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MEL Chemistry Subscription Review + Coupon – “Flame”

MEL Chemistry is a subscription box for kids ages 9-14 that sends all of the materials you need to complete 2-3 chemistry experiments every month. This is perfect for kids who are interested in science or for homeschool students!

 

This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

About MEL Chemistry

The Subscription Box: MEL Chemistry

The Cost: $34.90 per month

COUPON: Use code MSA25 to save 25% off your first box + receive a free Starter Kit and VR Headset ($50 value).

The Products: Everything you need to conduct 2-3 chemistry experiments each month safely in your own home!

Ships to: The U.S. and UK for free. International shipping to select countries is also available, although there may be additional shipping charges depending on location.

MEL Chemistry “Flame” Review August 2020

 

This month our experiments’ theme is “Flame” and the contents were listed on the back of our box. You may note that they list a few items we need to get from our Starter Kit.

Note: The following items did not come in this month’s kit!

 

Starter Kit 

Your free starter kit (valued at $50) will come in your first shipment. It includes all of the equipment you’ll need to conduct your experiments each month and even includes some accessories for your tablet or smartphone to help you access all of the information they provide in their apps. To see more details about everything we received in our kit, you can check out our review here!

 

VR Headset

Also included with our Starter Kit was this virtual reality headset. This cardboard headset folds up easily and then you slip your phone into the slot and use their free MEL VR app.

 

The VR app opens up in a lab where we have the opportunity to learn about different molecules and atoms and explore them closely. This is so great for gaining a deeper understanding of what happens throughout our experiments and as a fun extension to our lessons!

 

The first three items are those that we need each month: a tray to work on, our safety goggles, and our phone/tablet stand.

 

This month we needed just needed our pocket stove.

 

Inside our box was an instruction sheet for the parents including some safety warnings, advice, and general first aid information. The directions for the projects are pretty thorough and can be found in this booklet, on the individual experiment cards or in the app. Having this separate sheet for the parents is great so kids can work independently, but parents can also follow along for supervising.

The projects come neatly organized with all of our reagents neatly stored in plastic bags. It looks like this month everything is in powder form, but when there are liquids they are always careful to put in absorbers in case of any spills. Let’s get to our first experiment!

Experiment 1: Burning Magnesium

 

Our first experiment was “Burning Magnesium.” For each experiment, they provide a card like this one that contains all of the necessary information such as safety, disposal, and the directions complete with colored illustrations. The front gives a brief descriptor of what to expect and also provides a scale to rate the difficulty and danger of the activity as well as the duration. On the back is a little box we can scan with our app which allows us to open directly to the experiment on our phone or tablet. Of course, this is optional since you have everything you need on the experiment card, but I really like the interactiveness of the app instructions.

 

I set the phone in our stand and we clicked the “start experiment” button to begin. They provided information on the expected results, troubleshooting, and even a scientific description of what happens during the experiment. There is also an easy way to set a reminder to conduct your experiment! We always check out the safety information first.

 

The app provides thorough, detailed instructions.  Some of the instructions are even animated which is pretty cool and usually if it is a timed experiment, they will have a little built-in timer on that page for you to use. They also have little “help” tips at the bottom in case you get confused about what to do.

 

All of our reagents are clearly labeled and include information about any hazards. They provided enough materials for us to complete our experiments several times. Each label also contains a little code that we can scan to open up for more information about our chemicals. We are able to view it in 3D or even in virtual reality by using the VR app and our headset. For this experiment, we are using sodium hydrogen sulfate.

 

The app gives so much detail about each of the reagents including a description, hazards, precautions, and even a link to the Wikipedia page for further information. So thorough! And it’s even more fun if you interact through the VR app!

 

This month we had some thermostickers to place on our stove, a few plastic nozzles, some wooden splints, and some plastic measuring spoons.

 

There were also two springs, several pieces of foil, and some tin candle holders.

I gathered what we needed while my assistants got their safety glasses on.

 

I added a thermosticker to our stove and placed a piece of tin foil on top. Then I secured a spring to the side of the stove.

 

I bent the tip of one of the magnesium strips and slid it in between the coils on the spring. Then I placed a candle holder underneath the tip.

 

I added some solid fuel to the top of the holder and then made sure to line it up underneath the edge of the magnesium strip before lighting a splint using it to light the fuel.

 

The solid fuel burned and then when it caught the magnesium on fire it created a very bright light and some smoke that really impressed the kids.

The kids especially loved this and begged to do it again and I was able to oblige since they sent a few magnesium strips for us!

 

At the end of our experiments, our app asks us to rate the experiment and then there is a section on how it works which includes helpful information such as a scientific description, interesting facts, and disposal instructions, all of which we had access to from the main page of this experiment as well.

Experiment 2: Flame Test

 

The next experiment was “Flame Test” and it involved using copper, zinc, and tin powders.

 

The kids helped me add nozzles to the top of the three bottles of powder.

 

I added a piece of foil to our stove and then a scoop of solid fuel which I lit on fire. Then I just sprinkled the various powders over the flame one at a time.

This was another really exciting experiment. Each time I sprinkled a different powder the flame would light up in different colors. This was cool to watch and since we had extra solid fuel, we were able to do this several times. Visually, it was really fun, too!

Verdict: This Flame box from MEL Chemistry was really cool! While the experiments were very simple, they both had big wow factors that my kids and I enjoyed. These experiments are sure to impress little chemists! While there was flame involved, it felt like a very safe experiment thanks to the organization and the tools that we received such as the try and stove which helped to keep it all in a controlled area. I also appreciated that they sent enough supplies that we can do these experiments several times over, much to the delight of my kids! This box was a definite winner!

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Yes, it is possible that you will receive this set. From MEL Chemistry:

“The topics are looped such that the start date of your subscription does not matter; you will eventually receive all the experiment sets.”

COUPON: Use code MSA25 to save 25% off your first box + receive a free Starter Kit and VR Headset ($50 value).

Check out all of our MEL Chemistry reviews and our list of the best subscription boxes for kids, as recommended by MSA readers!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add MEL Chemistry to your subscription list or wishlist!

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Written by Brandi Dowell

Brandi Dowell

Brandi has loved the idea of subscription boxes since joining Birchbox in 2013. Now that she’s a mother of 3, she loves finding unique boxes to educate and entertain her kids while enjoying some more pampering boxes for herself. Her favorites these days are Lillypost, KiwiCo boxes & Wicked Good Perfume!

Posted in MEL Chemistry Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Kids| Tags: mel chemistry | 0 comments

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