Monday, July 9, 2018

MEL Science - Chemistry Experiments Delivered to Your Door

I won't lie, when I opened the box I was a bit intimidated.  All those unfamiliar chemicals looked quite "official" and a little scary.  But I am an adventurer and LionHeart looked too excited for me to let him down.  Besides, sometimes text books can suck the fun out of learning.  These kits definitely  looked like they were about to kick the fun factor up several notches.

Experiment #1 Burning Magnesium

The first experiment we tried was Burning Magnesium.  Thank goodness for the video links to all of the experiments.  LionHeart is a visual learner.  While I poured over the written instructions, he watched the video.  Here's what happened:

Experiment #2 - Fire in A Bottle

After opening the contents and setting everything up, imagine how disappointed we were to discover that the ethanol alcohol was not included - either that or I had misplaced it! We substituted isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol.  A quick Google search taught me that the two are not the same chemically.  I was ready to give up when LionHeart, my little scientist, urged me to try anyway.  Each time LionHeart inserted the lit skewer, it kept going out before he could get it to touch the alcohol.  For the short time that it was lit, we saw a slight fire in the bottle. LionHeart was intrigued by the bubbly cauldron effect created and spent another 30 minutes toying around and discovered that if you insert the skewer sideways the fire stays lit.  That's what I really love about science - it stokes the fire of  a curious mind.

Molecular Balls as viewed in the app

How It Works

MEL Science is a subscription service.  Each month you'll receive a chemistry set with 2-6 experiments.  The kit will include just about everything you need.  There are a total of 38 interactive hands-on chemistry sets.  Each set comes with all of the supplies and a description card that gives a quick overview of the experiment, safety precautions and a link to the video that demonstrates the experiment.  The MEL Sciene app serves as a virtual 3D microscope that enables your child to better visualize what happens in each experiment at the molecular level.  The website also provides more information about the topic if your learner is interested.

When you purchase a subscription, your first shipment includes two chemistry sets and the Starter Kit, The starter kit includes includes a Borosilicate glass beaker and flask (for use with excessive heat), virtual reality glasses (to observe molecules and crystal lattices from the inside - wow!), a macro lens that turns your smartphone into a microphone (so cool!), a tablet stand, large syringes, safety glass (of course), tray and Lion Heart's favorite, the solid fuel stove burner for use with experiments that require an open flame.

The Experiments

Click here to see a list of the experiments available through the MEL Science subscription service.  MEL science takes the intimidation factor out of chemistry and inserts the WOW factor.  This is how  children get really interested in science.  The mind-bending chemistry formulas can come later.  For now, let them fall in love with chemistry.

Virtual Reality Lessons

MEL Science also offers virtual reality lessons that cover all main topics of chemistry.  Difficult chemistry concepts are easily explained in bite-sized 3-7 minute virtual reality videos.  Students can use the VR glasses that come with the starter kit to enjoy these mini-lessons.  What fun!


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