She is totally my dream neighbor. My kids would be begging to go to her house every day. "Mama, can we play with Aurora today? Pleeeaaase?" Or, more likely, I would be begging to go play at her house. "Kids, will you do the dishes so I can go play at Aurora's house? Pleeeaaase?"
Aurora Lipper doesn't just have a cool yard, she also has an extensive resume. She is a rocket scientist, inventor, mechanical engineer, pilot, worked for NASA, been a professor, taught science to over 10,000 children, and is the president of the California Central Coast Astronomical Society. AND she has 4 kids (like me, only I didn't do any of that other cool stuff. I am humbled. I'm gonna go crawl under my rock now. I'll bet she crochets, too.)
Needless to say, we have been pretty excited about reviewing the e-Science Premium Membership
from Supercharged Science
. It is an online science program that is more comprehensive than any program we have ever used, whether online or in book form. And you don't even need to be a rocket scientist to teach it, because, well, Aurora is
one, and she does the teaching for you.
My high school kids (16 & 14) have been doing chemistry this year, so when this review came up, of course, I had them check out the Supercharged Science Chemistry course. They have always liked science. They were doing well in chemistry. But when they started Supercharged Science, something just fired in them. For instance, they were doing one of the first chemistry lessons downstairs. The next thing I know, they come tearing up the stairs shouting, "Mama, Mama!! Can we make plasma in the microwave? We wanna make plasma!!!!" What is plasma, you ask? Only the most energy-charged matter there is, that's what. And we can make it in our microwave. 'Cuz we're cool. And not only are we cool, but my kids are learning so
much science, even though they just covered this material with another curriculum.
My 10 year old, aka Rocket-boy (Aurora would like him) really likes electronics. I think that's great, except for one teeny tiny detail. I happen to be electronically challenged.
Yep, folks. I don't know a PNP transistor from a gnat. (Okay, so I would
know it from a gnat, but not from the MPF-102 field detection transistor my 10 year old asked me to buy, because I came out of the store with a PNP transistor instead. Leave me alone. They looked
the same.) Anyway, when Rocket Boy wanted to make cool machines and robots, I was pretty useless at helping him. Even worse, I couldn't seem to find anywhere to send him for information. Everything we tried either assumed a certain amount of foreknowledge that I couldn't give him or made the projects so simple that reading the title put us to sleep. Supercharged Science changed all that for us. The projects are supercool and will amaze and mystify your friends (perfect for 10 year old rocket-boys) AND every detail is fully explained (perfect for electronically challenged mothers of rocket-boys). In just a few weeks, my son has learned to use a soldering iron, has learned how to avoid short-circuiting his favorite parts, and has built all kinds of neat machines. He is hooked. I should note that the Electricity course is geared to an older student, but when you have a kid whose eyes glow every time he comes near electronics, you make exceptions. He is inhaling the material. The videos are so thorough that he is able to understand and make every project, even though he is only 10. You would think that a video that was that thorough would be inherently boring, but I keep finding myself sucked into the videos when I'm supposed to be working on something else. They are good enough to hold the attention span of an energetic 10 year old boy AND his exhausted, over-worked mother. A-maz-ing.
When you get your membership to Supercharged Science, you will have the opportunity to choose whether you want to work by topic or by grade level. (You can check out the User Guide
to see how it all works.) Working by grade level limits the available material somewhat (although, if your kids are interested in learning more about a subject, you can always switch back to topic mode). If you are prone to being overwhelmed by too much material, this might be a good option for you. However, if you are like my family, you want to know everything!
We like going by topic. And there are SO many topics. Do you want to study Astrophysics? It's in there. Biology? Yep. Chemistry or Robotics? It's all there. There are currently 20 different science classes and she adds new things all the time. And there are extras, like how to keep a real
science journal and how to turn that journal into a Journal Report that Aurora says will be a "rock-solid documentation that will pass any curriculum adviser, college-entrance examiner, or state required documentation." And I can believe it. She knows her stuff. There is even a section on award winning science fair projects -- just in case you have a few judges to impress.