I’ve long been a fan of subscription programs that offer unique, fun, and hands-on learning experiences for my kids (and myself!). This is why when I heard about the new Creation Crate Chemistry program that I was excited to give it a try.
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What is Creation Crate?
Creation Crate is a subscription box for older kids, ages 10 through adult and focus on science themes like engineering and electronics. Originally started in Canada, we’ve done a few of their programs – like their mood lamp and the boombox. Along with a box full of the tech materials you need, you also get access to an online classroom which is full of instructional videos and guides to help you make your learning experience a success.
Introducing Creation Crate Chemistry
The team at Creation Crate are always adding more programs and interesting projects to their line up. The most recent edition is their chemistry program. Getting a box of science experiments at your door is a lot of fun! (Especially when you get to set things on fire!)
Creation Crate Chemistry has ten courses in their online classroom – which means that you get a box in the mail each other to complete two different experiments!
The very first box includes the main kit – a box full of resources that you will need over the whole chemistry program. Inside are safety glasses, the world’s cutest flask, a macro lens for your smartphone, a funnel, a beaker, and a metal folding table with a tray, a smartphone stand, etc.
In the smaller montly box, you get the chemicals and things you need for that month’s lesson.
You will cover:
- The Periodic Table
- Metals Reactivity
- Reactivity Series
- Chemical Reactions & Energy Changes
- Experimenting with Endothermic and Exothermic Reactions
- Affecting the Rate of Reaction
- Redox Reactions
- Oxidation Reduction Reactions
- Acids and Alkalis
Chem 1: The Periodic Table
We had the opportunity to try out the first program about the Periodic Table. It started with the online classes.
Chem 1 has seven sections – an introduction, five chapters, and a career connections (which in this particular level is blank other than instructions on how to share your work on social media for a chance to win a prize.) You have to work your way through one chapter at a time in order to gain access to the next. My teen found that kind of annoying because he just wanted to get to the experiments, but as a mom/teacher – I think that was a very smart plan! After all, what good are the experiments if you aren’t going to understand what they mean!
The lessons are presented in a combination of videos and text, along with the occassional quiz and even a few assignment submissions. The introduction covers important safety rules and guidelines, as well as having a great FAQ area to refer back to as needed through the course (like “Waste Disposal” – something I had to double check when we finished our experiments!) Chapter one covered lots of great information about the periodic table and elements and atoms. I love that throughout the whole program, everything is so bite-sized. Students don’t need to sit down and watch a 30 minute video and then read a long chunk of text. Every step is short – like 4-5 minute videos, small chunks of text broken up with large images where possible, and, when needed, the text is even broken up into different sections so it’s not overwhelming. This was particularly helpful in the experiment section when you had to follow instructions as you went along.
The first experiment in Chem 1 started in the second chapter with the Flame Test Experiment. The idea of this experiment was to show how different elements respond differently to heat – creating different coloured reactions. This is why fireworks are different colours!
The kit came with everything we needed for this, even though at first glance, we didn’t understand what the folding metal thing was for! (Spoiler: It was a table!) Although I’d intended for this to be a project for my 14 year old son, it ended up that my 7 and 9 year old children jumped at the opportunity so they participated as well. After finishing the lesson, we watched the how to video so that we could see exactly how to complete this experiment. Pseudo-lab coats and safety glasses in place, we got started.
It was really neat to see all the different colours that appeared when we added different elements to the fire (Zinc, Copper, and Tin). It was like a mini Aurora Borealis in a cup! I admit, I was a nervous nelly – envisioning my kitchen on fire or my kids on fire or some terrible combination of the two. But it ended up being incredibly safe and well planned. The metal table stand and plastic traay added a layer of protection between my island and the fire. My kids were able to start the fire with the included wooden sticks because they were long and kept the flames far away from their hands. I really liked that there was a stand where I could rest my phone because it made it incredibly easy to record the whole thing (although – I did end up fiddling with adding things under it to make it the perfect height and angle!)
The next experiment was burning magnesium. The purpose of this experiment was to showcase the reactivity of metals. And wow! Magnesium burns incredibly brightly! This one did scare me a little – it created a huge flame and similar smoke cloud, which thankfully didn’t set off any smoke alarms. My younger ones wanted to do it again right after the first one finished and I did have to shout a “no!” to prevent curious and eager fingers from touching the metal. This is probably why it’s not intended for kids under 10. They loved this one though. The reactive kind of science is what my kids seem to consider the only worthy type of science so this was a total win.
After each experiment there is an explanation of what happened, so the learning is immediately absorbed. I love that Creation Crate Chemisty brings the lab to you for learning and gives kids the chance to see it up close and personal. I had flashbacks to the labs I had in high school with the built-in bunsen burners.
How Homeschoolers Can Use Creation Crate Chemistry
Admittedly, Creation Crate Chemistry isn’t a complete curriculum on its own. It’s more the lab portion of a chemistry program. I think it could be great to complete all 10 units alongside a good chemistry program as part of the lab component.
Of course, it can just be a fun extra learning kind of add on too – without the pressure of it needing to be school or part of a formal plan. It’s a quick learning win.
How Much Does it Cost and Where Can You Buy It?
You have two options. The first is to buy each month’s kit individually. This is $29.99/month US + an additional $25 one time fee for the starter kit with all the tools you will need for the program. If you choose this way, the kits will be shipped one at a time so that you can work your way through the program after each box arrives. The second option is to buy all the kits at once. This will cost $299.99 US total and you get the initial kit for free included. Then, it all arrives at your door and you can chip away at the program as you’d like.
It’s available exclusively on their website: Creation Crate.