Tag Archives: Science Curriculum

Innovators Tribe: Engineering Review

If you are interested in helping your kids explore and develop their engineering skills, then you might want to check out the online courses from Innovators Tribe

Innovators Tribe currently offers 3 hands on courses for kids who want to learn to design, create, and build.

Thinking Like An Engineer 

Thinking Like An Architect

Thinking Like A Carpenter (coming soon)

We were recently sent a 2 year subscription to Thinking Like An Engineer for the purpose of this review.

Thinking Like An Engineer

Online Course

Interactive Lessons

Activity Guides

Design Software

Online Support

Thinking Like An Engineer is taught by Wayne Kroeplin, an experienced engineer and educator.  This is an “Introduction To Engineering” course designed for kids in 6 grade through 12th grades.  This course qualifies for highschool science credit, (check with your specific state for more info on highschool transcript requirements).

Thinking Like An Engineer is an online self paced course with 30+ hours of interactive lessons broken into 6 units.

  • Unit 1 – Introduction to Engineering
  • Unit 2 – Introduction to 3D Computer Design and Solid Modeling
  • Unit 3 – Engineering Rollercoasters
  • Unit 4 – Engineering Bridges
  • Unit 5 – 3D Computer Design
  • Unit 6 – Nano-Engineering

Thinking Like An Engineer includes 38 interactive lessons, 10 design and build challenge activities, activity guides, online support, and 3D design software, etc.  With the subscription to Thinking Like An Engineer, we were also sent a bonus course called Thinking Like An Innovator that contained 9 additional lessons plus 3 challenge activities.   Listed below is the course outline for both of these courses.

Course Outline / Table of Contents

Unit 1 – Introduction to Engineering

Lesson 1 :  What is engineering?

Challenge activity: Design the tallest paper tower

Lesson 2 :  Different types of engineers

Challenge activity: Design a paper structure that can carry the most books

Engineering in the News!

Lesson 3 :  Engineering clean water

Challenge activity: build your own water filtration system

Lesson 4 :  14 Grand engineering challenges of the world

Unit 2 – Introduction to 3D Computer Design and Solid Modeling

Lesson 1 :  How to get ideas out of your head (Tools of modern design and innovation)

Lesson 2 :  Introduction to your software

Lesson 3 :  Creating basic objects

Lesson 4 :  Moving and connecting objects

Lesson 5 :  Grouping objects

Lesson 6 :  Edges and faces

Lesson 7 :  Adding, Intersecting and subtracting material

Lesson 8 :  Material properties

Challenge activity:

Lesson 9 :  3D scanning

Lesson 10 :  Rapid prototyping – 3D printing

Unit 3 – Engineering Rollercoasters

Lesson 1 :  Types of roller coasters

Lesson 2 :  Roller coaster design

Lesson 3 :  Energy and a little math

Lesson 4 :  Roller coaster construction

Engineering in the News!

Lesson 5 :  How to become a roller coaster engineer

Challenge activity: Build a paper roller coaster

Unit 4 – Engineering Bridges

Lesson 1 :  An engineering mystery that stunned the world!

Lesson 2 :  5 types of bridges

Lesson 3 :  Parts of a suspension bridge

Lesson 4 :  How to build a suspension bridge

Challenge activity: Build and test your own suspension bridges

Engineering in the News!

Lesson 5 :  Bridges and physics

Lesson 6 :  Famous (and scariest) bridges in the world

Lesson 7 :  Structural engineering (and a little math)

Lesson 8 :  Testing the wind (gathering clues)

Challenge activity: Build your own wind tunnel and test your own model bridge sections.

Engineering in the News!

Lesson 9 :  What really happened that day

Lesson 10 :  Out with the old, in with the new

Lesson 11 :  What engineers have learned

3D challenge: Bridge design software

Unit 5 – 3D Computer Design

Lesson 1 :  Quick introduction to 3D computer design

Lesson 2 :  Introduction and installation of 123D Design software

Lesson 3 :  Learn how to use 123D Design (Tutorials)

Lesson 4 :  Let’s make a car rim!

Design Challenge: Create a piece of furniture!

