Friday, April 11, 2014

Curiosity Quest (A Review)

   Curiosity Quest

     Don’t you love educational DVDs that your children actually want to watch? Me, too! I encourage you to read on to learn about these DVDs from Curiosity Quest. We were chosen to review six of their episodes: DVD Combo Pack—Produce (Mushrooms, Cranberries, and Orange Packing) and DVD Combo Pack—Sea Swimmers (Sea Turtle Rescue, Penguins, and Salmon).

Oranges, Cranberries, Mushrooms, Curiosity Quest
Sea Turtles, Penguins, Salmon, Curiosity Quest
      The unique premise of these live action DVDs is that viewers and fans can submit questions about things they are curious.   Curiosity Quest host Joel Greene begins each episode with one of those questions, and the entire episode is dedicated to answering it. Here's an example:
Mushrooms, Curiosity Quest
       Be it visiting a mushroom factory or wading in an Alaskan stream to learn about salmon, a very demonstrative and charismatic Joel Green makes each episode extremely interesting for kids of all ages. He is so charming and funny and we loved him and his child-like curiosity about the subject matter.

          Woven throughout each episode are on-camera interviews with kids (Joel is the interviewer) with unscripted answers.  My daughter loved these interjections because they were so cute and candid. 

Another part of each episode are mini-breaks called Fun Facts.  These are read by either kids (usually one of the ones previously interviewed) or by one of the adults featured in the episode.  These are “Did-you-know?”-type facts like, “Contrary to popular belief, cranberries do not grow in water.” 
Cranberries, Curiosity Quest
      My 5th grader’s favorite Curiosity Quest episode was, by far, the Sea TurtleRescue.   She is a marine biologist at heart, so this was not a total surprise, but it was the employees at the rescue center to which we were introduced in this episode who drew Abbey in and made her fall in love with the turtles who were patients there.   She has such a heart for animals that are “special” and need extra attention, and the thankless work these wonderful employees and volunteers do at the Sea Turtle Rescue really touched my child’s heart.  

Please note: This episode did briefly reference evolution, but as we have a great grasp on our creation beliefs, this was not a problem for us.  Just an FYI. 
Sea Turtles, Curiosity Quest

Sea Turtles, Curiosity Quest

     If you’re lucky, you can catch Curiosity Quest on your local PBS stations, but for most areas of the US and overseas, the distribution is still limited.  We were bummed to learn that we were not in a state that aired them, but check your local listings.

     Geared for ages 7 to 14 (note: as an adult, I enjoyed them very much), there are episodes in the Curiosity Quest Store such as Breadmaking, Rescue Dogs, Go Karts, Firefighter Training, Karate, and so much more! In addition, there is a series of episodes called Curiosity Quest Goes Green with episodes focused on “green” topics like Fishing for Energy, Multi-family Recycling, Green Surfboards, and Green Your Home. 
Bottom Line    
     I really hope that you'll give Curiosity Quest more than just a passing glance.  It's a whole lot of fun, and a great way to break up a long school day or even to pull out on a rainy weekend.  The
amount of topics available to choose from  ensures you will find something your students can relate to, and will thus learn from.  

     The combo DVDs we received are $24.95 each, or you may want to check out their monthly membership option for $19.99.  Membership includes combo pack DVDs with two
episodes per DVD, and is the best value! 

For even more info, check out Curiosity Quest on one of their social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Want to read a few more reviews before you decide? Click the banner below and have fun!

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