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Chemistry: real hands-on lab or virtual lab?


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#1 Greta

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 09:59 AM

I was wondering if people who have BTDT could give me some idea of how expensive and difficult it is to do chemistry lab at home.  I plan to search old threads as well, but I wanted to particularly ask if anyone has done a home lab with this Pearson Chemistry text.  We'll be using it through Kolbe, and we do have the option of the virtual online lab.  So I'm trying to decide whether to purchase that and do it only, or do it in combination with some hands-on lab stuff, or do only the hands-on lab stuff.  Any thoughts?

 

 

 



#2 Julie of KY

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 10:04 AM

I do hands-on labs and they can get expensive, but I keep doing them as we enjoy them. I also do them as a class so that I actually make money doing it.


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#3 EKS

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 10:17 AM

Virtual labs are ridiculous.  At least when doing real labs the student gets some experience with real materials and equipment.  Which is really all most high school lab activities are good for anyway.

 

That said, the best high school chemistry labs for home use that I have come across are the ones that go with Spectrum Chemistry.  Highly recommended--I'd just run it slightly behind whatever chemistry program you are doing and not worry about matching things up.


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#4 Greta

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 11:21 AM

I do hands-on labs and they can get expensive, but I keep doing them as we enjoy them. I also do them as a class so that I actually make money doing it.

  

Oh, what a great idea. I'm sure your local homeschoolers really appreciate you!

Virtual labs are ridiculous.  At least when doing real labs the student gets some experience with real materials and equipment.  Which is really all most high school lab activities are good for anyway.
 
That said, the best high school chemistry labs for home use that I have come across are the ones that go with Spectrum Chemistry.  Highly recommended--I'd just run it slightly behind whatever chemistry program you are doing and not worry about matching things up.


Thank you! Just to make sure I've got the program you're talking about, is it this one? http://beginningspub...talog/index.php

#5 EKS

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 01:04 PM

 Thank you! Just to make sure I've got the program you're talking about, is it this one? http://beginningspub...talog/index.php

 

That's the one.  I should mention that it is not secular, if that is an issue.  


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#6 Greta

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 02:35 PM

That's the one. I should mention that it is not secular, if that is an issue.


Not an issue at all if it's academically sound, which I would certainly guess that it is from your description. Thanks again!

#7 FriedClams

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 09:26 AM

I think it's the difference between watching Food Network and actually cooking yourself. We do labs at home or in a co-op.
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#8 Greta

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 09:33 AM

I think it's the difference between watching Food Network and actually cooking yourself. We do labs at home or in a co-op.

 

 

Good analogy!  DD said she's really looking forward to doing the hands-on lab.

 

Have you ever used the Spectrum Chemistry lab that EKS recommended?  Or do you have other resources you would recommend?



#9 6wildhorses

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 11:06 AM

If you want to supplement with some virtual labs, the best option I found is Late Nite Labs. I plan on using it for my daughter for biology. It's very open-ended, meaning kids can make mistakes and even blow things up if they aren't paying attention. It's much more than just clicking through the steps. We'll do hands-on labs too, but this way she can do a lot more.


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#10 Pistachio mom

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 04:48 PM

I will check out the Late Night labs. Thanks for sharing the resource. I have to order the $70 lab kit today to go with my daughter's chemistry course, but it might be more realistic to do some of these virtual.  I would like to give her experience doing both - since that might be required of her in a future college course.

 

I just looked at a sign in page and description. I don't see a fee or list of labs. Can you tell us more about Late Nite Labs. Is this the right link?

 

http://www.macmillan...s/booksandmedia

https://labs.latenitelabs.com/register

 


Edited by Pistachio mom, 17 July 2017 - 04:55 PM.

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#11 Dicentra

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 10:10 PM

I teach chemistry to Pre-Health students at the local college and also to distance students throughout Ontario.  The college uses Late Nite Labs for the distance students and I agree with 6wildhorses above - it's not the old click-on-anything-until-you-get-the-right-answer online lab simulations that we're all used to seeing.  Downside - the students don't get any experience with using lab equipment.  Upside - the students can perform and do analysis on many labs that they wouldn't otherwise get to do.  I have an entire post somewhere about my thoughts regarding students doing hands-on labs without an expert there to guide them. :)

 

The fee structure is listed here:

http://www.macmillan...contentid=24337

And the chemistry labs are listed here:

http://macmillanlear...urses#chemistry

 

If you contact them and explain you are a homeschooler, they should allow you to have an instructor account for free where you set up your "class" and choose the labs you want your student to do.  Your student will then sign up for a student account and that's when the fee comes into play.

 

That's kind of a quick explanation.  If you have any further questions, feel free to PM me - I've used Late Nite Labs in my college classes for the last two years so I've had a bit of experience with it. :)


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#12 ondreeuh

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 12:46 AM


 

If you contact them and explain you are a homeschooler, they should allow you to have an instructor account for free where you set up your "class" and choose the labs you want your student to do.  Your student will then sign up for a student account and that's when the fee comes into play.

 

I just clicked on the registration link and clicked "instructor," then when I filled out my info I chose "homeschool" for the institution - it was already in the drop-down list. They are giving me a price of $35 per student for unlimited access, but it doesn't say how long the subscription is for. Hmm.


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#13 6wildhorses

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 10:50 AM

I'm glad Dicentra chimed in since she's actually used Late Nite Labs. I just finished the registration process. To get a homeschool instructor account, I had to provide proof that I was a homeschooler. I had to sign a document and provide some kind of documentation. Once I was set up, I set up a student account. I paid a fee of $34.95. I just asked how long the subscription lasts, and the representative told me 12 months. 


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#14 RegGuheert

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 10:30 PM

We are using the labs and kit from Quality Science Labs for AP Chemistry.  I feel that the labs are important since part of learning is "struggling with" things until they have real meaning to the student.  That said, I feel that in chemistry it can be quite hard to fathom what's happening in that beaker.  As a result, I have decided to ADD simulations (not to be confused with virtual labs) into our curriculum for our twins this year.  My hope is that the simulations will provide visual images to help cement important concepts in our children's minds.

 

University of Colorado Boulder has outstanding simulation tools for several different disciplines.  Many of these simulations run right in an app on an iPad.


Edited by RegGuheert, 19 July 2017 - 02:05 PM.

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#15 Pistachio mom

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 04:11 PM

Wow! The simulations look amazing. I just bookmarked the page. Thanks for sharing!


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#16 pinkelement

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 05:47 PM

I second Spectrum Chemistry labs. Everything comes in one package and really compliments the textbook, I love above comparison of watching Food Network and cooking yourself. Exactly.
We ended up mixing Spectrum and Zumdahl and that was a good thing, because my students decided to go for the SAT Chemistry test and Spectrum alone wouldn't prepare them.
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