A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Groovy Lab in a Box - Lunar Launch - GIVEAWAY


Projections from the Department of Commerce indicate that STEM fields are growing rapidly.  While I don't subscribe to the theory that we should focus our teaching on making good little workers for the future, I do think that kids who learn to be comfortable with STEM concepts and pursue STEM training will have an advantage in the career world.

Because of this, I am excited to tell you about Groovy Lab in a Box.  Groovy Lab in a Box is a subscription based STEM exploration project.  This is not a "science kit" in the sense that it does not give you an experiment and step by step instructions for how to recreate a desired result.  It gives kids ages 8 & up the knowledge, through entertaining videos and a helpful Lab Notebook, to come up with their OWN projects to figure out how to get the desired results, and today, you can enter to win this same box for your own kids!  


We received the Lunar Launch box and access to the Beyond the Box section of the website for review purposes.  A single kit sells for $28.95, and an ongoing subscription brings the price down to as low as $23.95/month.  It took us about a month to watch the videos and do one project each week, using Groovy Lab in a Box as a science supplement in our homeschool.


Can I just say that I love the actual box?  Not only is it super cute, it's also super green, being made with recycled materials and water based inks.


But we're not here to talk about the box.  We're here to talk about the contents!  The box contains everything you need to do the projects.  Not, "some common household materials required" like most science programs.  (I kid you not, the science book we hate asked us for hydrogen peroxide and LIVER recently.  Who has liver laying around the house??)  I love, love, love the fact that everything we need is all in the box.


Our box contained a mix of consumable items, such as tape and antacid tablets, and non-consumables, like a cool tape measure (it even entertained the 17 year old!) and scissors.

When it was time to dig in, I let the kids get into the box and handle all the contents while reading bits aloud from the Lab Notebook.  This was a huge departure for me from how we usually handle science materials.  I'm learning not to be such a control freak.  One of the ladies at Groovy Lab in a Box told me it's okay to let the kids tear into the box and explore.


This is Eli and Jack, watching a tablet fizz.


Our first rocket was The Balloon Rocket.  We tied a string to one stool and stretched it across the playroom.


Then we threaded the string through a straw (we had to get creative and use a paperclip to help the string pass through), before tying the string to another stool.


Eli inflates the balloon for our rocket.


Then the boys work together to tape the rocket to the straw.


Ready?  Set?


WHOOSH!


The kids played with this rocket over and over, adding weight in the form of playsilks.


Re-inflating.


Then we added the paperclips that came in our box.  This lesson was an absolute success with my students.  The videos we'd watched really helped them understand the forces at work when we did the project.


The following week, it was time for another type of rocket, Paper Rockets.  These were totally fun, and all the kids could make their own.  We had rockets flying all over the house!


Brianna just launched one from upstairs.  Open floor plans make this an inside activity on a day of yucky weather, but it would work well outside, too.


Eli prepares to return fire from down below.


In the upper right corner, you can see the rocket Jack just launched!


An incoming rocket from Eli downstairs.  Can she catch it?


Yes!  She caught it!


Returning fire.


This shows the original rocket next to the straw for blowing them.


I think this rocket was my favorite of the 4.  I loved that for all of these projects, I could get out the box, have the Project Manager read the materials list while another child got out each item needed for that specific build, and then read the Procedures and everyone was able to work together, without any input from me, to make each of the projects.


The next week, we were on to Foam Rockets!


The kids learned new things about stability and used problem solving skills and creativity to make the foam rocket with a rubber band at the nose to launch it.


This was really popular with my Nerf-loving children.


Again, this would probably be best done outside, but at the time it was cold and icky, so we did it indoors.


Eli talks Jack through a launch.  Rulers have been swords in our house before, but using them to propel rockets was new.


I won't tell you how many pictures I had to take to actually get one showing the rocket in motion.  Let's just say, it was a lot.


The Grand Finale was the blasting off of the modified foam rocket.


In it's final incarnation, a film canister was inserted into the tail section to hold antacid propellant.


I really wish I had amazing photos of the rocket shooting up into the sky.  But the lag time on my camera is awful, and by the time the shutter finally went, the action was over.  Use your imagination, and pretend there's screaming and mayhem as the rocket sails upward.


You'll notice, this time we really DID do the launch outside!  The lab book offers solid guidelines for establishing a safe launch zone to be sure not to injure people or damage property.


Reloading.  The boys immediately wanted to put antacid tablets on the grocery list!

Now's the part you've been waiting for!  The GIVEAWAY!  The lovely ladies at Groovy Lab in a Box are allowing me to give you the chance to win your own Lunar Launch box!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For those of you who just can't wait to get started on your subscription, I have a coupon code for you!  To get 40% off the first month, enter grtlyblesd at checkout.


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62 comments:

  1. How many kids worth of supplies are in one box?

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    1. I used our box with 3 students, and we did just fine. They all built paper rockets, and the rest they shared. It's a very group-friendly, collaborative learning kind of thing. :)

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  2. I don't have any ideas but I love the fact everything you need is in a box. Where your not looking for supplies. I would love to see astronomy stuff in the box.

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    1. Isn't that great? I don't even want to think of how many experiments I've blown off because we didn't have all the supplies.

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  3. This box looks fabulous! I would love to have something like this around to entertain the nieces/nephews.

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  4. Either something with germs or the human body or space would be awesome!

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    1. We once did a germ lesson where you squirt a different color of glitter glue into one hand of each students, and then have them all shake hands and handle things. It illustrates the point very well.

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  5. This is such a cool giveaway. I love the concept of curated boxes like EiaB or Passport or the various art and beauty boxes, but they're just not in our budget.

    I think EiaB could make a great polymer based box. Instant snow, borax gak, water marbles, linking toys...~wink~

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    1. That sounds like a FUN box! We've done instant snow, but we haven't tried the water marbles yet...

