Mad Science Kids Club

Common Sense Media says

Science meets social networking on safe kids' site.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Positive messages focus on the fun in science, discovery, and community.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language

Bad language and rude behavior is prohibited; kids seem to follow these rules.

Consumerism

Users have to watch ads before playing some of the games. Some of the ads are for sugary cereals and snacks. The site sells "Evercredits" for real money; they can be used to access premium content.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Very private. Parents can adjust their kids' privacy settings to a range of different levels. Kids get a user name that includes their first name.

Parents must validate kids' accounts and can control what they do and see on the site, such as the ability to IM, email, and request friends. Parents have their own account on the site and can monitor their kids' actions.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Mad Science Kids Club is a science-themed social networking site with robust parental controls that make it safe for younger kids. Despite its name, the site isn't purely educational; there are plenty of just-for-fun games, goofy photos, and songs from popular teen performers. Parents may not be too keen on the junk food ads included in the videos -- or the fact that they have to pay for their kids to access premium features.

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Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Mad Science is an international, for-profit franchise that delivers science education programs to schools, parties, museums, and more. Its new online venture, MAD SCIENCE KIDS CLUB, aims to create a science-based social networking presence that's safe for younger kids. It certainly scores in that regard, offering age-appropriate content and extensive parental controls. The social aspect hasn't really taken off yet; the site's groups and user-generated content aren't particularly robust. More engaging are the games, which range from arcade-style offerings to educational puzzles and word exercises. The site also offers several intriguing applications, such as Lab Rat, in which scientists answer kids' questions; visitors must pay to access them.

Online interaction: Kids can make friends, post comments, and join and create groups. Interactions are friendly and respectful.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Internet safety with social networking sites and review privacy guidelines. What information is OK to share, and what information should you keep to yourself? What would you do if someone was bothering you on a social site?

  • Families can also talk about being smart about advertising targeting kids. How can you recognize advertising targeted at kids? Why would companies direct advertisements at children?

Website details

Genre:Social Networking
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Mad Science Kids Club was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

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

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