This article is part of our guide to Teaching Science at Home.
What is Supercharged Science?
Supercharged Science offers two really great options for science education: a complete e-Science program that is offered fully online and a Science Mastery Program that includes not only the e-science element but also a detailed printed book, all of the materials for each experiment and a DVD collection. Both programs offer an extremely well-rounded education that exceeds standards and both are backed by full support from the Supercharged Science team.
We go over both of the programs below and then follow that with an interview with Supercharged Science.
Free Introductory Science Kit
If you like what you see we have made an arrangement with the Supercharged Science team to provide you with a free Science Activity Video Series and Manual so you can get an idea of what their programs are like yourself. Grab access to that right now on their website.
The Science Mastery Program
The first option we looked at by Supercharged Science was their Science Mastery Program.
The Supercharged Science Mastery Program offers three levels of learning for different age groups. Each program includes everything you need to teach your child: including instructional videos, a complete step-by-step book and all of materials for experiments. Plus, each program includes access to the extensive e-science program to aid teaching and learning.(check out more information about this element below)
We reviewed the Silver Mastery Program for ages K-8 and were absolutely blown away with what this program has to offer. Here is what really stood out for us.
Hands-on Learning: The entire program is centered around giving kids real experiences with science education. There are included materials for over 100 experiments and activities in the Silver Mastery program alone--and they get even more extensive at the Gold and Diamond levels. The supporting documentation itself would provide an excellent education, but the focus on learning by doing means that kids gain the full benefits of complete immersion in the science process.
All Materials are Included: There is nothing more frustrating when trying to teach concepts through science experimentation than discovering that you're short on the supplies you need. The Mastery programs include everything you will need for every experiment (aside from some basic household tools like scissors and a hot glue gun). So whether you need straws and cups or motors and lasers you can expect to find it in the neatly arranged kit.
Ease of Use: If you're not a science expert (like most of us) you will find that this program is still accessible and fun to use. The program is so flexible that you can simply sit down with your kids, pop in one of the supporting DVD lessons from Aurora Lipper, flip through the included experiment book to find your chosen project, and get moving with an exciting activity. The kids absolutely love this--especially younger ones who really need to touch, feel and be part of something to stay interested. If you like a more structured approach you can use the book, DVDs and extensive online courses to work though each section in order, learning all of the basics before supporting that learning with the experiments.
Accessibility of Complicated Subjects: Every single one of the experiments we worked through in the Silver Mastery program provided a HUGE amount of scientific education in a fun and accessible way. In one section we went from knowing next to nothing about electronics to building a working motor in less than an hour with a 3 and 9-year-old. In another, a "jiggle robot" was built in just 15 minutes--and then the kids spent another hour using their newfound knowledge to perfect it and tweak it to make new designs. The kids were able to complete and understand every step of the process and use that knowledge later in other projects. Everything we needed was there: the instructions were clear, we had a friendly teacher via the included videos to guide us, tons of online resources to further advance our understanding, and all of the materials. Everyone had fun and learned a great deal and we found this process to be true for every other experiment we completed.
Overall, the Science Mastery program is like bringing a teacher and classroom full of supplies right to your kitchen table. If a high-quality, well thought out curriculum that includes everything you will need to start teaching science effectively is appealing--this is the program for you.
Read more about the Science Mastery Program on the Supercharged Science website.
The e-Science Program:
The second option we looked at was the e-Science program. It has many of the same outstanding benefits as the Science Mastery but is available completely online. That doesn't mean that it is an online program however. Supercharged Science has beautifully combined teleclasses, videos and reading elements with a ton of hands-on experiments and exercises to teach kids advanced science in a fun and interesting way.
Once you gain access to the private members area, you can start from the beginning of the program or you can jump around to areas of interest. There are 19 main units covering everything from mechanics to biology, and each section includes a huge amount of resources.
For those parents who like to let their child lead the way, e-science will give them a wonderfully developed curriculum to explore their interests and expand their knowledge in a safe and proven environment.
For parents who like to provide a well-structured learning experience, you will have all of the tools and guidance you need to teach your child. The only thing you'll need to bring to the table is your own supplies for the experiments.
Each unit contains a teleclass to get the student started and then is separated into different lessons with a video introduction and highlights, related reading, and experiments with videos and exercises. The helpful videos are very personal and enjoyable to watch and make learning the concepts and doing the experiments straight forward. All of the elements combined together make the lessons feel very full and complete--and also provide milestones for success as each element is completed.
One of the things that really stood out for us is that creator Aurora Lipper is active on the site every day, answering questions. Parents and kids can leave comments on any experiment and she appears to be very quick to respond. This is such a great bonus.
If you are looking for a complete e-science program that gives you advanced learning options and valuable guidance from a knowledgable educator, this is an excellent option.
You can find out more about the e-Science program on the Supercharged Science website.
Interview with Supercharged Science
The founders of Supercharged Science were kind enough to take the time to answer our questions about their programs. You will find their answers below. Once you have read through them you may like to visit their site for more information where they offer an extensive breakdown of the programs.
Of course, the best way to know if something will work for your family is to try it yourself. Don't forget to check out the free introductory science kit from Supercharged Science.
Can you tell us briefly about Supercharged Science? What science subjects are covered?
We’re devoted to helping parents teach science to their kids the easy way. Our programs are designed for homeschooling parents and parents who want to supplement their kids’ regular science education, as well as teachers. That means teaching it in a way that is easy for parents (or teachers) to deliver, even if they don’t have a lot of time or don’t have a science background.
