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Experimentary For Home Subscription Review by Melissa Bontadelli

Experimentary
https://www.experimentary.com.au/

Saying that Experimentary is an online science experiment site is oversimplifying it, but Experimentary is an online site that presents science experiments. Experimentary does have full lesson plans and recording tools for each of their experiments with everything is fully online. It is a subscription-based product, the monthly cost is $1.42 per child and $14.27 for a full year per child. Because Experimentary is an Australian company, its website will have the prices in Australian dollars. Included in the price are over fifty experiments, some of them on the same topic but with different difficulties. Not included in the price are the supplies you will need for the experiments. We found that most of them were common items that we either had or had no trouble sourcing.

Experimentary is set up well. As the instructor, I can go in and assign experiments to students. I can assign both of my students the same experiment or I could assign them different ones. In our environment, I just assigned them the same experiment. Once the experiment is assigned, the student can go in and view the experiment. Each experiment starts with an introduction video, which features Dr. Rob Bell. The steps to follow are laid out in order and accessed by clicking a drop-down arrow. After the introduction, you get the procedure to follow and you get to predict what will happen in the experiment. This is followed by the results and then a conclusion video.

We have been able to complete around a half dozen experiments with Experimentary. The instructions were incredibly easy to follow. I am not a science person, but I felt completely comfortable with following the layout on their website and working with my students to complete the experiments. Dr. Rob is very entertaining and makes things interesting in the videos. One of the experiments we did was to make a catapult out of a plastic spoon, rubber bands, and some craft sticks. My students had an enjoyable time creating them and then firing objects across the room and measuring distances. I appreciate that the scientific method is just how the experiment is done, every time. The process and repetition create a strong base for future experiments. In a separate section of the site, there are additional “at home” experiments that do not have all the steps as the other experiments but look to be fun and easy mini experiments.

I recommend Experimentary. My students enjoyed every experiment we did. I also enjoyed them as I felt like I had enough information to do everything needed and to do it correctly. Everything is laid out well and explained, it makes the experiments easy. We used this as a supplement to our regular science curriculum. It was great to have an extra item in my back pocket to pull out and use when we had some time. We also have a time baked into our schedule for unit studies and extras like this.

I only really had one issue with the setup of Experimentary; it would be a student age issue. I have two students. One is fully capable of doing all the work on his own if I asked him, however, my other student is younger and would need help to finish an experiment. We ended up doing all the experiments together as a family. This meant that we watched the videos under one child account and recorded data under that one child account. There was not a straightforward way that I could find to switch back and forth between accounts and recording data is not available from the teacher/parent account. I could envision us recording on separate devices and both of them doing that separately when they are both older, but for now, it was easier just to use one account as toggling between was not easy.

Overall, this is a solid supplement to add to science. The company also has a Facebook presence and recently uploaded many videos of exploding watermelons that my students loved. This subscription makes science fun and accessible.

Product review by Melissa Bontadelli, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October 2020

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