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MEL Physics “Polarized Light” Review – December 2020

MEL Physics is the newest subscription box for kids ages 8-14+ from parent company, MEL Science. Each month you’ll receive all of the materials you need to successfully complete physics experiments in the comfort of your home. This is perfect for kids who are interested in science or for homeschool students! Check out our reviews for MEL Chemistry (ages 9- 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 Physics

The Subscription Box: MEL Physics

The Cost: $34.90 per month

The Products: Everything you need to conduct physics 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 Physics “Polarized Light” Review December 2020

This month our experiments’ theme is “Polarized Light” and the contents were listed on the back of our box.

 

Inside our box was an instruction sheet that included some general safety rules and information for the supervising adults. I love that they include this sheet so the parent can follow along but still allow the child to work independently.

 

If you prefer to use technology, you can also download the MEL Physics app and everything you need is there including safety and disposal information. The directions are sometimes animated and they provide scientific descriptions and further educational materials which I definitely recommend checking out! These are from a previous experiment, but the sections generally remain the same for each experiment.

Experiment 1: Polarization 101

 

The directions came on a sturdy fold-out card with illustrations and steps that I found easy to follow and the materials for each experiment are numbered making them easy to locate. Our first experiment was “Polarization 101.”

 

We received a piece of foil, a plastic square, a piece of black paper, and some polarizing filters.

 

Inside of our box were several wooden pieces that fit together to create two different stands. For this experiment, we needed the smaller smartphone stand.

 

The first experiment was really just observing the light and how the polarizing filters changed the brightness. We set up our smartphone in the stand with the light on and then placed the black paper down with the plastic on top and observed what happened when we placed the overlapping polarizing filters over it. We then did the same thing with the piece of foil. It was a very simple introduction to the idea of polarization.

Experiment 2: Colorful Stress Patterns

 

Our second experiment was entitled, “Colorful Stress Patterns” and this is where things got fun!

 

For this experiment, we received some polarized glasses, a sticker, a paper holder, a white piece of paper, and a few random objects to observe including a plastic spoon, tube, and petri dish.

 

The first step was to set up our frame. I taped the ends of the paper frame together and then removed the protective films from the adhesive and stuck them to the wooden stand. I added the sticker to the front and slid one of the polarizing filters into the paper frame. Then I placed the whole stand on the white piece of paper.

 

Next, it was time to make some observations using our polarizing glasses. We stretched out the tiny bag to see the changes in color and also held up the petri dish and the spoon. It was pretty cool to see!

 

My kids were amazed with how things changed when they put on the polarizing glasses! It was like magic to their eyes.

The best part was how my daughter was inspired to run around the house collecting other objects that she thought might change with the glasses, too.

Experiment 3: Polarized Light Mosaic

 

Our last experiment was to make some polarized light mosaics.

 

For this experiment, they provided some plastic film squares, two templates, some paperclips, and a roll of tape.

 

I chose a template and placed a piece of plastic film over it holding them together with the paperclip. Then I cut up some pieces of tape and layered them according to the template. I slid the whole thing in front of the polarizing paper in our stand and then observed with the glasses. It was pretty cool how those areas turned blue!

 

My daughter was eager to make her own designs to test out and hers turned out even cooler than mine. After this, she experimented with even more layers of tape and she was amazed by the results.

Bonus Experiment: Anamorphic Mirror

 

We also received this QR code along with some extra polarizing filters so that we could perform a bonus experiment.

 

After scanning the code, I was taken to this experiment entitled “Corn Syrup Kaleidoscope” which involved using sugar, corn, or maple syrup and observing with a flashlight and the polarized film. This will be a fun kitchen experiment for a rainy day!

Verdict: This MEL Physics box contained some fun mess-free visual experiments that really helped us to understand polarizing light. I love that we get to see exactly how it works, and even though my kids are a bit younger, they thought it was really cool and I’m sure what we learned here will come in handy in the future when they are old enough to fully dive into this concept. I like the way this box is organized and how the experiments build upon one another. I also think it’s cool that they include a bonus experiment. That being said, I don’t know if this box feels like as great of a value as previous boxes we have received since there were so few components. Although, it does make sense that this would vary each month since there is such a broad range of physics concepts that they cover. We’ll have to see what next month brings!

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 Physics:

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

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

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add MEL Physics 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 physics | 0 comments

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