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Lots & Lots of Roaring Rockets DVD Review by Deanna Jasper

Marshall Publishing & Promotions, Inc.
123 S. Hough St.
Barrington, IL 60010

Lots and Lots of Roaring Rockets is an informative DVD about the history of American space exploration. The main feature of the DVD, “Space Adventures,” is about 40 minutes long. It begins with a brief but informative lesson on the solar system, describing the sun and each of the planets, including Pluto (mentioning its reclassification as a “dwarf planet”). Then it takes the viewer through the many missions of the American space program, beginning with Project Mercury and continuing all the way through the current day and a discussion of the future of space exploration.

I was impressed by the detailed history of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions, as well as the information about current NASA projects and the hopes for the next few years. The space shuttle program didn’t receive much attention, but perhaps that’s because it didn’t achieve as many groundbreaking milestones as had the programs from the first few decades of the American space program.

Aside from the main feature, the menu also offers a section of “Space Songs,” which runs about 22 minutes total. The first song, “Counting the Planets,” was a cute way of learning the names of all the planets in order. I found the poor audio quality distracting, but it didn’t bother my children. One song had no words but showed postage stamps from all over the world related to space, which was especially fascinating for our family because both my husband and I were avid stamp collectors when we were young, and our children love looking through our old albums.

The third and final section of the DVD (the “Bonus Videos” on the main menu) contains a 27-minute vintage video of the X-15 project (described as the world’s fastest manned rocket-powered aircraft, though I’m not sure if that’s still true, since this particular video was obviously filmed many years ago), as well as previews of other titles in the “Lots and Lots” video series.

Overall, our family enjoyed Lots and Lots of Roaring Rockets and learned quite a bit from watching it. I’m sure we’ll pull it out again when we cover space in our science lessons. My son asked if we could get some of the other titles in this series, but $19.95 seems rather expensive given the quality of this DVD. I was unable to get it to work in our DVD player, which said “format unsupported,” so we could only watch it on our computer.

The DVD is recommended for “ages 3-93,” and I agree that it would appeal to almost anyone with an interest in space. I personally learned a lot about the different NASA projects, and my six-year old son was fascinated by the entire thing. He’s been interested in anything space-related for the last couple years, and this was a wonderful way to help feed his natural curiosity. I think this DVD would be a helpful resource for unschoolers with a desire to learn about space exploration or for anyone wanting to supplement their science curriculum.

—Product Review by Deanna Jasper, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October, 2015