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Has anyone heard of MAD SCIENCE after school clubs and are they worth the money?

(27 Posts)
Eniddo Thu 20-Nov-08 09:06:14

£50 for 6 x 1hr lessons seems expensive - dd1 wants to go though. Has anyone had any experience of them?


christywhisty Thu 20-Nov-08 09:25:36

We only paid about £30 for MAD Science, but that was because it was very popular and I think even then they managed to get the cost down further. This was an after school club but the same franchise. They got magazines and little pastic sciency bits as well.
My DD was in year 5 when she did it and really enjoyed it, but I did hear mutterings that the club for the smaller ones was not so interesting.
DD did small experiments like making bouncy balls, the type of thing you get in those home science kits.

christywhisty Thu 20-Nov-08 09:26:41

Not sure if I was that clear. The club was arranged by the school and on school grounds.

Anchovy Thu 20-Nov-08 09:37:59

We had them do a party for DS recently. They are expensive. It was quite "school-y" for a party and I wasn't sure it was what the children would like, but it seemed to go down very well. The only thing I would look at is the age of the child. Ds was 7 and most of the children were 6 - they were all Y2. I don't think it would have been good for children much younger than that, because it did require you to be able to remember and follow through concepts. 5 year old Dd and the couple of mates she was allowed to invite were not hugely interested.

southeastastra Thu 20-Nov-08 09:39:57

my experience of it is that the children get to understand the universe (they each held up a planet to show how small the earth is in relation), got to make goo (missed why) and best part was when they launched rockets. much hilarity as it failed.

Eniddo Thu 20-Nov-08 10:46:09

dd1 is 9

she is really interested in science - tbh I wouldn't be too happy to pay £50 if it was jsut a load of mucking abut but I like the idea of being 'school-y' [old gimmer]

Eniddo Thu 20-Nov-08 10:46:51

will prob fork out (although I can't imagine they will ge t 15 which is the minimum)

mice Thu 20-Nov-08 14:46:01

My son is dong it at the moment - 2nd session of a 5 week course that has cost me £39.70. He is in Y6 - and his group is a wide range of ages from Y2-Y6
First week they made little battery operated spinny things - something to do with learing about light and colours (all children seemed very excitable afterwards and quite happy!) in the other sessions we have told they will be making candy floss, fizzy driks etc - have had to sign to oet them try/taste different foods.
It seems very well organised - it is within school (but no teachers involoved) and they were very hot on checking who was collecting children etc. So far it seems ok.Expensive if you have more than one child though!

Anchovy Thu 20-Nov-08 22:14:13

I just went to DS's open evening and his teacher said that the children had loved the Mad Science party - there had been lots of talk about it in class in a way that there wasn't usually about parties and they all seemed to have picked up on the principles being explained. (I know they are doing "Electricity" in science and I got the impression she was a bit surprisd when she mentioned a really tame experiment and all the children started jumping up and down saying, Oh yes, we know we did something similar but more exciting at [DS's} party. LOL!

BoffinMum Fri 21-Nov-08 11:50:22

We got a leaflet home about this too. It sounded overpriced to me and we didn't sign up.

mankyscotslass Fri 21-Nov-08 11:54:19

We have just signed DS up to the after school club for this. We refused last year on the grounds of cost, but had said if it came again this year he could do it. So he duly brought the form home and prodded our memories.
The children that did it last year loved it, so fingersx that he does too. It is a lot of money.

PrimulaVeris Fri 21-Nov-08 11:55:27

Mad Science have done workshops at our primary and they were brill. Likewise the Mad Science parties -fanatastic. The dc's remember them and were thrilled.

They're now running weekend science club at the school but alas I can't afford them sad

castlesintheair Fri 21-Nov-08 18:32:50

We have Mad Science as an after school club at the DC's primary school. It's more like £50 for a term though. £50 for 6 lessons seems a bit pricey to me. However, it is meant to be really great esp if into science.

manyhands Fri 21-Nov-08 20:23:31

I saw them do a demonstration at a tourist information centre they were excellent. Mind you a lot of there experiments could be re-created at home try going to the parents zone of Planet science (sorry don't know how to do links) at look at there party ideas for a cheaper alternative.

