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MEL Science

  • Android, Website, iPad, iPhone
  • Free
  • age 3+

About MEL Science

Mel Science is a subscription service that offers a variety of hands-on science kits and associated learning materials for kids.

Designed to supplement both homeschool and traditional school learning, Mel Science offers a curated selection of project-based STEM kits for younger kids, as well as full monthly experiment kits in chemistry , physics and medical science for older students. 

MEL Science Review

What is MEL Science?

MEL Science is a science website for kids that provides science kits for kids that blend interactivity with education in a manner that few can, thanks to exciting, hands-on experiments, thorough instructional material, and a variety of cool high-tech elements.

MEL Science teaches kids about science using its free and informative app and practical science kits and experiments, which you receive monthly for as long as you subscribe.

The app guides kids using the kits and explains what each experiment tells us about the objects, properties or materials they cover. Kids can use each one through a 3D simulation on the screen or view it in augmented reality, where the app combines kids' surroundings with digital content.

MEL Science's app and kits work together, so any accurate review of MEL Science needs both. We used the app on an iPad and iPhone and received two practical science kits to test. The MEL science app scans codes on some of the kits' contents to tell users what they are — for example, the chemicals in a bottle.

We looked at kits from the STEM course which are best suited to primary and elementary-aged kids. Selecting the STEM options in the MEL Science app will access a separate MEL Science STEM app. You can choose physics and chemistry options suited to other age groups, although they overlap, and their minimum age is higher than for STEM.

Science-based activities can require using potentially unsafe materials. This is necessary to help kids grow awareness of safety issues and feel the excitement of the subject's potential. Parents should assess each kit they receive from MEL Science concerning their child. The app shows a danger rating for each activity to help you recognise risks.

Working with your kids will help them stay safe and amplify the considerable benefits of a MEL Science subscription and build fun memories. 

What we love about MEL Science

Educational apps add a lot to kids' learning experiences, but that doesn't negate the benefits of other forms of learning, such as practical work. MEL Science combines the two approaches perfectly.

The app guides and informs. The kits provide a tactical experience that is exciting and full of learning opportunities. Together MEL Science's app and kits create a superb learning experience that achieves the often-claimed but rarely realised goal of making learning fun.

The impact on safety from MEL Science shouldn't be underestimated. While the internet is full of science experiment tutorials, they are not all safe to conduct. Even household items and substances combined or used outside their intended purpose can be unexpectedly dangerous.

Those trained in science can see the risks, but parents or teachers working outside their comfort zone cannot. With MEL science, kids can still enjoy the wonder of the outcomes, but you can use MEL sciences kits and apps to ensure you work within safe parameters and don't have to worry about unknown risks.

You still have to be sensible and may need to supervise your kids with some kits, but you'll do so knowing that your actions are safe if you follow the guides.

The kits use materials suitable to the experiment or activity, and in many cases, you can repeat the activity with them. They highlight the key learning points well and feel like 'real science' to kids. Digital simulations have their place, but so does seeing the results for real on the kitchen table.

There will be a sense of anticipation around MEL Science too. Kids love to receive parcels, and their enthusiasm for seeing what has arrived will feed into using and learning from the new science kit.

Another big plus to the MEL Science app is it is not entirely dependent on the kits. It covers experiments and learning experiences parents and kids can conduct together using household items.

What skills does it teach?

MEL Science teaches kids about many aspects of science. These include the subjects such as physics and chemistry alongside the more general STEM topics. Its hands-on nature also teaches kids practical skills and helps them appreciate the importance of safety.

What age is it appropriate for?

When you subscribe to MEL Science, you can choose subjects with different suitable age ratings. STEM kits are suitable for kits between 5 and 10.

Physics kits are suitable for kids between 8 and 14. Chemistry kits are suitable for kids 10 and up.

Is MEL Science easy to use?

When you first download the app, a helpful video leads you through the setup process pausing at each stage for you to complete it.

The learning content and activities are well-categorised, making finding different sections and topics easy. The kits are not ready to use when you receive them and require some setup, but this is part of the learning experience and a beneficial feature. If the kits did not require this level of work, they would make the process too passive and less likely to engage kids. 

How will students benefit?

The MEL Science app tracks kids' activities in the app and awards badges. Gamified features like these are popular with kids and help motivate them to try different things and show them how far they have progressed.

The kits and how they show their intended outcomes are very well chosen. They're simple enough for kids to focus on the results rather than the setup, but they will still feel very much like they have built the experiment and are not passive observers.

Kids might not always get to be so hands-on with science at school as resource limitations often require group work or watching others do the practical aspects. MEL Science supports what kids learn at school and inspires them to want to know more.

How will parents benefit?

MEL Science is great for all parents to lift their kid's enthusiasm for science and grow their knowledge, but it is perfect for those who homeschool their kids. Schools have the advantage of purpose-built labs and storerooms of science equipment, and now MEL Science replicates that for the home.

Parents who might not be confident in their scientific knowledge or know how to carry out science-based activities safely can use MEL Sciences resources to learn and guide the support they provide to kids. 

Following a course in MEL Science links concepts together and helps kids and parents learn together. If you want to do more, you can find one of the non-kit-based activities in the app to follow. These practical activities are ideal to ensure that learning does not add too much to the time your kids spend using screens.

How will teachers benefit?

MEL Science provides an educational institute package which can significantly simplify schools' science provision — especially at primary or elementary schools where science specialists do not have a presence.

MEL Science is aligned with the US's NGSS. Each bundle provided by MEL Learning shows the number of students that can use it simultaneously. This number is usually in the form of a range, with the higher number indicating the maximum number of students who can use it while still having some input. Naturally, the lower numbers will allow for greater individual interaction but would require more kits. 

What can MEL Science improve on?

MEL Science works well but does not consistently feel like it is for parents or kids. Sometimes it addresses learners directly, while other times, it speaks to parents. We'd like to see a more defined adult and kids division in the application. 

How much does MEL Science cost?

The MEL Science app is free to download and interesting and educational alone. It works best with a subscription, unlocking the physical science kits and experiments. MEL Science provides a considerable discount for its more extended subscription periods. If you feel that your child will stick to using the kits or you are using them as part of your homeschooling science lessons, we recommend taking advantage of the savings.

Is MEL Science safe to use?

MEL Science's kits are designed to get kids interested in science. Used well, they will inform and excite, but some have the potential to be messy or carry a risk if misused. In particular, look for kits that list hot water, matches, or other hazardous items as part of their requirements.

Each experiment has a danger rating in the app and safety advice. Parents should ensure that they select age-appropriate kits for their kids. They should also consider each kit regarding their child's maturity and provide an appropriate level of supervision. Follow the instructions, work alongside your kids, and highlight safe practices to make safety learning part of the experience.

The MEL Science does not contain advertisements or content unsuitable for kids.

Overall rating

MEL Science provides a superb science learning experience for kids of all ages. The combination of app and physical kits works well with digital content conveying much more information than a written guide. The monthly subscription unlocks science for home study in a way that can only lead to more kids taking an interest in the subject and growing their knowledge. MEL Science is a five-star app and learning package.

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