Common Sense Review
Updated March 2012

Science Bob

Demonstrate, investigate, and laugh along with Science Bob
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Common Sense Rating 3
  • The home page for Science Bob presents menu items such as science fair ideas.
  • Science Bob provides instructions on how to do science demonstrations and ideas for turning them into experiments.
  • Science Bob's Science Fair Ideas tab is simply a laundry list of ideas not organized by topic or ability level.
  • Videos feature Science Bob doing science demonstrations.
  • If kids struggle to access the videos, they can view Science Bob videos on YouTube by clicking the icon in the lower right corner.
Pros
Encourages kids to engage in fun science, and great experiment ideas are available if kids are willing to dig through the lists.
Cons
It doesn't point kids toward the right experiments according to age or interests.
Bottom Line
A well-rounded, fun place to explore science activities.
Emily Pohlonski
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3
Science Bob offers experiments and videos to get kids excited about science. The site is not organized by topic or grade level, so kids might get lost in the laundry list of ideas.
Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 4
Encouraging kids to move beyond demonstrating science and design their own experiments is certainly empowering. The natural curiosity the site promotes is a lasting, transferrable quality.
Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 2
Kids can ask questions through email. However, support would be more helpful if it were real-time or if kids could search an FAQ section for commonly asked questions.
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How Can Teachers Use It?

Bringing Science Bob into the classroom opens up a lot of doors for fun study. Kids can view videos, do science demonstrations, and link to other websites about space, earth science, and more. A nice resource: Kids can also browse through a decent list of science fair projects. The site posts a response to a user-submitted question each week; writing letters to Science Bob could be a fun class activity.

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What's It Like?

Science Bob is a website offering experiments and videos to get kids excited about science. With a funny host (Science Bob, of course) to guide them, students can check out science fair project ideas, submit science-related questions, and access instructions for more than 25 experiments, ranging from floating a ketchup packet in a bottle to learn about buoyancy to building a rocket from a 35mm film canister. The site helps kids tell the difference between a true science inquiry and a science demonstration such as building a model volcano. Each set of directions also provides ideas for how to turn a cookbook demonstration into an investigation.

Standout experiments:

  • Build a Film Canister Rocket – Students can make it an experiment by changing the amount of water or size of antacid tablet.
  • Make an Electromagnet – Students can vary the size of nail or the thickness of wire and see how it changes the strength of the magnet.
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Is It Good For Learning?

Printable instructions are easy to follow and clearly explain how the experiment works. Still, students may need more detail to understand exactly what to do. Be aware that several experiments require supervision; you probably don't want kids mixing sugar and boiling water to make rock candy or creating an exploding lunch bag alone.

Kids are connected to online resources on various science topics, but redirect links are hit or miss: You could be redirected to the National Severe Storms Laboratory or to less professional sources that feature ads. Video clips are engaging because they’re short and to the point. Especially engaging: Kids will love to laugh at lovable geek host Bob Pflugfelder, who drives around in a mobile lab made from an old ambulance and has appeared on media outlets such as "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"

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