4.11.14

Fascinating Education ~ Middle School Chemistry

Access to the following online program was provided by Fascinating Education for the purpose of this TOS Schoolhouse Crew review. 



Fascinating education


For this Schoolhouse Crew review, Fascinating Education provided a full year of online access to one of their three courses. My son chose Fascinating Chemistry. My son doesn't struggle with science, it is his favorite subject. Even though this course can be used by high school students, I thought it would be a good fit for him as lessons start as if the student has no prior knowledge of the subject being taught (chemistry, biology, or physics.) 

These courses are for middle school through high school; depending on the course. Chemistry was recommended as a good starting point, and my son was able to jump right in with the online lessons. Engage your student with science from Fascinating Education for $79.00 for a year's access to one of these subjects or multiple courses can be bundled. Eighteen lessons and tests are included, and seven lessons have labs. 



Fascinating Education's science lessons were developed by Dr. Sheldon Margulies, a neurologist who inspires youth to explore careers in science. 
"In Fascinating Education lessons, Dr. Margulies flips the teaching process and approaches science through the “right hemisphere” of the brain.  Instead of using a written text as the primary teaching tool, he uses simple, colorful illustrations as the primary teaching tool and supplements that with text, in the form of attached audio files, to explain the illustrations."

Each lesson had three links which led to the video of the lesson narrated by Dr. Margulies, the script of the information covered, and the test for that lesson. My son used the script link (which remained open in another window) as a reference. If he needed to review, he could pause the video and read the information from the "script" link. 

For these lessons we returned to narration. As my son learned new information he shared with me by telling me about his lesson. He learned more about elements than he previously knew, from being able to explain how molecules joined together, electro negativity, and polarity of molecules.

My son did share that he was not able to watch the lessons with the black background as easily. I think that just is a matter of preference, but did notice most of the slides shared in the videos are dark. 

The tests are given in a multiple choice format. One thing that I really like is the "review" option after taking tests. Scores are not tracked by the program, but test results can be printed before closing that screen. Although scores are not stored by the program, progress is, Even if he stops mid-lesson, the lesson begins in the same spot whenever he resumes it. New words are defined in a glossary built into the program. Labs can even be printed. 

Joseph is continuing to learn with this program, and we will continue using it throughout the year. This worked well for his learning style and by using narration with I was able to easily see what he understood and what needed more review. I think it would also be a more independent course for an older/more advanced student. 

His molecule that he made in his new co-op science class fit perfectly with these lessons.  
Other Schoolhouse Crew Reviewers also tried Fascinating Biology and Fascinating Physics.

Click to read Crew Reviews
 
Jennifer 

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