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  6. Back to homeschooling and this would be awesome to have. Science is my weak area.

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    1. It has been mine, too. Somehow, I think we get a mental block that science is too hard or too messy or whatever. I've really enjoyed some of the "other" science we've done this year, while we were avoiding the science book that we hate.

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  7. Love this idea! I'm a huge fan of the monthly box programs, and this one seems like it's right up our alley!

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    1. Aren't they addictive?? We do the Honest Co boxes (hello diapers to your door!). I've done book clubs and preschool kits before. I keep wanting to try either Kiwi Crate or something similar. EEME was awesome, but it's only 5 months long at this point, so we're done with them all.

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  8. I love the in-a-box type kits because they're so handy. We have lots of science project idea books but always seem to forget some key ingredient or component when we're planning over the weekend. Contrary to my son's firm beliefs, duct tape will NOT actually substitute for ANYthing you could ever need. :)

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    1. Wait... you plan over the weekend?? LOL! I "recover" over the weekend and then scramble on Monday. Maybe you're on to something!

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  9. I think a bridge building kit would be fascinating. Bridges, suspension, weight bearing...

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    1. That's a good one! When The DaVinci Experience was local to us, we took the kids, and there was an amazing hands on replica of a bridge he designed. The kids got to figure out how to make it from just planks. It was really interesting.

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  10. How about a nature study box from different parts of the country?

    These look really neat! Thanks for the review and hosting the contest!

    Warmly,
    Kate

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    1. Oh, that's a fun idea! I'm really regretting not taking my kids out in the back field with magnifying glasses while it was still "the back field." They're putting a subdivision in now.

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  11. What about a box about insects or animal camouflage.

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    1. Great ideas! My older boys went through an intense camo phase. Learning about *why* soldiers wear camo, and how camouflage occurs in nature would be a big hit.

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  12. That looks like a LOT of fun!!! My kids love hands on stuff like that :)
    Thanks so much for sharing.

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    1. It was fun! I love to see my kids excited about science. :)

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  13. How about something with simple chemistry? My kids love to blow things up. Lol

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    1. You know, I have a chem set we've never even gotten into? Sad. I don't know why science is so intimidating for me. I would love to have EiaB lay it all out simple for me!

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  14. I would love this..everything in one box! Looks great!

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  15. How fun! My oldest is very interested in STEM activities and I need all the help I can get. Thanks for bringing this company to my attention!

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  16. This looks SERIOUSLY cool! My kids would love it!

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    1. It was seriously cool. :D I can't wait to do another one!

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  17. It looks like the company is just getting going with their box options. I love the look of the circuits box. We are struggling with a particular science curriculum that relies on experiments because we cannot find basic materials easily (like a compass!). My oldest has been working with magnets recently and it is strange to know what the magnet is supposed to do only to find out that the magnet is not strong enough. Flying paperclips don't actually fly if your magnet is not very strong! The boxes look cool. Thanks for the showing them off. - Lori

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    1. One of the reasons we ended up calling it, the science book that we hate, is because so many experiments flopped! Maybe some of it was not quite right supplies, like your weak magnets.

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  18. I have always thought my home is strange because we rarely have those 'common household items' needed! Glad it's not just me :)

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  19. What about bubble science ?

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    1. Surface tension! Sounds like fun! I discovered a couple big bottles of bubble solution in the laundry room recently. We'll have to go out and play with them soon. :)

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  20. I wish I were more creative, I can't think of any new fun science projects off the top of my head! I think the kids are scrambling my brain!:) I always love doing volcano experiments with my kids...so messy but so fun!

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    1. We have a volcano that has moved with us twice--still in shrinkwrap, LOL! I really hope to finally do it when Hannah goes off track.

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  21. Any science experiment I try to do for my children is funny because they rarely work. :-)

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    1. I hear that! We had quite a few science flops with our science book this year.

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  22. What a great sub box! An experiment with insects would be cool:)

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    1. We had the most amazing big, green beetles living in our compost at our old house. :) Bugs can be fascinating.

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  23. Anything more they can do with space would make a huge hit at our house. :)

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    1. It's fun to see what our kids gravitate toward. :) Space is a fun obsession.

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  24. My son is obsessed with the human body - not just the senses and other typical things. He knows the names of the major bones, the parts of blood (and what each does), and all of the major organs. I can always use more hands on ideas for him!

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    1. Have you done the thing where you trace his body onto butcher paper and then make/draw all the organs and glue them on?

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  25. Once, we did the elephant toothpaste science experiment. I had prepared my kids for the big ooh and ahh moment.... really built it up. Unfortunately, I did not use the strength of hydrogen peroxide I needed, and it simply fizzled. It was too funny.

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    1. Elephant toothpaste?? I haven't heard of that one!

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  26. My 10 yr old would LOVE these boxes. She is a big fan of science! Her school requires a yearly science fair project starting in 4th grade (is required through 12th)! Last yr (4th grade) we did Homemade Laundry detergent vs Tide! She placed at school level then went on to place 3rd overall in chemistry in Elementary division. This year we experimented making plastic using milk and an acid! We tested two acids to see which would work best! Vinegar & lemon juice! She once again placed at school level & then placed 1st overall at regional level! The plastic project was so much fun & it taught about polymers! It was super easy to make also! We painted the plastic pieces after! So it was like science AND art in one!!!!

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    1. Wow, congratulations to her! :) The laundry detergent experiment sounds interesting, I'd love to hear how they compared.

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  27. Replies
    1. Yum! We could grow mold *on purpose*? ;)

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  28. i haven't used one but would love to try it out

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  29. something the goes kaboom! This will be a fun project to do when kids are out of school for summer!

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