topic. She currently wants to be a marine biologist when she grows up, so she searched “marine biology” in the search bar and found tons of videos. She’s watched some of these videos more than once! Sunshine really likes picking and choosing what she does each day. Being able to explore has been perfect for her.
Lily (grade 4) liked working by grade level as she gets a bit lost of there are too many options. She simply clicked on the Grade 4 icon and then worked through the material as recommended. For example, fourth grade science covers electricity, magnetism, circuits and robots, rocks and minerals, and energy.
SuperCharged Science has been easy for the girls to do on their own. For the most part, they’ve logged into the website, chosen their learning path, watched the videos or read the articles, and completed the experiments. There are also teacher resources included with each section, if you want to be more involved.
For example, in Fourth Grade Science, Lily could pick between the following topics:
In each topic, students get a description of this area of science, a list of key concepts, and a list of what they’ll be able to do when they’re done the labs. You can download a shopping list for all the experiments. Earth Science includes 12 labs or experiments; Sunshine and Lily did five of these.
You can also download an assessment packet, which includes educational goals, teacher guides, student worksheets, quizzes, lab practicals, and more. These are black-and-white so they are easy to print at home. The Earth Science Packet is 16 pages, with enough material to reinforce student’s learning but not so much that they are overwhelmed. The reading and writing aspect of the packet also gives students another way to process what they’re learning in the videos online.
SuperCharged Science Experiments
What would science be without science experiments? Boring, probably. But science experiments are a big part of why science is hard to do at home. First, there’s getting all the materials for the experiments. Then there’s the mess of doing the experiments.
SuperCharged Science takes care of the first by using materials you can find around the house. The second, well… I guess we just need to teach our budding scientists to keep the lab clean.
The girls really liked doing experiments and Aurora is all about hands-on. At times my kitchen has felt like a science laboratory, with various experiments progressing in every corner. There are a few videos about science experiments that aren’t safe to do at home. In those cases, Aurora talks about safety and hazards and demonstrates the experiment in the video.
Sunshine and Lily used alum, water, eggshells and food colouring to make geodes:
Sunshine made a stalactite with yarn, Mason jars, Epsom salts, and water:
Lily made salt crystals on a sponge:
We also made rock candy. All of these involve growing crystals, so its lots of fun to see the experiment progress. The girls liked checking their crystals to see if they were “done” yet.
What I found interesting was not the final result, but how the final results differed. For example, some of our eggshell geodes formed nice little crystals in the bottom. In others, the water dried up and we were left with what looked like salt (the un-dissolved alum, I suppose). The rock candy grew on the bottom of our jars, not on the stick. (I’m still not sure how we’re going to get it out of the jars…)
TLDR: Why This Science Program Is Super
- clear, interesting lessons taught by an engaging, personable teacher
- excellent organization and layout makes it easy to navigate the website
- flexibility about studying science by topic or grade level
- students can work independently or with parent support
- tons of hands-on activities reinforce science learning and fun
- 1000s of videos on the site, as well as articles, printable quizzes and labs, and more
More about SuperCharged Science
To find out what other homeschoolers think about SuperCharged Science, read the CREW reviews.
SuperCharged Science has tons of free science activities you can check out with your kids. It’s a great way to see if your kids like Aurora as much as Lily and Sunshine, and if SuperCharged Science is a good fit for your family. (This would also be a great resource for free summer fun!!!)