Lesson 5 :  3D printing (3D what?)

Design Challenge: Make it better in 3D!

Unit 6 – Nano-Engineering

Lesson 1 :  How we see small things

Lesson 2 :  The discovery of a new world!

Lesson 3 :  What is Nano-Engineering?

Engineering in the News!

Summary – What do I do now?
Links for additional research in the world of engineering
High school offerings and career pathways

BONUS COURSE 

Thinking Like an Innovator

Lesson 1 :  The 6 steps of innovation (A tragedy at sea)

Lesson 2 :  What is a problem?

Lesson 3 :  What is an idea?

Challenge activity: Brainstorming!

Lesson 4 :  How to create more ideas

Lesson 5 :  Brain Games!

Challenge activity: Mental fitness

Lesson 6 :  4 Poisons to innovators

Lesson 7 :  The secret ingredient

Lesson 8 :  How to make money!

Challenge activity: Solo cup

Lesson 9 :  Woman Innovators

Check out this short video for more information about Thinking Like An Engineer course from Innovators Tribe:

Our Experience:

We have only had this course a few weeks so far and all I can say is wow!  This course is a wonderful way for kids to explore the field of engineering in a hands on way.   Their time is divided between spending some time at the computer watching the lessons or designing, and other times actually creating different challenge projects.  I am thrilled this course can be listed on my kids highschool transcript and can help them meet those requirements for graduation, while at the same time learning practical knowledge and skills that will help them as adults.

Each time my son sits down to work on his course, he is able to work independently and progress at his own pace.  He logs into his program, watches the video lesson, then proceeds to the challenge activity if there is one for the lesson.  Some of the lessons have challenge activities, and some do not.

My son has finished the first four lessons and challenge activities in Unit 1 and is currently working in Unit 2.  I have primarily focused this review on his experience with Unit 1.  His favorite part so far has been the challenge activities.   There is a course outline / syllabus and a basic materials list that you can download and print.

For the first unit challenges, we gathered materials from around the house, and picked up a few at the local store too: pencil, paper, scissors, clear tape, ruler, measuring tape, masking tape, a small construction level, recycled soda bottles, measuring cup, spoon, water, dirt, coffee filter, rocks, sand, etc.

The Challenge Activities kids get to do include designing and building: various towers, structures, water filters, and more.  The Design Activities kids get to do include:  roller coasters, bridges, Rube Goldberg machine, and learning to design with 3D CAD software.

This is a great opportunity to learn about engineering.

Here are some of the hands on challenge activity projects my kids have been building:

Challenge Activity Lesson 1 – Design the tallest paper tower as tall as you can using only 4 sheets of paper and 1 foot of masking tape. Try to reach a goal of 5 feet tall that can stand on its own without falling over.

He tried several times to get his tower to five feet, but I didn’t get a picture of all of his attempts.  The tower was difficult to get it to stand straight without it falling over.

He eventually built his base wider and wider for better stability and it resulted in a shorter than 5 foot tower.

He wanted to explore this concept even more, so he tried a different method on his own with four more sheets of paper and 1 more foot of masking tape.  This time he turned his paper into a grid so he could work with it better.  He said he prefers working with blocks instead of circles.

He went with a wider base again to support the upper levels and prevent it from falling over.  This base was tall too.  We discussed that he could have used a shorter base that was still wide.

He came up with a model he liked, that wasn’t as tall as 5 feet, but stood straight without falling over.

Challenge Activity Lesson 2 – Design a paper structure that can carry (support the weight of) the most books.

Again, he chose to work with block shapes for his support structure.

He managed to load 31 books just fine, but on the 32nd book his tower of books collapsed on 1 side.

He made various structures several times to try different systems to see which design could support the most books.

Challenge Activity Lesson 3 – build your own water filtration system.

This was a fun experiment.  My son used a plastic bottle, cut in half, and covered the pouring end with a coffee filter secured with a rubber band. Then he added a layer of small pebbles, and two layers of sand to create a water filtration system.

Next, he mixed dirt into water in a measuring bowl and stirred it with a spoon until most of the dirt dissolved into the water.  Then he slowly poured the dirty water into his filter system.

