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Easy Peasy Science Fair Kits Review by Charlotte Gochnauer

DNA Extraction - Science Fair Project Kit
Super Polymers - Beginner Science Project Kit
Bacteria vs. Sanitizer - Science Fair Project Kit
Enzymer Eaters - Science Fair Project Kit
Diffusion Races - Science Fair Project Kit
Glowing Detective - Science Fair Project Kit
Easy Peasy Pocket Microscope
Mystery Powder Lab
Graduated Cylinder with Mystery Volume
Easy Peasy Science Fair

Doing hands-on science projects is such an important part of learning! I struggle with gathering materials, finding age appropriate experiments, and putting it all together. And what about science fairs? The very thought can send some parents into hiding for the rest of the year. But do not fear, Easy Peasy Science Fair is here to help, and is an incredible resource for parents and students that takes the stress out of science projects.

Each kit from Easy Peasy Science Fair comes with detailed instructions and all the materials needed to complete the project. The instruction booklet in each kit has an introduction and beginning instructions. There is information on making a hypothesis, a materials list, and the directions. There are also tables and charts to fill in with information from the experiment. Each kit also includes a thumb drive that has printables of the entire instruction book, examples of all stages of the experiment, future studies, final paper examples and suggestions, online links, and much more. Each kit conveniently has enough material to do the experiment at least four times.

Now the kits….

DNA Extraction: Meant for grades 4th-8th, this experiment extracts DNA from strawberries and bananas with the purpose of seeing which has more DNA. This kit has everything you need, including freeze dried strawberries and bananas. The instruction book has a few pages that talk about DNA, chromosomes, and cells. There were lots of helpful photographs in the instruction book which helped to explain the experiment process. The strawberries and bananas are re-hydrated, and then the DNA is separated by using an extraction solution and then using rubbing alcohol to separate the DNA, which floats to the top. Your student can conveniently enter their data onto the thumb drive, which automatically calculates the averages and percentage.

Super Polymers: This experiment, meant for grades 1st through 5th, helps students understand how polymers absorb liquid. The booklet defines polymers and has a few illustrations too. The kit has three different substances to work with: artificial snow, diaper polymer, and plant crystals. The student works with all three, and observes how they react to the same amounts of water. There is graphs to record observations and measurements.

Bacteria vs. Hand Sanitizer: The goal of this science experiment is to see if hand sanitizer really works. Students will use petri dishes and their own thumbs in this fun kit.  They will see, in 24 hours, if there is more bacterial growth with or without hand sanitizer. The experiment does not end there, as students are encouraged to continue to observe and see the bacteria grow. This kit can be used for students in grades 2nd through 8th. We found this experiment really interesting, as there is no correct answer. Hand sanitizers cannot get 100% of all bacteria off of your hands, and sometimes soap and water do a pretty good job.

Enzyme Eaters: This kit is meant for 3rd to 8th graders and examines two different laundry detergents; one with enzymes and one without. Students then conduct an experiment with petri dishes and see how well each of the detergents eat away at green gelatin over a 24 hour period. There is chart to fill in and a helpful template for the petri dishes. On this thumb drive there were quite a few online resources to look at - my girls really enjoyed watching a fun youtube video on how soap works to clean our clothes.

Diffusion Races: This project shows how food coloring diffuses across gelatin. The independent variable is temperature, so students in grades 1st - 5th will compare the speed of diffusion with warm and cold areas. Students take set gelatin circles and put half in the refrigerator and half at room temperature. After 24 hours, the pieces of gelatin are then measured and compared. This experiment was lots of fun to do! We made our guesses (hypothesis) and found out that we were correct. We explored more of the resources on the thumb drive and we watched an animation of a sugar cube diffusing in water and answered a couple of questions about the process.

Glowing Detective: This kit, meant for 4th - 8th grade, looks at the substance that forensic detectives use: luminol, which is used to find traces of blood. The focus of the project is to see how temperature affects luminol, and if cold or heat are either helpful or detrimental to an investigation. The experiment involves adding scoops of luminol to cups of different water temperatures, and then observing and recording the results. I appreciated the details in the observation questions in this kit and felt it really helped to explain the experiment.

Easy Peasy Pocket Microscope: This helpful tool was used the most during our review period. It comes in a little leather case and easily fits in your pocket. There is a light that makes looking at things very easy - it does magnify to 60x. The included booklet has a few suggested activities that my girls really enjoyed, including examining velcro, crystals, and fingerprints. Once they realized how to work it, they were looking at all sorts of things in our home - food, clothes, pencils, even the dust on the floor. This microscope was super fun and a huge help to our science study.

Mystery Powder Lab: This was a really fun activity! The kit comes with everything you need to identify a mystery powder that is included as well. Using a pipette and containers, students will use iodine, vinegar, and other substances to figure out what the powder could be. There is an answer key but it is stapled shut to prevent cheating. We found this very fascinating and really loved doing all of the steps and then making our guesses as to what the powder is.

Graduated Cylinder with Mystery Volume: This kit explores volume, and shows students how to measure amounts of liquid. There are different objects included that you use to see water displacement, and then, using the marked cylinders, figure out the volume of each object. We had just read a book about Archimedes, who is famous for understanding water displacement, and this activity was the perfect way to actually see how it works.

There is so much more than just experiments in these kits! Your students can take all of the suggestions in the thumb drives and instruction booklets and turn this into an extensive report, display board for a science fair, or even an oral speech. You could easily spend four to six weeks on each kit, extending your learning through the research provided on the thumb drives.

Hands on learning is a huge part of education! So instead of taking time to create science fair experiments, let Easy Peasy do the hard work for you. You’ll have more time to explore with your student the amazing world we live in, and have lots of fun learning as well.

-Product review by Charlotte Gochnauer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October, 2017