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BrainPOP July 11, 2012

Posted by stem4kidsinfo in Uncategorized.
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http://www.brainpop.com/

BrainPOP is an online educational resource that teaches kids, primarily those in elementary or middle school, about almost any topic you can imagine. 

Lessons take the form of short animated videos on specific topics, arranged into subsections of various subjects, such as Math -> Algebra -> Polynomials.  Categories range from Technology to Art and Music, covering most regular subjects taught in middle school, but subsections in each topic can narrow down the subject if you want to learn more on a specific subject.  Each topic group in itself usually contains a dozen videos or so, and there can be anywhere from four to twelve subsections in each subject, so you should be able to find a video on anything you can think of.  If you don’t see something you’re looking for, you can request it, and they might make it into a future video!

Each video presents topics in a clear, easily understandable way.  Videos end with options to do related activities or try a quiz on the topic.  While the videos are short, usually only about 5 minutes long or so, they contain links to plenty of additional content on the subject for students who wish to get more involved.  For example, info on famous people in history related to the video’s topic, myths and legends about the topic, and even a short comic could all be included in this ‘FYI’ section at the end.

The two main characters involved in the videos, Tim and Moby, are your typical comedy duo- except Moby’s a robot, who speaks only in strange bleeps and boops that only Tim seems to understand.  Most videos contain a background plot of sorts to reinforce the educational concept- usually, Tim attempts to answer a student’s question while Moby ends up in a predicament that can be solved or explained via the subject matter.  For example, a long line at an amusement park that can be used to explain estimation, or the use of a garden’s perimeter to show an example of a polynomial.  Other supporting characters, like Bob the Rat, walk students through experiments or do Q&A on specific topics.

While the website does require a paid subscription to take full advantage of its resources, payment options are flexible and can be done through a single family, a whole class, or even an entire school.  They also offer some free videos from each of their subject categories, as well as a short 5-day free trial.

-Connor

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