Exploration Education - Advanced Physical Science

Saturday, August 15, 2015

This year we will be using Exploration Education's Advanced Physical Science Course. Some of you are like me and want to really see what a program looks like in action. Many websites don't give a big enough picture for many of us homeschool moms. If I'm paying a pretty penny for something I want to see how it works, so hopefully this satisfies you curious folks out there! This covers about 3 weeks of the beginning of this course. It has plans for 36 weeks, 5 days a week. I had planned to get 6 weeks done, so we could do our plans on a 4 day schedule. That didn't happen, but I'm glad we got through some of it to get a better picture of how it worked.

These are the main components. There is a Student Book, a Teacher's Manual and a box of supplies. I absolutely love that it comes with almost everything you need. There are a few things that don't come in the box, but they can easily be picked up at the store. The student book comes perfect bound, but I removed the spine and put it in a binder. I like being able to take the week's pages out and clip them to a clipboard. The TM has a place to log scores and the student tests and answers. I ended up copying the tests and answers and adding them to my Teacher Schedule, and I added the tests to his Student Binder. Please check out this post if you'd like to print vocabulary cards I made for this program.

These are the contents of the box. It comes with a CD that has the course contents that are to be read by the student. The CD also includes step by step instructions on each project. These are the projects we will build this year.

Each project has a separate baggie with the contents needed to build each one.

 Here is the Steamboat baggie.

The content of the program is on the CD. I was hesitant to use a computer based program. Maybe I'm old fashioned and just love a good ol' book, but after using this for a while I can see why this particular program works really well this way.

 There are sections for each topic. You click on the section that where you left off and begin the next lesson.

The student reads the content on the computer and answers questions that they then log in their student notebook. I didn't get pictures of the project instructions, but they are step by step and very detailed. It is recommended that students read through the instructions first and then begin building step by step.

This part of the program can be used independently. He has done really well in using this format.

The first project we built was the Electric Racer. 

Aedan used the computer program to follow the instructions on how to build it.

Aedan's little brother was close by. He is really excited about all the projects his big brother gets to build this year. Aedan isn't very confident with building yet, but I'm seeing how he is improving by using this program. I have to stick pretty close, but I don't offer help unless he needs it.

This was the base of the Electric Racer.

He sanded the axles to make them easier to glue.

Then he glued them on. A low temp glue gun is recommended, but you have to be pretty quick or it dries before you stick things where they go. He is learning to glue quickly or it dries.

There are templates in the student book that show where to cut things. The only problem with paper templates is that it also means you glue your project down and have to tear it off.

Here is the finished Electric Racer. He was very proud of himself!

 Here is our first test run!

This was one of the first Electric Racer experiments.

After each project is built you use it to conduct many different experiments. This was one of the experiments with the racer. 

Here is another one. Building the project can take some time, but the experiments don't take as long.

 There is actual math in this program. This time we figured out velocity and how fast the racer went per hour.

 Our brains were dead this day, but we figured it out. I'm learning SO much right alongside Aedan!

The next project was to build a glider. We first built the wing. This was supposed to take us 2 days, but it took us 3 weeks. Summer mush brain was in full effect, so we took our time with this one. I am SO glad we started early as this would have killed us to do the first few weeks of school. This project definitely needed some parental involvement, or at least it did for this kid. Some kids are fabulously gifted with building. Aedan is learning to love it still. This has been such a great program to build that confidence.

This is the completed glider. This thing is awesome! It took a while to build, but it was worth it. You can't see it from the picture, but the wing is wrapped with shrink wrap. Phew! So glad we made it though this one. Apparently this is one of the more difficult projects. The racer was pretty easy. I heard the house can take a while too.

This was our failed launch. Some folks were afraid to fly their glider, but the experiments require you to launch it. I can totally understand being afraid to fly it. It was a lot of work! I would recommend flying it over grass. I could see it breaking if it hit concrete. We took it out as a family to the park where we could get more room. We laughed and laughed at how it failed the first few times. I think it was too windy this day. We flew it at home and it went way farther. There is a technique to throwing it that is shown on the computer, and there is a way to adjust the wing if it goes too far up or down.

Here is a second launch.

 This time it flew better!

To show you not to be scared, there are other days where experiments are super simple.

 This was a simple gravity experiment.

I hope to share more of our days in EE. We start school in a few weeks, and hopefully will be able to share more of our projects! See you soon :)


7 comments:

  1. Oh this looks like oodles of hands-on fun learning! Thank you for sharing more in-depth information. I briefly looked into it when my daughter used (I think Rev2Rev), but decided against it.

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    1. I almost decided against it too, but I think it will challenge him in a good way. I have Apologia General as a backup. I wavered back and forth between the two.

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  2. Wow! That looks like so much fun! My son would love it!!

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    1. So far so good with us! My youngest is pretty jealous. Hopefully he has fun with his science too :)

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    1. I sure hope our brains wake up enough to get this done daily!

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  4. I love your blog! I was wondering if you might update about your experience with this science curriculum? Thanks!

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