While our approach is easy for parents to implement, it teaches science in an incredible effective way. Most of our lessons are based on hands-on activities that allow kids to learn REAL science that they understand and will remember (We avoid having kids memorize all kinds of facts that they’ll soon forget). Our hands-on approach results in kids gaining a deeper understanding of each concept, as well as remembering more. Overall, kids enjoy the learning process so much that they WANT to learn the academics.
Please share a few reasons why you think science education is so important to today's youth.
When kids learn science, they are able to more deeply appreciate the wonder of the incredible world we live in. On the practical side, every year there are more new college and career opportunities in science and technology than ever before. Even non-technical majors and careers require knowledge of science and technology. Basically, kids who have a good science education have an easier time getting into colleges. Adults who have a solid science background get paid more and get jobs much more easily than those who don’t. So these days, having a good science education is really critical.
How do you think your programs stand apart from other curricula in helpings kids grasp complicated concepts?
Our programs are really different from others. First, our programs are self-guiding. This means that if you don’t have time to teach science, or if it’s not one of your favorite subjects, that’s not a problem. Just set your kids up with it and the program guides them step-by-step through what they need to know.
Next, we focus on hands-on science learning that really inspires kids to become excited about science. Once they are having fun with an experiment or activity, teaching the academic part is easy. Plus, they learn it on a deeper level AND remember it in the long term. We shy away from just teaching concepts from a book – kids don’t really learn science this way, and what they do learn is quickly forgotten.
Our goal is to inspire kids with a real love for science and how it is a part of our magnificent world. This means we make it really fun for them – we regularly hear from parents telling us how one of our science programs literally changed their child’s life.
What tools are in place to help parents teach their kids? What makes them unique?
We don’t just provide a science curriculum, but really, a comprehensive science education support system. We include unlimited support with our e-Science and Science Mastery programs. This means that if a parent has a question, they just send an email or pick up the phone and call, and get an answer. Questions are replied to either by Aurora herself, or one of our staff of scientists. These people are all professional scientists or science teachers who really know their stuff. We have a reputation for some of the best customer service in the industry. To us, our customers are friends, so we treat them like we would treat friends.
Can you give us an example of a favorite science experiment or section that you feel represents the benefits of Supercharged Science?
The Plasma Grape is one of my favorites (you can turn a grape into the 4th state of matter, plasma, in a microwave oven).
To give you an idea of what e-Science and Science Mastery are really all about, I want to give you a free sample of some activities and experiments from e-Science. It’s called the Science Activity and Video Series, and includes videos that guide kids step-by-step through some really cool science activities (including the plasma grape), plus has a guidebook to explain the academics behind each one.
By the way, we have over 1000 science activities, projects and experiments like this in the e-Science and Science Mastery programs.
For those parents trying to choose between a Science Mastery Program and the e-Science program what do you see as the top three benefits of each?
E-Science is a complete science curriculum for grades K-8, and the advanced version is for grades 9-12.
It’s a self-guiding curriculum. This means that if you don’t have time to teach science, or if it’s not one of your favorite subjects, that’s not a problem. Just set your kids up with it and the program guides them step-by-step through what they need to know.
The program is primarily video based with Aurora or one of her staff teaching just like a real teacher with. Plus, every activity, experiment and project is clearly demonstrated on video, so there’s rarely any question about how to get things to work.
E-science uses a hands-on approach that really gets kids excited to learn more. Once they are engaged, we introduce the academics that explain what they’ve already done in an experiment. This way, they are totally excited to learn and do more. The result is that kids learn material better AND really enjoy the process. I mean, when a kid is genuinely interested in a subject and wants to learn more, teaching the academics is easy.
We offer unlimited support for parents via email, forum and phone. Have a question, you’ll get an answer.
I don’t think you can decide if a program is right for you unless you try it. So, we offer a total 100% money-back guarantee. Try it for 30 days, and if you don’t like it, we’ll gladly give you a full refund. No hassle. That’s how I like to be treated, so we give our customers the same type of respect
You pay for e-Science as you use it. It costs $37 per month, everything included (or $57 per month for the high school level and advanced middle school program). There’s no contract and you can cancel anytime.
This includes an introductory DVD, as well as a package of hard-to-find parts sent to you.
Science Mastery is basically the E-science curriculum PLUS the parts and pieces you need for the activities in it. It includes a subscription to e-Science for 1 to 5 years (Plus, it also includes a good deal of the activities, projects and experiments on DVD).
With Science Mastery, you get a complete curriculum, AND don’t need to worry about shopping for materials and supplies.
There are three levels of the Science Mastery Program: Silver, Gold and Diamond. The Silver program is great for Grades K-8, and has enough materials for 1-2 years of science education. For people who want a more advanced curriculum, the Science Mastery Diamond program covers grades K-12 and has enough materials for 3-5 years of science education.
It is truly the best, most complete science program you can get anywhere.
All our Science Mastery programs include a complete total-happiness money-back guarantee. Try the program for 30 days, build projects, do experiments, use the materials however you like. If it’s not right for you, just send it back and get a full refund. No hassle. I think you need to try something out to see if it’s right for you, so that’s what we let people do.
Do you feel that the e-Science and Science Mastery programs provide a strong base for future learning?
Absolutely. E-Science and Science Mastery provide what I call REAL SCIENCE education. This means that it’s not just abstract concepts or rote memorization. Rather, kids dive in, build stuff, do experiments and learn from them while having a blast.
The result is, they are really well prepared when it comes time to go off to college. They have already done the kind of real-world science that real scientists do, so they are experienced and prepared.
BTW, In many areas, we exceed state science standards significantly.
Are there any other comments/information that you would like to share?
I would just say, try the free sample yourself and see how your kids respond. I think that’s the best test of any curriculum.
Click here to try the free sample of activities from e-Science and Science Mastery.