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MEL Chemistry “Elements” Subscription Review + Coupon

Brandi Dowell
ByBrandi DowellNov 22, 2021 | 2 comments

MEL Chemistry
5 overall rating
1 Ratings | 0 Reviews

MEL Chemistry is a subscription box for kids ages 10-16+ 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!

This is a review of MEL Chemistry (for ages 10-16+), which costs $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).

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.)

Check out our reviews for MEL Physics (ages 8- 14+) and MEL Kids (ages 5-9+) to see what else MEL Science has to offer!

First Impressions

As usual, everything was packaged up so neatly and carefully making it easy to locate all the materials we needed for each experiment.

Starter Kit & More

 

Before we get into this month’s box, I want to quickly highlight a few of the extra features that we have access to. Firstly, your free starter kit (valued at $50.00) 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 Starter Kit review here!

 

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 is a fun extension to our lessons!

 

While they provide individual cards for each experiment, we also have the option of accessing the directions through the app, which provides a more interactive way to complete the experiments. Here is a look at how the app is set up. It’s well organized and easy to use with information on safe disposal, some troubleshooting tips, and a scientific description of what happens during the experiment. You can even set a reminder to start the experiment.

 

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! Now let’s get to this month’s box!

What’s Inside the Box

 

The outside of our box has information all about our reagents, a table of contents, and several safety warnings.

 

While we needed to grab a few things from our starter kit, they provided the reagents, some measuring spoons, thermal stickers, gloves, wooden sticks, votive candles, and some votive holders.

Experiment 1: Iodine

 

Our first experiment was “Iodine” and we were using potassium iodide, calcium chloride, and copper sulfate pentahydrate.

 

I added the number of scoops required of each reagent to the beaker and stirred them together. Then I placed it on the burner and placed a cup of water inside of it. I added some sodium thiosulfate to the water and stirred before dropping an ice cube inside, then I lit the burner. Then it was time to wait for 5 minutes before blowing the flames out and another few minutes before I could check it out.

 

Some really cool crystals formed on the outside of the cup when I lifted it out of the beaker.

 

Then I poured the mixture from the cup into the beaker and observed the crystals with a closer light. It’s hard to see here but they were very cool up close!

Experiment 2: Sulfur Melt

 

The next experiment was “Sulfur Melt” and while I have another reagent pictured here, it was actually just the sulfur that we needed.

 

I added the sulfur to the empty votive container and then placed it on the lit burner. I let it melt for about 5 minutes.

 

Then I dropped the paperclip in and the sulfur began to harden. It was actually kind of mesmerizing to observe the change!

Experiment 3: Carbon

 

So this last experiment wasn’t exactly an experiment, but instead, they sent us this little card all about carbon and sent three different examples of carbon for us to observe. It would be cool to start an element collection for our homeschool room and this would be a cool way to start. There is a tiny piece of graphite, some tiny diamonds, and some charcoal. We might have to get out our microscope and observe even closer!

Value – Was This Box Worth It?

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).

I like that we received the elements to keep, however, it does mean that we only had two experiments this month and both of them were very basic. Both had really cool reactions that were fun to observe, but ultimately, this felt like a shortened version of the usual lessons since the sulfur activity was less than 10 minutes and the carbon was just something to observe. Maybe one more short experiment would have helped round this out and added some more value for me!

Key Takeaways

MEL Chemistry provides everything that we need to perform our experiments safely and effectively. The boxes are well organized with enough materials to perform each experiment at least two times and they make sure to explain the science behind it. It’s so great for a homeschool curriculum, although this month I might want to find something else to supplement the shorter lesson!

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

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).

What do you think of MEL Chemistry? Click below to write a review!

"MEL Chemistry is a next generation chemistry set delivered monthly as a subscription. The package consists of 38 interactive hands-on chemistry sets. This standalone educational package will captivate the interest of your child by demonstrating the real science in all of its beauty and depth.
... read more.
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!

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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2 comments

Lauren

We had this box for a little while, stopped our subscription, and then restarted it again. My husband loves to do this box with our kids. He always wanted a chemistry set when he was a kid and he says this is like his childhood dream come true. Chemistry was my least favorite subject when I was in school, and I think MEL does a great job of empowering parents like me — who have chemistry nightmares — to teach their kids about it. Thanks for the review!

Brandi Dowell

Haha I love the way you put it, Lauren! I am definitely more in the chemistry nightmare category (I think it was my first C in high school! lol), but I’m so glad to hear your husband loves this! I bet he makes it even more exciting for your kids with his enthusiasm! 🙂

Our reviewers research, test, and recommend the best subscriptions and products independently; click to learn more about our editorial guidelines. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.