He was very pleased when the water coming out of the homemade filter was clear and all of the dirt was gone.

This is an excellent lesson for kids and adults of all ages.  There is a shortage of clean water in this world.  There are people in in various places who don’t have clean water to drink, to cook with, or to bath in. Many people die from diarrhea from bacterial and parasite contamination they get from dirty drinking water.  Knowing how create a water filtration system could save your life someday.

He would definitely want to make a few modifications to this homemade filter before actually drinking this water.  If left as is, he could use the clear water by boiling the water to kill any pathogens before consuming it.   Or if he had access to add a layer of charcoal to the bottom layer, and a layer of grass to the top layer of this filter, and possibly even use a bandanna or tee shirt as the first layer the dirty water is poured through before it enters the filter system, would help to get the water as clean as possible.

Even his little brother was impressed he could turn muddy water back into clear water.

It seems like kids are natural engineers.  They love to explore, build, create, and problem solve.  From birth their mind is filled with wonder and great potential. Kids naturally have an optimistic outlook and most of the time they still believe that everything is possible.  Father God is the greatest engineer of all time, and we are created in his image.   No wonder kids are natural engineers!

My son really likes this course and says he enjoys learning from the instructor, Wayne Kroeplin, because he explains everything very clearly and he gives lots of examples.  He is interesting to listen to.  When the course is finished, hopefully he will have reached the goals of what it means to think, problem solve, design, create, and build like an engineer.

Goals kids will be able to reach by the end of this course include:

  • Explain and apply 6 steps of problem-solving.
  • Know how to use techniques.
  • Explain ideas.
  • Explain “solution.”
  • Demonstrate the use of different brain-games that boost innovation skills.
  • Identify the 4 poisons to innovation and their cure.
  • Explain the importance of engineering and problem-solving using real-world examples.
  • Explain 14 grand problem-solving challenges that need solutions.
  • Define: tension, compression, twisting, bending, shearing, torsion, vortices, vortex shedding, aerodynamics, dead load, live load, structural-engineering, girder, truss, friction, potential and kinetic energies, g-force.
  • Give examples of how math subjects are used in engineering: Algebra, Geometry, Calculus, Advanced Calculus, Trigonometry, Probability & Statistics, Physics.
  • Demonstrate the correct use of various tools: ruler, construction level, 3D design software, etc

Thinking Like An Engineer is a terrific course.  We are having a lot of fun with it. I would encourage everyone to give it a try.  A great skill to have is to learn how to identify a problem or need that might be in your own home or community or across the world, and solve the need with things we can design and create.  Father God has truly blessed us in his image with an intelligent mind and so much creative potential.

Social Media

Be sure to check out the website and social media for all the latest news and product updates.  There are also some interesting videos on the teacher’s youtube channel and you can get an even better feel for the kind of teacher he is and the materials he teaches.  Right now InnovatorsTribe is running a special sale of 35% off all their courses.  The current sale runs through 11/11/17.

Website (InnovatorsTribe): https://www.innovatorstribe.com/

Youtube (Wayne Kroeplin):  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRZ9sOi8qIKqFH3Z5g7VURg

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using products from Innovator’s Tribe in their home.

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Fascinating Education Chemistry Review

Would you like your kids to love chemistry?  Then this curriculum is for you.  We were offered the opportunity to review Fascinating Chemistry by Fascinating Education this fall.  This class has helped my son to have a great start to the new school year.

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Facinating Science Courses

Fascinating Education currently offers science courses in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics created by Dr. Sheldon Margulies.  Read on down to the bottom to learn more about Dr. Margulies.

With Fascinating Education, your kids will get up to date technology interwoven into great science courses for high school.  You can see the coarse outlines and free sample lessons for each course on their web site.

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Fascinating Chemistry

The Fascinating Chemistry course is geared for the highschool student.  It is a year’s worth of chemistry learning through an online course and includes 18 lessons covering about various subjects.

The course retails for $79.00 a year.

