In these crazy times due to COVID-19, the urge to just hand over the iPad and have your kids glued to a screen is stronger than ever. And although you may desperately need some peace and quiet to get that whole "work from home" thing done, it's important to keep them learning. While there are ample resources online that can help you continue your children's STEM studies, it's hardly enough to keep them engaged, challenged, and on-task - at least enough to occupy all the newfound free time! The good news is that MEL Science can really help.
MEL Science is a UK-based company that puts together subscription chemistry kits.
With MEL Science's hands-on experiments, you can start your child's scientific journey before they are a decade old! With an emphasis on chemistry, these subscription sets provide your children with the chance to create tin hedgehogs, hot ice, copper coral, tin dendrite, martian rust and galaxy in a bottle, just to name a few!
While your children are going to be learning scientific principles, they will also be wildly entertained. With hundreds of experiments within their 24 chemistry sets, you can choose the experiments that pique your kids' interests!
Each month, you receive a box filled with 1-3 hands-on experiments (with enough chemical reagents for at least 2 attempts), featuring visual step-by-step instructions, VR lessons, and access to the MEL Chemistry App. And for your very first experiment, you will learn the chemistry of monsters through a carbon snake and foam eruption!
- Decent monthly price considering all chemicals and materials are included.
- At the moment, the starter kit is free.
- Learn at your own pace.
- Instructions are easy to follow.
- Lots of supplementary material on-line and through a smartphone app (both iOS and Android).
- In Canada, both French and English kit are available.
- School subscription service is available upon request.
- Cannot buy specific kits.
- Cannot reorder chemicals or supplies if you wish to further repeat the same experiment but vary the conditions.
- More adult assistance would be necessary for kids under 11 as some components are more difficult to work with.
- Not likely stimulating enough for most high school level chemistry.
- Monthly or Yearly subscription rates only; no pay per use available.
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MEL Chemistry vs MEL Chemistry Lite sets
The key difference between MEL's Chemistry and the Chemistry Lite box is the Starter Kit. More specifically, the regular Chemistry box comes with a free VR headset in the first box and other helpful starter kit items, but the Chemistry Lite box does not.
If you do choose to purchase the MEL Chemistry set, you will receive the Starter Kit (pictured below) with 8 reusable tools to conduct your experiments, including:
- Glass Beaker and flask
- VR headset
- Macro lens
- Phone/tablet stand
- Safety glasses and a tray
- Solid fuel Stove (burner)
What do customers say about MEL Science?
On Facebook, the reviews of MEL Science give it a 4.6/5 rating with many customers raving about its usefulness with homeschooling. There were a couple critical Mel Chemistry reviews related to customer service, but other than that the reviews spoke of the high qualivty and experiment options.
MEL Science kits are also sold on Amazon and while a couple reviews from customers were disappointed with the product and their customer service, the majority of reviews were glowing.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to MEL Science sets, you will have to wait until they are at least 5 years old. That said, subscription provide your children with hands-on scientific learning, and allow you to engage with them during their experimentation.
MEL Science places a strong emphasis on chemistry and physics. The company offers a ton of additional value in the form of VR lessons (with a headset) that allow your children to continue learning until their next experiment comes in the mail!
If you are excited to spend time with your kid – and do some messier and slightly more adventurous experiments - MEL Chemistry is pretty awesome.