Monday, July 14, 2014

Groovy Lab in a Box Will Educate and Excite Your Child! (product review and giveaway)



Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this product, free of charge, from Groovy Lab in a Box, via Tomoson, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it


How many times have you listened to 'to infinity and beyond'?

Or your child said they want to be a scientist when they grow up?

How about a little fun this Summer to get them on their way?

Meet your solution:

groovy lab in a box logo

Groovy Lab in a Box is a new monthly subscription service that brings the science lab to YOUR child! You receive a box full of everything you need to learn about and do hands on Science,Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) experiments for ages 8+.  Because children are natural engineers, Groovy Lab in a Box blends Scientific Inquiry and the Engineering Design Process, that allows children to create ingenious inventions, enhance critical problem solving skills, and have FUN!

Each month the Groovy Lab in a Box is focused on that month’s STEM topic, for example our box was on the Sun and what all it does. All STEMists will receive a Lab Notebook, where they can read about that month’s topic, perform investigation activities and document their findings. They will investigate, brainstorm, plan, build, test and redesign their own creations. Making them feel like REAL scientists!


groovy lab in a box items 2

Miss Grace was extremely happy to get her Groovy Lab in a Box, as she is always telling us she wants to be a scientist when she grows up! As you can see, everything is bagged by experiment (making it easy for #STEMists to find what they need), and to sort out items, in order of what they are conducting for the day.  Our June box STEM topic was "Here Comes the Sun'- all about Solar Energy and Power!

solar photo experiment

The lab book starts off with info for parents, then explains about the topic at hand, and how the box experiments will tie into them. Then we had 3 investigation science activities, then 2 brainstorm and challenge activities..There is also a sheet to record your data in the back, as well as how to redesign your experiments to work better!

The first experiment was actually a bonus one, added to the box on the lab card in the above picture. It was a pretty easy one- solar images. How the sun can make it's own 'photograph'.

solar photography epxeriment

Miss Grace had fun, as you can see, grabbing odd items around the house to make a pretty cool looking picture actually!  She actually oopsed and put both pieces of the sun paper together, so we got 2 images done at once, but the second image was lighter (being on the bottom) and was almost a reverse negative of the first. AHA, scientific discovery at it's basic level. Miss Grace was thrilled!

solar balloon experiment

The second experiment was to tape 2 black garbage bags together to make a solar balloon. This was the problematic experiment! The painters type tape sent was very hard to little hands to use and keep on a straight line to connect the 2 bags (my only complaint about the box). Which we found when she tried to fly it outside- it wouldn't fill with air, as she had taped it wrong (oops forgot to take a pix of that trial balloon). So like all good scientists she tried a second theory and attempted the same idea with only one balloon, inch wide painters tape, the hair dryer. and had success! She was amazed at how the sun could lift her balloon!

solar oven box

Next up was a pretty cool recycling idea- you make a solar oven out of the box that everything came in! Miss Grace LOVED the idea, as she is ALL about recycling! The instructions showed each step of the way with a diagram, making it easier for Miss Grace. However she decided I needed to be her lab partner and put me in charge of reading the directions and helping her apply them. At age 7 1/2, she was able to do the applications, but it was better to have a parent (or an older child) assisting, to make sure she understood all the instructions. We used the black garbage bag from the previous experiment, as well as left over black cardboard from the first experiment as well. We also decided to use a oven temp to see if we could see how hot it got in the oven (unfortunately it apparently wasn't working anymore, as it never changed temp!).

solar oven 2

Unfortunately our weather was NOT cooperating and we had daily thunderstorms that meant the experiment had to go on for 3 days, to get the required results! But it worked! She got a gooey mess of a crayon, that easily rivaled her Crayon melter that she got for her birthday!  She made use of the black cardboard and used it to draw a rainbow with her new crayon, and declared the new crayon "cool'!

The box and its experiments held her attention quite easily. the only experiment we haven't gotten to at the time of this post was the Conductivity Sensor, as we decided to save it and the online challenge one for this week. FYI- the password for the beyond section of the website is on page 1 of the lab book you receive!

While the investigation activities have step-by-step directions, STEMists won’t have detailed directions to complete the Engineering Design Challenge. Instead, they must rely on their critical thinking skills, and what they’ve learned through the investigation process from the Lab Notebook and online activities. The Engineering Design Challenge ( ours is a desalination plant!) is the culmination of your STEMist’s learning experience – the ultimate project where he/she must apply the knowledge gained from that month’s activities. We're still working on this one (we had a Summer meltdown, so we had to put it aside for a few days...). 

groovy lab in a box beyond logo

STEMists also receive access to our special “Beyond…in a Box” online learning portal. This is a unique feature of Groovy Lab in a Box because it gives STEMists a deeper understanding of that month’s topic. “Beyond…in a Box” has videos and more interactive activities (for us this was sun tea and solar light- things we have actually done before so Miss Grace was thrilled to be able to add notes on them to her lab book!) to supplement what they are learning from the box projects, which also helps the STEMist even more when completing the design challenge. Additionally, the monthly box contains bonus supplies exclusively for the activities available through “Beyond…in a Box.”

The Groovy Lab in a Box can be subscribed to by the month, 3, 6 or 12 month terms, with the monthly price going down, the more months you subscribe! The boxes mail out on the 25th of each month and arrive by the 1st to your door, allowing you a whole month to compete the activities before your next box arrives. If your kids have a heavy load during the year, then you could just order the boxes for the Summer, or if you are a homeschooler, you could get them all year long, and fulfill science requirements! Miss Grace adores her box and she can't recommend it enough to all her friends! It would be a great item to give as a gift too!

Giveaway:
And lucky you, one BTHM reader is going to win their own box!


Note: 
I'm running this giveaway for just a week, so that you can receive the AUGUST box, so you have some time for Summer fun with it! 

That also means the winner has ONLY 24 hours to respond, so we have time to get the winner info to Groovy Lab, so they can get the August box!


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I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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