Reallytired Fri 21-Nov-08 20:28:00

My son has did a Mad Science play scheme and loved it. It cost us about £25 a day which and my son also got to take home a toy most days.

christywhisty Fri 21-Nov-08 23:42:56

I think I would query with the school about payments as I think (although I may be wrong) that the school charge a fixed price for the course, rather than a price per child. The more children that attend the less it should cost.
I know we were given a price, which was then reduced because it proved to be so popular.

Waltzywotzy Sat 22-Nov-08 00:12:22

Yes dd did it the first time in the school in year 4, all the children loved it and dd talked and talked about it all the time. Well worth the cost IMHO. The school are doing it again for year 4 and 5's I think.

Sarahpatel Wed 08-Aug-12 15:06:08

I have a seen Mad Science a few times now (in the West Midlands area) we saw them at Alton Towers last easter and the were amazing! all the kids were so excited after, and we are waiting until Mad Science are back there until we make the trip up again. I have also sent my son & daughter to a Mad Science after school club. I have a daughter who is 5 and a son who is 7. they both really enjoyed it! they couldnt stop talking about it for weeks after! I paid £42 for 6 weeks. They did a lot of experiments (we could see into the classroom) that I could definitely not do at home. They were using chemicals to demonstrate etc. each child had a little lab set up with goggles, and gloves it even looked exciting. I will be sending them there again. I think its worth the money as I have to work and at least I know its educational as well as fun.

EdithWeston Wed 08-Aug-12 15:15:43

I think they are a franchise, or similar arrangement, and standards can vary.

I've used them in half-terms in two different locations. Some (rockets, robots) have gone down better than others (mini-beasts). I'd say they were more suitable for the younger child - say up to about year 4ish.

Gumby Wed 08-Aug-12 15:17:40

2008 thread!

mam29 Wed 08-Aug-12 15:38:02

i think we used mad science was after school in reception but my dd was 1 of 2in her class soing it. trying to rack my brains on cost 50quid 6 sessions.

yes was pricey but educational so we gave it a go.

dd enjoyed it very well run.

but they dident do it in year 1.

would do it again as really dont think at primary or secondry they that many expeririments anymore where you compare with emerican system and their primarys have science fairs seems science more focus over there.

If it gets them exited about science think its a good thing.

EdithWeston Wed 08-Aug-12 15:50:00

I'm just not on the ball today, am I?

Corriewatcher Wed 08-Aug-12 18:13:03

My DD did a Mad Science after-school club for half a term when she was in year 3. I can't remember how much it was but it wasn't cheap. I wouldn't recommend it but I think that might have been down to this particular franchise (we're in South Bucks).
DD was really enthusiastic about it when a Mad Science rep gave a presentation during a class assembly, but it was a different person who led the club. He seemed to know his subject but not to be very good at teaching/communicating with young children. He tended to always pick the loud children, overlooking DD and her friend who are quiet - they didn't even get to do the experiment 2 of the 5 weeks because he ran out of time when it got to their turn!The club was also too large at about 20 Year 3 children, and he seemed to find the kids a bit irritating!

Static Fri 12-Oct-12 15:52:04

Your "local" Mad Scientist here....Yes Mad Science are a franchise and as such costs to tend to vairy a little over the country. Some areas are just much more expensive to operate in!

Just to clarify, typically a school will pay nothing for offering or running a club. They don't have to buy it in or anything like that. Mad Science provide everything from the registration letters to the take homes and all the chemicals, equipment and insurances inbetween!!! If there's insufficient interest then there's no cost at all to the school. Sometimes schools opt or ask to subsidise a club out of their budget to make costs more achievable for their parents (believe me, compared to something like football or netball, we know we're expensive). Some schools opt to not offer a club again if parents complain about the cost and sometimes they have a break to "mix up" the after school clubs on offer. I only offer our clubs one term a year for our schools as I wouldn't appreciate the £50 odd letters every new term!

corriewatcher I'm really sorry about your DD's experience. South Bucks is a different franchise to mine but PM me and I'd love to offer her a free day in my holiday camp!

housesalehelp Mon 22-Oct-12 21:26:28

My DS went to a MAdscience holiday club - he enjoyed it but it was expensive and then he had nightmares as they were talking about the when the earth would blow up!!

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