Is Oyla Science Magazine Any Good?

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Oyla is an international science magazine for secondary school aged children and their parents. Each month it contains at least one an article on each of the following subjects:

  • Maths
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Technology
  • Planet Earth
  • Space
  • Geography
  • Medicine
  • History
  • Sceptic
  • DIY
  • Society
  • An interesting person
  • and Games (meaning ancient board games – giving their history, how to play them and a board within the magazine to play them yourself.)

It has a really straightforward pricing structure. Each issue is £5, regardless of whether you subscribe for 3 month, 6 months or 12 months at a time. I like this because it doesn’t penalise people who can’t afford to try something out for a year, and it feels like the people making the magazine are confident about the product. You can try it, and come back for more if you like it.

Plus it’s advertising free. You get about 95 pages of content, and no one is trying to sell you anything, just showing you all the ways that science, and nature, and people are interesting.

So what sort of articles can you expect?

In the last two months we’ve had articles about how Pi works, the physics of surfing, words of the year as reflections of history, freezing bodies, sleep, the history of the postcard, meteorites, coin making, poisons we eat, zombie parasites, spy satellites, cotton candy, chocolate, how caves are made, and how to make lava lamps.

The articles are often broken into a number of subsections. So for example in the article about poisons we eat, (which we read on our first day back to regular work after the Christmas holiday, when my kids were definitely not up for our group work time at the table), we learnt about spices as preservatives, the TRPV1 receptors in our mouths and how they react to the oils in chillies, the Scoville heat scale, (which lead to us pulling out our chilli sauces to see what they were made of, and hot they were), and how garlic releases it’s sulphurous smell, (which lead to us getting some fresh garlic out and hitting it with a mallet.) My lot were engaged and I felt like I had pulling something worthwhile out of my back pocket.

So is it any good?

I’ve only read two issues so far, but yeah, I think it’s really good. I find the content really interesting myself, and it’s all written in a way that is easy to share with my children. It’s aimed at 12 years and over, so I got it with my eldest in mind. But there are plenty of articles that I can use with all three of mine right now (12, 10 and 8), and some – like the Pi article, I’ll pull out when it starts coming up in our maths curriculum.

Overall this is a magazine I will definitely keep to refer back to and use again in the future, and I’m planning to extend our subscription when it runs out.

A good find.

If you want to check Oyla out, you can find more information at their website. They are offering a free digital copy of the magazine to try which you can find either on their website or here.

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