Thursday, November 9, 2017

Innovators Tribe ~ Review

We've recently been exploring applied science, design and technology all via the online platform, Thinking Like An Engineer from Innovators Tribe.

Innovators Tribe is an online multimedia program that currently offers two courses aimed at children from grades 6 to 12. Thinking Like An Engineer, Thinking Like An Architect and they are releasing Thinking Like A Carpenter sometime in the near future.

Thinking Like an Engineer

The course involves about 30 hours of the students time to complete and is made up of both online video and multimedia lessons, along with a large portion of hands on activities. Our family was provided a full subscription to Thinking Like An Engineer in order to deliver this review.

The Thinking Like An Engineer course comes with a printed syllabus and material list which makes it easy to know in advance what is required. These were the first things I printed so we could take some time understanding what was to be covered. You are also directed to download free design software that will be used within the course.

The course is built around a set of challenges and through both the lessons and the online components the students will learn to problem solve and to truly begin to think like an Engineer.

Thinking Like An Engineer contains five main units which compose of:

1/. Introduction To Engineering
2/. Introduction To 3D Design
3/. Engineering Rollercoasters
4/. Engineering Bridges
5/. Nano-Engineering

The early stages of the course include a series of videos to explain the concepts, ensure the student has a good understanding of what engineers do and some of the grand problems our world faces today that engineers are continually trying to solve. It discusses the various streams of engineering and even shows the students the average annual income for the various types of engineers, this part got the kids thinking that's for sure!

The videos are very interactive and often contain slides and links to other short video clips. They were great at keeping all of us intrigued, never were we sitting through a video simply watching the presenter standing in front of the screen for the entire time. I really liked how that component of the course was so well thought through.

It doesn't take long though before you are straight into the hands on activities, which are presented in the form of challenges. For example we were asked to build a five foot tower using only 5 sheets of printer paper and one foot of masking tape. Another challenge involving paper and masking tape was to create a structure that could hold a stack of books off the ground using only one sheet of paper and two feet of masking tape.

After the introduction and various hands on activities the course moves into 3D Design using online free software to explore this area. We are now only just beginning this section of the program and are excited to be diving into the world of Computer Aided Design.

This course is so well laid out that it is a breeze for the older student to complete independently, the dashboard clearly shows what lessons they have completed and what is coming next. With assistance I think this course could probably even work for students slightly younger than the 6th grade recommendation. They may not get as much out of it as an older student but I'm quite certain that if they love hands on challenges and engineering concepts then I'm sure they would enjoy it.

We are definitely looking forward to completing the remainder of the course and I can't wait to see more of the new course Thinking Like A Carpenter as I'm sure my younger son will love that one!

To see more reviews on Thinking Like An Engineer and even some on Thinking Like An Architect simply click on the graphic below.

Thinking Like an Architect or Engineer {Innovators Tribe Reviews}

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Let's Go Geography ~ Review

We've been having loads of cultural geography fun with this all new weekly homeschool geography curriculum from Let's Go Geography!

What Is Let's Go Geography

A full 36 week Cultural Geography immersion program. Each week the program visits a new
destination. In a full year you can expect to visit around 30 different countries.

The exploration happens via, mapping, flags and landmarks. Each week there are links to listen to songs and watch videos related to that country, along with notebooking pages, crafts, colouring pages and more!

Currently Year One is released, when complete the full program will contain three years worth of lessons. The best part is most definitely the inexpensive pricing. To have all of these resources at your fingertips for such a low price is most definitely worth it.

How We Used Let's Go Geography

Each lesson stands alone, so whilst it is laid out in numerical order you can jump about visiting any country you wish. I chose to start at the beginning, with lesson 1, the Northeast area of the USA.

Before beginning the lesson I printed, the required maps, flags, notebook and colouring pages. As the lesson contains links to songs, videos and pictures I knew it would enhance the lesson by viewing on the large screen, so I plugged our laptop into the television and we completed the lessons that way.

My kids really enjoyed the lesson on Haiti and so I will use that to give you a closer look around. 

The first we thing we do is discuss who's heard of the country, if they know anything about it and where it possibly might be. I always have our large world map out with us so we can go looking. Once we've discussed and located the whereabouts, we notice any major land masses and bodies of water nearby.

Then it is time for a brief mapping session. Firstly included in the lesson is a link to print off a map for North America and to colour the country of Haiti. The second map included is one of the Greater Antilles area, here we discuss the bordering countries and colour as we talk about them.

Time to look at the flag, we discuss the details, the kids colour, cut out and stick to the appropriate map, currently we are staying in the North American region so all of our flags are from that area. The program does have a printable passport that you can add on to your studies. We have chosen to simply keep everything in one folder.

Now it is time for music, so far all of the lessons have given us the lyrics and a link to listen (and watch) the National Anthem of that country.

And like any visit to a country one simply must do some exploring, and that's where we are off to
next! This is the part of the lesson that is different each time because you are dealing with a different country, with Haiti for example we had some 'did you know' facts and then we did a spot of virtual sight seeing. We took a tour of Haiti's landscape, the Citadelle and looked at some of the ways the people earn a living, including a virtual visit to a market.

