Discover Science

 
(i)

 

Learning(i)

Site brings the science museum experience into kids' homes.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Kids see than anyone can be a scientist.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Outside products are not sold, however Academy events are promoted.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Kids can post pictures and messages through the California Academy of Sciences online community, but participation is optional.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Discover Science is a section of the website for the California Academy of Sciences, a museum and research institution in San Francisco. The site can be used to support both visitors and non visitors interested in science and research. Kids don't need to register to use Discover Science and there is no cost to access the resources. Users who have Facebook accounts can share their photos, videos, and experiences with the California Academy of Sciences Online Community. This is an opportunity to remind kids about safe online practices.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • substance properties
  • weather
  • animals
  • astronomy
  • biology
  • chemistry
  • ecosystems
  • geology
  • life cycle
  • plants
  • rocks and minerals

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • collecting data
  • making conclusions

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Discover Science shows kids what's happening at the California Academy of Sciences right now.

Learning Approach

Kids can view actual specimens and hear about current research. Videos and webcams show scientists in action and animals in their native environments.

Support

Lessons and videos are available in English, Spanish, and Chinese. The Academy Community allows participants to upload photos and post about their experiences.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • substance properties
  • weather
  • animals
  • astronomy
  • biology
  • chemistry
  • ecosystems
  • geology
  • life cycle
  • plants
  • rocks and minerals

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • collecting data
  • making conclusions

Kids can learn science topics like animal behavior, geologic processes, evolution, and climate change. They can create a chart to track their energy use and carbon footprint. Controlling a live camera of the Farallones lets them observe whales, seals, and exotic birds. Kids can see how gene therapy has cured color blindness in squirrel monkeys. Even though videos aren't as fun as seeing exhibits at the museum, Discover Science provides opportunities for kids to make observations and build ideas about the world around them. If you can’t attend the Cal Academy in person, Discover Science is the next best thing.

This Learning Rating review was written by Emily Pohlonski

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's it about?

Visitors can access video collections, lectures, and Academy research. The site provides up-to-date science news videos, and Academy scientists and curators blog about their research experiences. The Science Heroes section highlights the men and women who work for the Academy. Three live webcams allow kids to view sharks, penguins, whales, seals, and exotic birds in their natural environment. Citizen Science allows kids in California to participate in actual research by collecting specimens and data.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Discover Science is best for bringing museum experiences into your home. Webcams let kids manipulate camera angles directly from their home computer and observe organisms in their habitats. The video gallery has a broad variety of resources from quick clips to entire Academy lectures. It's particularly powerful to see what scientists are working on right now and how that relates to what kids are learning. The Science Heroes biographies and Science Today video clips both show kids examples of scientists in action. A key strength is that the featured scientists include men and women of diverse racial and cultural backgrounds.

Using the Discover Science resources before and after a visit can help kids maximize kids' learning at the California Academy of Sciences or local science museum. No website can top the rich learning opportunities that museum experiences bring. However, if visiting the California Academy of Sciences or something similar is not an option, then Discover Science comes pretty close.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how media typically portrays who scientists are. How can can we challenge these stereotypes using examples from this site? Check out our resource, "Tips for Battling Stereotypes."

  • Families can also discuss Internet communities like the California Academy of Sciences Online Community. How can scientists work together through these communities? What is ok to post on a site like this?

  • Enjoy your local science museum. Select resources from Discover Science in advance that support the exhibits you'll be visiting.

Website details

Genre:Educational
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Discover Science was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 18 year old Written bybillyhughbilly July 25, 2013
 

Its seriously

Its seriously one of the best websites for kids that can give them immense knowledge on topics specifically of kids interest.
What other families should know
Great messages

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass