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MEL Chemistry Subscription Review + Coupon – “Taming Acid Rain”

MEL Chemistry is a subscription box for kids ages 9-14 from parent company MEL Science 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! Check out our reviews for MEL Physics (ages 8- 14+) and MEL Kids (ages 5-10) to see what else MEL Science has to offer!

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 US and UK for free. International shipping to select countries is also available, although there may be additional shipping charges depending on location.

MEL Chemistry “Taming Acid Rain” Review October 2020

This month our experiments’ theme is “Taming Acid Rain” 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 our glass beaker and flask, some disposable cups, our rubber stoppers, and our pocket stove.

 

In this month’s kit, we received some measuring spoons, some thermostickers, sticks for stirring, safety gloves, and a paper clip to help open our reagent bottles which come plugged with a tiny rubber stopper. We also needed to provide matches (we used a lighter) and some boiling water.

 

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.

Experiment 1: Plants vs. Iodine

 

Our first experiment was “Sulfur Dioxide.” 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 on our stand and we clicked the “start experiment” button to begin. They provided information on the disposal, 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. This month they even included an educational video for us to watch while we waited.

All of our reagents and chemicals come packaged neatly with absorbers in the bags in case of any spills.

 

The reagents are clearly labeled and include information about any hazards. They provided enough materials for us to complete our experiments a couple of 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 potassium iodide.

 

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!

 

In addition to our reagents, they also provided a tealight candler and some fake flowers.

 

 

We placed the flower inside of the flask and observed as it changed from blue to orange before our eyes!

 

The flower turned completely orange. The kids and I both thought this was a really cool process to watch and it looked so pretty as the colors changed!

 

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: Is This Food Starchy?

 

The next experiment was “Fox tail gas” and it involved using calcium nitrate, copper powder, sodium carbonate, sodium hydrogen sulfate, and charcoal.

They provided a plastic nozzle cap and some plastic tubing.

Verdict: This month’s  MEL Chemistry experiments involved some fun visual tricks with the color-changing flowers and the disappearing gas. The kids and I both enjoyed observing these changes and I think it was a great way to see how different chemicals can interact and react to one another. These boxes are so well organized and educational, they are a great way to learn about chemistry safely in the comfort of your own home!

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!

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