Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Joy of Science

Image: SmartFlix
We have been watching Robert Hazen's lecture series The Joy of Science for about a month and a half, and we are really enjoying it. A six-DVD set from The Teaching Company, The Joy of Science consists of 60 half-hour lectures using the history of science as a way to organize the major connecting principles.

Although low-tech in production values (one reviewer found it annoying that Hazen talks to an imaginary studio audience and not the camera), the series breaks down important scientific concepts and developments into small chunks that are easy to understand.

Along the way, Hazen does little demonstrations that can be used as the basis for at-home experiments with kids. We've done a couple of these already, and my plan is to post about them so others using this course will have the activities at hand, ready to go when they get to the related episode.

Just a note: The Joy of Science, like most Teaching Company courses, is not cheap. As I write, they are on sale for $149.95, down from a regular $624.95! I was lucky enough to find a library in our lending system that was willing to send me each DVD set one at a time and keep it for an extended period. (The librarian admitted that no homeschoolers in her area were interested in it because it included evolution.) We were luckier still to discover that a family in our homeschool group owned the set and were willing to lend it to us for as long as we needed.

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