As you know, we’re big fans of Project MC2 in this house. We’ve had a decent variety of Project MC2 dolls and the Project MC2 Spy Bag is still our favourite from the product range, but my girls were pretty excited by the Project MC2 Crayon Makeup Science Kit.
I don’t know if it’s just because Ameli is of a particular STEM/STEAM age, or if it’s that there’s been a huge push in that direction lately, but involving girls in science, and kids in science generally, seems to be everywhere at the moment. We were recently sent a Wild Science Perfume Factory set to review and it’s been a huge hit here.
Ameli is quite science-keen anyway, with Project MC2 ranking high on her favourites list, so the Wild Science Perfume Factory is right up her street. You know how some toys are a the thing of the moment for five minutes, then they aren’t a thing at all five minutes later? This isn’t one of them. On the first go, Ameli spent over an hour mixing and matching – an hour’s a long time for something to hold her attention! Since then, she’s taken to applying her perfume daily and creating top ups from time to time too.
The kit includes a stand, a scoop, five vials, a perfume bottle, tweezers, stirring sticks, mixing pot, red liquid pigment, special base perfumes, sticky labels, Sodium Polyacrylate Crystals, a measuring cup, a graduated pump and cotton ball filters.
The base perfumes are Eucalyptus, Jasmine, Peppermint and Rose essential oils.
Project Mc² is back on Netflix UK with new episodes, and an accompanying new product line based on the Netflix series.
If you aren’t familiar with Project Mc², it’s a series about a team of six super-smart girls who use their love of science and spy skills to undertake missions for a top-secret, all female organization called NOV8 – or innovate – to us less acronym savvy.
The six main characters are McKeyla McAlister (Mc2), Adrienne Attoms (A2), Camryn Coyle (C2), Bryden Bandweth (B2), Ember Evergreen (E2) and Devon D’Marco (D2), and each girl has an area of speciality. McKeyla is a spy, Adrienne is a culinary chemist, Camryn is a whizz with electronics, Bryden is the online guru of the group, Ember can grow pretty much anything and Devon is an artist extraordinaire who opens up to the group in this latest series. Each girl ticks at least one of the STEM/STEAM boxes, many tick more, and while their interests are varied, they make a great time when they work together.
In the new episodes and old character returns, and the girls have to use their smarts to not only save him and save the day, but there’s romantic progress for McKeyla and Kyle Lewis too.
While the show throws out big words from time to time (mostly chemicals) there’s not a huge amount of education that happens just from watching it, and a lot just ‘works out’ for the characters, but it’s a series aimed at young girls, so you have to watch it with that filter. While I still find the girls a bit vapid-with-smarts, they’re much more interesting and much better role models for girls than many other traditional girl stereotypes I can think of.
There are some general themes that make it worth watching, if you were doing it for entertainment only, like the introduction to the concept of girls-who-love-STEM/STEAM, the value of teamwork, standing by your friends and standing up for yourself. There’s also the ‘girls can do this’ idea, which isn’t bad to start reinforcing from a young age.Read more: New Episodes & A New Line For Project MC2
We’re talking about feelings and emotions at the moment, because both seem to be running high with my four-going-on-fourteen and six-going-on-sixteen year olds. Sometimes its hard to know what really sinks in, but this evening as we were climbing into bed, my youngest was becoming shouty, then stopped herself and said “Mommy, I’m feeling sadness” – the sadness was about going to bed, which was promptly ended by falling asleep, but it was progress, still!
I saw a picture of window charms made from melting beads somewhere recently, and it struck me as a good way of showing how different emotions and feelings can be amassed in a melting pot to make a life – spend the majority of your days angry, and you’ll have an angry life. Spend the majority of your days joyful and you’ll have a joyful life. (With the obvious exception of mental health concerns.) I wanted to demonstrate this visually.
First I rummaged around for a variety of beads and poured them into a muffin case and labelled each colour on the tin.
In our example I used white for happiness, pink for joy, light blue for sadness, dark blue for anger, dark pink for fear and orange for disgust – these being the six major emotions. Read more: Using Beads To Show How Feelings Affect Life
I think when we look back on our lives, some day far off in the future, we’re going to realise that one of the biggest things that changed during this generation was the perception of girls/women in the workplace, and specifically, in careers like medicine, science, mathematics, engineering. While my personal interest in those subjects is … lacking… it’s something that I’m incredibly grateful for. I love knowing that if they choose it, it’s an option that’s even more available to my daughters than it was to me.
What? You’re not ancient!
No, I’m not. But I struggled so much with math in the last two years of school and I know beyond a doubt that it wasn’t a problem with me, but with my teacher. I passed every mock test, knew all the answers at my private math tutor, but sat down in front of an exam, and I’d make myself sick. Honestly, I ground my teeth so badly, I developed abscesses and missed one of my final exams!
And the teacher in question? I remember distinctly a comment about how maths just wasn’t really for girls.
Was I going to be a chemical engineer, a doctor (my younger brother is both those things – proud big sister that I am!) before that comment? No, probably not. Actually, definitely not. But did failing miserably at math affect my chances of university entrance? Yes, it did. I passed entrance with age exemption, eventually. Did it affect my confidence? Certainly did. Do I think I can ‘do math’? No. Till I actually do it, then I’m not so bad.
So, I think that looking back on my life, I think the changed attitude to women in science will be one of the most wonderful changes of this generation.
And it’s with that in mind that I love things like British Science Week.Read more: 5 Ways to Celebrate Science With Kids
My dad sent me these pictures in an email, and I have no idea where they originally hail from, since they seem to have various sources on the web – if you do, let me know and I’ll credit appropriately. I showed them to Ameli(6) however, and they sparked such interest, I thought I’d share them with you here too. It’s wonderful to put the size of the Earth into perspective.
It’s sometimes hard to know what level to pitch topics at, and using pictures is great because it allows children to ask questions, setting the level themselves. I love how these pictures have been set up. The first set of planets are Earth, Venus, Mars, Mercury and Pluto. It makes Earth look big, important, powerful, and so different from it’s closest neighbours.Read more: How Big Is The Earth?
A few months ago my daughter was browsing Netflix for something to watch when she came across Project MC2, an action miniseries about four teenage girls who use their science know-how to be secret agents and save the day. She was engrossed in it and has watched it a dozen times since, so when I saw there were dolls to match, I was excited to get her one.
Since watching the show, she’s decided that she wants to be both a scientist and an inventor – in her spare time when she’s not being a dancer, that is – and who am I to stand in her way.
Do you remember the Magic School Bus from childhood? Was that a show in the UK? It must have been in the US as we got it in South Africa and I remember a few episodes here and there. I’m not totally sure where from, however, since we didn’t have a TV!
Educents have a great offer on at the moment where you and the children can explore science through exciting and thrilling experiments that will spark an interest and curiosity in science.
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Each kit includes a colorful manual based on the characters, as well as everything you need to complete at least seven experiments related to that month’s theme.
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