[Capstone (800) 747-4992] - Website
PebbleGo Next is a delightful science (database) website designed for grades 3-5. The designers utilize a clear white background as a backdrop for the crisp, colorful topic-related photos which provide links to the many modules and units.
Science content is abundant, and the program's scaffolding and clean design simplify segments so they are easily grasped by this age group. A 'lesson tree' format expands each of the general science categories: Earth Science, Life Science, Physical Science, The Field of Science. Earth Science expands into units on Atmosphere (Greenhouse Gases and Global Warming, Humans and the Atmosphere, Layers of the Atmosphere, Natural Wonders in the Sky, Weather and Climate); Life Science expands into Biological Dangers, Genetics, Human Anatomy, Life in an Ecosystem, Plants and Animals...and so on.
The program abounds with science facts and illustrations, and high quality videos add a wonderful dimension to the lessons. In addition, there is read-aloud audio and text-to-speech highlighting to aid struggling readers and/or English Language Learners.
Enough cannot be said about this age-appropriate, comprehensive science database. Children will be fascinated by the exciting video experiments at the Capstone Science Lab (Volcano, Magnetism, Erosion, Air Pressure, Bubbling Blobs, Monster Foam, Oceans as a Water Source, Balloon Rocket, Tornado in a Bottle), which are adaptable to the classroom environment using available materials, e.g., the volcano experiment uses baking soda, vinegar, funnel, food coloring, measuring cup, tray, plastic bottle, and modeling clay to simulate a volcano's eruption. A downloadable transcript reads: "When the vinegar and baking soda mix, they make carbon dioxide gas. The bubbles from this gas are what turn the mixture into a frothy foam that expands from our volcano's main vent. The main vent is a weak point that allows materials, such as lava, ash, and gases, to escape from the earth. Now it's your turn to create your own volcanic eruption."
PebbleGo Next is accessible from home or school using an Internet connection. Parents and teachers, be sure to sign up on the website for a free 2-week trial.