After the brief trip around the country there are a photographic images included of some of the places visited on the virtual tours. 

As the complete lesson is a pdf download these could be printed and added to the child's travel notebook, we have chosen just to view on the large screen.

We are nearing the end of our visit to Haiti, but first there is always some form of craft or colouring page related to the country.

And finally we notebook a few details using the included notebooking page. 

All up this is taking us approximately 1 hour to complete. We are not doing the crafts as my kids simply didn't want to do them. I found that I prefer to start and finish an entire lesson in one setting, but it is definitely structured that you could do 15 minutes or so a day and complete a lesson over the course of a week.

With each lesson being accessed as a pdf, I love that we can view it on the ipad or via the laptop and then on our large screen tv. We simply spread out on the lounge room floor.

What We Didn't Like

For us the only thing was the crafts that my kids weren't too fussed on. I would like to see some more thorough physical geography concepts. This is a cultural geography program with a small amount of map work included.

What We Did Like

This is definitely one of those programs that everyone can gather around and do together, big tick here in  my box, as now that my kids are no  longer little it is so hard to find things we can do together. There is such limited prep required, download the lesson, print the needed pages, organise the craft if you are going to do that and off you go. All of the leg work of finding images, videos, music and snippets of information has been done for you. And of course you can't beat the price. A full years access is only $21.99 USD.

Further Details

Visit the Let's Go Geography website for a closer look around.

Let's Go Geography on Facebook

Let's Go Geography on Pinterest

If you would like to see more reviews on this product simply click on the image below.

Let’s Go Geography {Reviews}

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Doctor Aviation ~ Review

I have a unique product to introduce to you all today, called Doctor Aviation, if your family enjoys anything to do with aviation then this may just be right up your alley. My high schooler has been undertaking a course in aviation education and was provided access to the complete course in order to bring this review to you.

doctor aviation review

What Is Doctor Aviation

This product is the brain child of Daryl Smith, aka Doctor Aviation. The course is an introduction to all things aviation and will provide the student with the basic tools and knowledge to take off into the world of flight. The course is recommended for ages 16 and up, of course if you have a younger student that is a very keen aviator then be sure to take a look at the trial lesson on their website.

Doctor Aviation himself has a long list of credentials, including those of United States Airforce Command Pilot, Instructor Pilot, Research Pilot, he has authored an aviation book and is currently a college professor.

The program is based around a series of video lectures, that all average 60 minutes in length.

The lesson structure is broken into sections, with each section containing two - four accompanying lessons. It is broken down as follows.

Section One - Course Overview
The Aviation System

Section Two - The Aircraft
The Major Components Of An Airplane
Axes & Forces
Why An Aircraft Flies - The Secret Of Airfoils & Lift
Why An Aircraft Turns, Pitches & Slides - The Flight Controls

Section Three - Air Traffic Control
How We See An Aircraft Miles Away - The Secrets Of Radar
The Air Traffic Cops - How Air Control Works

Section Four - Aircraft Maintenance
Keep 'em Flying - Propeller Engines
Keep 'em Flying - Jet Engines

Section Five - Airfield Operations
The City In & Of Itself - Running A Large Airport
The Small Airport & Running An FBO

Section Six - The Aircraft II
Flying In The Clear & Not So Clear Air - VMC & IMC
Important Pilot Instruments - Attitude Indicator
Important Pilot Instruments - Airspeed Indicator
Other Aviation Ships - Gliders, Helicopters, Airships

Each section also contains a printable guided notes pdf. This is intended to be downloaded and completed as you watch the video lectures.

For those that wish to delve even deeper there is also a 'To Learn More' page, this area has a huge array of further resources to take the learning to a deeper level. Here you are given recommendations of books to read, websites to visit and further study ideas all pertaining to that particular lesson.

As you progress further into the course you will have the option of printing off Exam Practice Questions. Potentially allowing the student a complete high school credit option if they chose to undertake all of the learning opportunities housed within here.

 photo Doctor Aviation Logo_zpslkv44u3k.jpg

How Did We Use Doctor Aviation

My teen chose to use the site in its simplest form, that of watching the live lectures and completing the printed guided notes, as you can see in the image above.

Whilst we do spend some time looking at the extra resources to see if there is anything there he would like to follow further, for now he is content in simply increasing his introductory knowledge of aviation.

What We Didn't Like

This is a thorough course, giving a great introduction to aviation and it is designed for students 16 years and over. My son is 15, he is able to complete this independently and whilst he has found the video lectures extremely informative, he personally doesn't overly enjoy the basic lecture style of video presentations.

His wish was two things, for it to be somewhat more animated in the delivery style and for the videos to not be quite so long, therefore expanding the number of videos included. This is always going to be a personal preference though.

What We Did Like

He is however truly enjoying the sharing of information and the exploration of aircraft. He does feel he is learning a great deal from this program. If aviation was a possibility on his list of potential careers then I know that this course would be a truly valuable asset.

Further Details

Visit the Doctor Aviation website for a trial of the first session, The Aviation System.

Doctor Aviation on Facebook

Doctor Aviation on Twitter

If you would like to see more reviews about this product simply click on the image below.

Aviation Course {Doctor Aviation Reviews}

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