Every lesson has various subject within the lesson, and each subject covered has its own learning video, glossary, and a written script of the video lesson and an online quiz.
The quizzes and answer keys are available in PDF versions.

Each lesson is laid out in an easy to use display, with buttons below each picture for access to the lessons, text scripts, and tests which correlate with each lesson making it very easy for students to navigate the course.

You can access the  course outline and see how each subject fists into each lesson.

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This is page one of the course outline, access the link above to see the additional pages.

How We Used Facinating Education Chemistry In Our Home

We received a one year subscription to Fascinating Chemistry for the purpose of writing this review.  We love learning science at our house and my oldest son is especially interested in learning the “WHY” of behind every thing.

He has been asking for a Chemistry course and this opportunity to review this class was a great opportunity  for him.  Each day he logs in and watches the lesson videos, learns terminology, and completes assigned tasks without being prompted by me.

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He is learning so much.  I am very impressed how easily he is learning the information.  I feel he is getting a good handle on being familiar with the terminology. He takes his time and often repeats the videos to be sure he has learned all of the information. I think learning the terminology is the key to grasping an understanding of the videos.

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I would definitely recommend this curriculum.  It is wonderful to have courses on line because you can access them anytime day or night 24/7 to work on your assignments.

I love science as much as my kids.  My favorite classes in school were science and music and I think I have passed this on to my kids.  We want to know “HOW” things work and “WHY”.   If you asked me about almost any subject today like cooking, bible, health, gardening, etc. I would tell you the science behind it. The kids are turning out like this too…cooking science, science of health, science of gardening, even science in the bible.  We all love science.   I have shared this with my friends before, but I will share it again, that our family’s favorite kind of TV shows are ones that show the science behind how things happen like “How It Works” “How Its Made”, “Good Eats”, “Myth Busters”, “Time Warp”, “The Science Of Stupid”, etc.

I am happy my son is enjoying this class and is learning about How and Why things around us work.

More About Fascinating Education

Dr. Margulies created Fascinating Education.  He is an author, teacher, attorney, and a neurologist and knows the brain and how it functions best when learning information and performing tasks.

Dr. Margulies

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Dr. Margulies has taught neurology to thousands of medical students in his 35 year teaching career and trained doctors to work in neurology. He focuses on interactive right brain methods of learning primordially audio visual methods with questions and answer. He supplements the audio-visual methods with written text. Dr. Margulies is especially skilled to teach science. He has an extensive background and understanding of the brain. He wants to use his knowledge to create programs that inspire the younger generation to pursue science related careers and study of science.

Please check out his ABOUT DR. SHELDON MARGULIES web page to learn more about his qualifications, degrees, experience, books he has authored, and his passions. He is a fascinating person with an incredible amount of experience and insight in many areas. It is so fitting that he would inspire others to learn about science with the creation of Fascinating Education courses.

Fascinating Education Review

Be sure to check out what other homeschool families on the Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say about Fascinating Education.

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SDA For Homeschoolers Review

Looking for a fun and challenging homeschool curriculum option for your students? Then you might want to check out Standard Deviants Accelerate for homeschoolers.

SDA

Standard Deviants Accelerate Homeschool Courses (SDAccellerate.com) are an easy to use, online, homeschool curriculum for students 8 and older. Courses are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week online (videos, interactive quizzes, writing, etc) and you can access them through your desktop computer, mobile laptop, and smart device like a tablet too. So this greatly increases your options of where and when you can find flexible time to work on your school work. They can be used as a supplemental program, but also may fit as your main learning program in a given subject too.

SDAoncomputerandiPad

Homeschool Courses:

 

Standard Deviants Accelerate is appropriate for students ages 8 through adult. They currently offer 14 different homeschool curriculum options for middle school and high school age students, and 2 curriculum options are also appropriate for elementary aged kids in 3rd and 4th grades and above.

courses

Each course offers a full year’s worth of learning materials including videos, note taking, quizzes, written work, review, and exams for your student. Each regular course costs $99.00 for a year subscription, or $24.95 for a month to month subscription. The AP courses cost $14.95 a month. They are currently running a special, and offering you to try out the program for free for 6 months and see if it is a good fit for your family.

