REVIEW: MEL Science

The founders of MEL Chemistry came together because they are science geeks, and they want to share that passion with children. MEL Science have created a standalone educational package that will captivate the interest of your child by demonstrating the real science (real chemistry, not tricks with a scientific slant) in all of its beauty and depth. They offer 38 interactive hands-on chemistry sets plus a complementary app for smartphone or tablet. The sets are designed by experienced scientists and are suitable for children age 9 – 14. Working through the sets will constitute a do-it-at-home year-long chemistry course, which is both fun and engaging, delivered to your home at the rate of two sets per month; it’s great for home educators. Your first package will include a free Starter Kit and VR headset. The Starter Kit includes the main chemistry equipment you will need in the experiments. It also includes accessories for your smartphone or tablet to learn chemistry in the best way. It contains – Borosilicate glass beaker and flask; Virtual reality glasses; Macro lens to turn almost any smartphone or tablet into a microscope for capturing amazing pictures and videos of your experiments plus a special stand that fits any smartphone or tablet; Large syringes; Safety glasses and a tray; Solid fuel stove (burner). After that, each month you receive two new exciting chemistry sets on different topics containing from 4 to 6 experiments.

Each chemistry set is well planned to include everything you and your children need to conduct 2-3 safe experiments at home. The detailed descriptions that form part of the package really ensure children understand what they are doing and grasp the scientific principles. The sets are complemented by an app will serve as a virtual 3D microscope enabling your child to better visualise what happens in each experiment at the molecular level. More information will be found on the MEL Chemistry site which helps to find out more about the topic of each experiment, as well as answer any questions. The experiments are perfect for parents and children to do together, giving quality family time while engendering a genuine interest in chemistry, and supporting and extending the learning done at school. Following that, children can extend their knowledge independently by using the excellent resources on the website. There is no need to be concerned about safety – the experiments are designed to be as safe as possible – no explosions, no harmful substances. At MEL Science, they don’t just create interesting experiments, they make sure that children understand the underlying science – and that’s the important thing. This approach will lead to enquiring minds and children developing a real love for the subject.

The monthly cost is £38.90 (April 2018) and the subscription can be cancelled at any time. We received the Artificial Sea kit, which allows the creation of chemical seaweed and chemical jellyfish. The products are nicely boxed and it’s easy to see what is included; a clear instruction sheet is included for each experiment. They’ve even thought to include latex gloves. It’s totally fascinating to see the product develop in front of your eyes and this really will stimulate wonder and awe, as well as understanding of scientific processes.

Our second box is based on tin and includes the kit to make a tin dendrite and a tin hedgehog. Again, all perfectly packaged and easy to see what you get; with some packs, you may need to add basic household items. All the parts are professional quality and will make children feel like real scientists. A brilliant way to excite children about science and one that will have lasting benefits. These two boxes are recommended for 12+.

Other boxes include zinc-carbon batteries, nutrients, nitrogen, chemistry for detectives and thermal effects – this gives an indication of the wide range. Hands-on experiments give children confidence in trying out science and I recommend that you encourage children to record their experiments, perhaps with photos, to help with the scientific recording which is a National Curriculum requirement. Impressive quality and a great way to encourage a genuine interest in chemistry; the whole family will look forward to the arrival of the boxes. Subscribe at the MEL Science website.

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