Google The Unplanned Homeschooler: Back to school science kits to consider

Friday, August 1, 2014

Back to school science kits to consider

School funding for science and other subjects, especially at the elementary school level, has sharply decreased over recent years as more focus has been placed on math and reading. But that doesn’t mean your students have to miss out on great learning experiences.  

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Whether you are a classroom teacher, a home educator or simply a parent who wishes to supplement your child’s education at home, you may be interested in picking up some science kits for back to school.

Here are a few favorites for you to check out.

Live animals


You can order science kits that allow you to hatch butterflies, frogs, chickens and more. Bird eggs, like chickens and quail, require an incubator. This can be a little pricey for a single use, but if you have a classroom or a homeschool group that could use the incubator over and over, it’s definitely worth the cost. Frog hatcheries and butterfly hatcheries are a lot less expensive, and can be reused with new orders of eggs or you can find eggs or larvae in the wild. 

Dissection kits


If your student is interested in the inner workings of the body, there is no better way to get an understanding of anatomy and physiology than through a firsthand look. You can get a variety of small animals, including a frog, a fish, several invertebrates and even a fetal pig, complete with a dissection kit and instructions for less than $50. That’s enough for weeks and weeks of lab work and will give your student a look at a wide variety of animal organs and structures. Single animal kits are significantly less expensive.

Rocket science


If your students would like to learn about rockets, you have to check out Estes. This company makes a huge variety of customizable rockets available at hobby stores and online. Better yet, they provide lesson plans in information for students and teachers on their website for free. You only need one launch kit, which you can get for under $20 complete with a rocket. Many additional rockets can be purchased for under $10 apiece.  

Chemistry


There are so many chemistry kits available, or you can basically build your own by purchasing individual chemicals and pieces of lab equipment. If you are purchasing a chemistry kit for younger students, make sure it has enough materials to do several experiments. I recommend kits that allow you to make slime, grow crystals, and study a variety of scientific concepts.

Microbiology


Kits are available to study the bacteria and fungi in the world around you on a basic level or in a more advanced way. If you already own a microscope, you can get started studying microbiology for less than $30, with enough supplies for a whole classroom or for a few students to do a larger experiment. Home Science Tools offers free experiment ideas on their website for everyday science or even for science fairs.