Arithmetic – Grades 3+
Fundamental Math – Grades 4+

Nutrition – 6+
Earth Science – Grades 6+

Algebra – Grades 7+
Biology – Grades 7+

English Composition – Grades 9+
U.S. History – Grades 9+
Chemistry – Grades 9+

AP Biology – Grades 11+
AP Chemistry – Grades 11+
AP U.S. History – Grades 11+
AP U.S. Government & Politics – Grades 11+
AP English Composition – Grades 11+

 

How We Used Standard Deviants Accelerate In Our Home:

 

I am very grateful for this opportunity to review this homeschool program. I have taken time to explore all of the classes for grades 3 through 9 for the purpose of writing this review. I have not explored the AP classes yet, but hope to look through them too. I would encourage you to click the link at the bottom of this review to read what other TOS Crew members had to say about the regular and AP homeschool courses and see if this program would work for your homeschool.

SDA_Lesson_Tabs

My kids and I each have our own seperate dashboards when we log in. I have the kids log in each day and view the video assignment, take notes as they watch the video and save their notes on the computer program. They complete any related written work and take the quiz. The notes they type are stored in their “locker” which is a filing system they can keep track of all of their notes for classes. On my dashboard, I can view their progress, what areas need more practice or review to improve their understanding. Check out this short Teacher Account Video that explains more how this works.

SDA_Lessons

Homeschool Algebra:

 
There are so many great features with the SDAccelerate.com Homeschool Alegebra curriculum that benefit the student and the teacher. Here are just a few:

220 minutes of video (with scrolling transcripts)
54 vocab words (with audio playback)
Note-taking
38 critical thinking questions
205 multiple choice questions
14 drag n’ drop graphic organizers
Re-teaching
Automatic grading
Progress reporting
Meets State and National Standards
RTI alerts
Differentiated Instruction
Editable rubrics
Student-to-teacher messaging

algebra

Below is a picture of my 8th grader working on Algebra. He is also working through the U.S. History, English Composition, Chemistry, and Biology courses. He is thrilled with these classes. He is not really a video oriented learner and prefers to read information for himself in most situations. I am very glad the classes include the written transcript of the video lessons. This fella loves to read and work independently and doesn’t need videos to grasp information though he does find it helpful at times. Over all though he loves the curriculum and is self motivated to work on it each day. He sets high standards for himself and strives to get good scores on his work. I feel like he is gaining a solid understanding of the information presented. We do disagree with some things regarding evolution in the biology course work. We believe the earth and all of creation was created by God and our faith plays a big role in our education. The course work is not written from a Christian perspective, but putting the evolution issue aside, the curriculum is done well and the kids like it.

Algebra

Homeschool U.S. History:

 
Some of the great features of the SDAccelerate.com Homeschool U.S. History curriculum include:

149 minutes of video (with scrolling transcripts)
144 vocab words (with audio playback)
160 multiple choice questions
Note-taking
29 critical thinking questions
14 drag n’ drop graphic organizers
Meets State and National Standards
Progress reporting, Editable rubrics, Re-teaching
Automatic grading, and Student-to-teacher messaging

US History

Below is a picture of my 6th grader on the computer working on the SDAccelerates U.S. History course. He is also working through the Nutrition and Earth Science courses too. Even though the U.S. History course is advanced for his grade level, he works exceptionally well with this style of learning. He is an audio-visual learner and works his best and excels when school work is presented in a combined audio video format. He does not like to read a lot of verbage, and will quickly become bored if expected to read all his school work. But he stays attentive to video presentations. His learning style is the complete opposite of his older brother, and I am thankful for SDAccelerate’s fun video style learning program for him to use.

US History

Standard Deviants Accelerate on Social Media


Be sure to follow Standard Deviants Accelerate on their social media links for all the latest news, courses, updates, and teaching ideas, and more:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SDAccelerate
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SDAccelerate
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/SDAccelerate/
Google+: google.com/+Sdaccelerate
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/CerebellumCorp/videos

Click to read Crew Reviews

Check out what other homeschool families on the Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say about using Standard Deviants Accelerate with their family.

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