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Little Passports have been bringing the joy of world geography through monthly subscription boxes for a few years now. Now, they offer a new kind of learning experience with their Science Expeditions monthly kit.
We got to try out the first kit. It kit arrived in our mailbox in a specially marked box. Inside was a zippered bag to store your stuff in, along with special things you will need to do the experiments (including instructions!)
This first month was all about Forensic Science. First, you need to read the fun, full-coloured comic book about Sofia and Sam – the two young people who are from the Little Passports adventures but this time are doing some power of observations to put some clues together to figure out where their aunt has disappeared to. The back of the story has several pages of activities (like learning to recognized forged handwriting and learning how to case a crime scene) and a glossary to help with relevant words.
Then it’s science time.
This forensic science-themed kit has 3 awesome experiments: extracting DNA from a strawberry, investigating fingerprints, and studying splatters. Materials are clearly marked – making it quick to grab what you need from your pantry and household supplies. The estimated time to complete these three projects is about 2 hours.
One of the neatest thing that is included in this kit is the Lab Notebook. The inside is filled with grid paper pages for experiment notes and observations. There is plenty of space for anything you are working on – and probably even some experiments of your own. In the front is a dedicated space with 12 hexagons where you stick your monthly achievement badges to show what you’ve finished. I love this because it gets the kids excited to do their experiments and earn their badges.
I decided to test out the kit with my 9-year-old boy. He has recently decided that he would like to be a scientist when he grows up, so any opportunity to do anything scientific is exciting for him. We started with the
We started with the fingerprinting because the supplies were all included and it was simple to do. It was actually a lot of fun to look at all our fingerprints and compare how similar and different we were. This particular project ended up with many of the other kids because they were fascinated. A page of scrap paper of printing tests later, we were ready to try the real prints on the analysis page.
Next, we set up the kitchen for some blood spatters (made of paint… not real blood). My little scientist grabbed his homemade lab coat and safety goggles, set everything up, and excited prepped his lab observation book. The spatters experiment was really fun to do together. Together we tested blood splats from all different heights and what they looked like. The boy diligently wrote his observations in his lab book and we discussed our findings together.
The last experiment that we did was the DNA extraction. The materials list calls for a couple of things we didn’t have around the house: strawberries and rubbing alcohol. It’s off-season for berries, so we ended up needing to go to two different stores before we found some. Later, while reading through the instructions, we learned that you can use many other kinds of fruit instead (however, strawberries have the best DNA). We bought strawberries and raspberries to try them both and see what would happen.
The instructions were easy to follow, making this experiment so fun. We watched our test tubes in anticipation. The strawberry turned out phenomenally – the DNA looked like a cloud of white blobbiness and when we gently pulled it out of the tube with the pencil, it resembled something like some clear snot. It was so amazing to know we were looking at the building blocks of a strawberry! The raspberry one, however, looked like nothing had happened. We decided to stick a pencil in any way and see what happened. There were teeny tiny little almost invisible strands in there. Apparently, you can do this experiment with lots of different items, including your cheek cells! Seeing your own DNA would be incredibly fascinating.
I asked the boy what his thoughts were about this kit and his very concise answer was “I love it.” He liked that the instructions were clear, that it came with an awesome lab notebook, and that all the not-likely-to-be-in-your-house supplies came with it. He loves the bag to keep all his stuff in, too.
This kit is a lot of fun. Designed for kids ages 9 and up, it’s a great way to encourage a love of science by providing interesting, hands-on experiments.
Find out more at the Little Passports website.