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Science After School (SAS) Consumers Guide  

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Science Sensors Activity Kit: Tune Up

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Review Synopsis: by afterschool program expert Renée Richard-Smith

I tested these materials with my children ages 3, 6, and 9. The activity was fun and easy to use and gave my kids a chance to learn about sound waves and how they transmit the noises we hear. The activity was so much fun that the children could have played with the materials far longer than the time it took to conduct the various experiments. I was able to get through the instructions and experiments within 40 minutes. Since I, like many afterschool instructors, lack a strong science background, I appreciated the short, clear experiment summaries on the instructional cards, and found them helpful in solidifying the learning. This activity can be used multiple times, inspiring new learning with each use. Moreover, this activity appeals to different types of learning styles because it involves sight, sound, and touch as well as exercising fine and gross motor skills.
Full Review:
I tested these materials with my children ages 3, 6, and 9. The activity is fun, easy to use and a good way to demonstrate to young minds the idea that sound is related to vibration. The activity was so much fun that the children could have played with the materials far longer than the time it took to conduct the various experiments. I was able to get through the instructions in less then 10 minutes, and spent about 30 minutes with the children experimenting with the materials. As I have a nonscience background, I appreciated the short experiment summaries on the instructional cards; they were helpful to explain the relevant concepts. This activity can be used multiple times, inspiring new learning with each use. Moreover, this activity appeals to different types of learning styles because it involves sight, sound and touch as well as movement at the levels of both fine and gross motor skills. I found the experiments easy to conduct and the scientific concepts easy to convey. The instructions were simple and quick to read. Illustrations were clear and offered the support I needed to conduct the sound experiments.

The quality and accuracy of this material is excellent. The materials are durable and should be able to withstand multiple uses over the course of several years of normal wear and tear. If damage occurs, the components can be easily and inexpensively replaced. I think the tools and the experiments in this activity are a good fit for the afterschool leader's harried schedule, and would enable the leader to explore several sound-related issues with various ages, from preschoolers to lower elementary students. Children are able to understand that sound is energy and that it travels in waves. Children are able to see energy turned into sound and see clearly the physical effects of sound.

Tune Up is an activity that appeals to a wide range of personalities and learning styles that participate in a typical afterschool program in an urban neighborhood. Students across the spectrum of interests and academic skills can find something interesting in these activities and can conduct various sound experiments.

I like the way that this activity can spark curiosity about the different ways we can manipulate sound waves. Children will be encouraged to find different ways of exploring sound-related issues, making the activity appealing over time with repeat usage. Additionally, the activity appeals to a variety of ages from preschoolers to lower elementary students. This activity is easily stored and transportable in a storage case; you can re-use it multiple times.

Tune Up lets children to explore an interesting scientific concept while enjoying an accessible activity with simple tools. The activity engages their minds and inspires them to move. The creativity of the instructor can permit an expansion to a variety of related activities related to sound waves and movement. The kit is suitable for repeated usage (i.e.., the materials are designed for use numerous times, possibly lasting for more than 1 year).