02 03 Gallimaufry Grove: Supercharged Science -- A Review 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Supercharged Science -- A Review


Okay.  I have a confession to make.  Aurora Lipper from Supercharged Science is my hero.  For starters, she has this in her backyard:

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.

Supercharged eScience Review

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.

Supercharged eScience Review

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.

Once you choose your topic, there are teaching videos, experiment videos and text based study materials.  This is a comprehensive stand alone curriculum.  You won't need any other science program.  There is so much information there.  You can go to the side bar to access shopping lists for the items you will need to do the experiments.  You wouldn't have to do those experiments since you'll be watching all those amazing videos, but half the fun of science is the cool experiments.  And the Supercharged Science experiments are really awesome.  You will want to do them.  Trust me.

Aurora makes difficult concepts so simple that even my 10 year old has absolutely no trouble understanding material that it far beyond his grade level. She is also bringing a level of scientific understanding to my high school students that they haven't had before, even though we have studied science for years.  Not only do my kids understand; they immediately begin to DO. Somehow, her videos and lessons are sparking confidence in my kids.  What they learn in the e-Science classes becomes a springboard for what they do outside of the classes.

Supercharged Science makes two assumptions.  First, they assume that you don't necessarily have a background in science.  This is good because sometimes, you, well...don't.  Since they already assumed you might not have a back round in astrophysics, they fill in the blanks for you. They don't assume that you already know how to use all the equipment.  They teach you. Second, they assume you are capable of learning anything.  I really like that, because it means that they don't over-simplify or dumb-down the information.  They don't hold anything back, because they figure you can get it.  That sparks something in my kids.

Is there anything I don't like about Supercharged Science, you ask?  Am I just a groupie?  Well, there are only two things I'm not doing back flips over.  One is not even a part of the actual membership.  If you opt to signup for the freebies that are offered, you will be inundated with emails that look a lot like a marketing scheme.  I find those emails to be a turn-off, but if you simply have a paying membership without signing up for the free stuff, my understanding is that you avoid those emails.

The second thing I'm not doing back flips over is the price.  It's a leetle bit spendy.  An e-science Premium Membership for K-8 graders is $37/month and a full membership for K-12 graders is $57/ month.  I've run the numbers.  It ain't cheap to purchase a year's worth, but it's broken up into monthly payments, so it is doable.  However, most homeschoolers I know have to trust God for every homeschooling dollar they spend and tend to shy away from expensive programs. That being said, I like the program so much that I am willing to make sacrifices to continue our membership.  My kids really, really want to use Supercharged Science again next year.  Do you think Supercharged Science will give me a big discount if I start an Aurora Lipper Fan Club?  If not, I'm just letting you know that I'll be offering a good sale price on my arm and my leg, if you'd like to buy them.  It will start a small rebellion in my home if I even consider not renewing our membership. (I am not really going to sell my arm and my leg.   Just in case you were wondering if I inhaled too many chemical fumes or something.)

Not to worry, though.  If you are thinking about making the jump, but don't want to sign up until you give e-Science a try, the folks at Supercharged Science are offering a great deal:

Oh, and one more thing:  If you get this program for your kids, beware that you may have to say things like, "You can't do Supercharged until you finish your schoolwork!" because you will find them sneaking away to do science when they are supposed to be doing handwriting.  Don't say I didn't warn you.

Have a great day!


There is more to Supercharged Science than I could possibly cover here.
If you are considering this program, I highly recommend you check out the other Supercharged Science reviews by clicking below:

Click to read Crew Reviews

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