I want to thank Master Books for providing me with the Awesome Science with Noah Justice DVD set in return for my honest opinion.
As we work our way through Master Books’ catalogue of Creation science, apologetics, history, and language arts resources to share with you, my boys and I are taking turns choosing videos, books, and curriculum to review. The Awesome Science series of DVDs is my 13-year-old’s choice, and, boy, he is excited about these documentaries! Our family loves (loves, loves) exploring God’s beautiful creation and we’ve been to many of these sites in the western United States, which makes learning about the science behind the amazing nature all the more special for us.
I’ve reviewed each of the ten Awesome Science DVDs independently with purchase links below each one. At the end of this post, you’ll find Read & Play Kit suggestions. The Read & Play Kit is a new (occasional) feature that helps you pair hands-on learning tools, toys, and activities with great books and videos. I’ve gotten some encouraging feedback about this new feature, and I’m excited to include it here. All of that makes for a very long post, but I hope it will be a great resource for you–and perhaps for your friends!….
About the Videos
I love the emphasis of this series on viewing scientific data through the lens of biblical history, and upon the gospel message in each video. Noah Justice discusses the scientific data for each area, explaining how secular scientists interpret the evidence. He then explains the way Creation scientists interpret data through the lens of biblical history before comparing the evidence for each viewpoint. Noah Justice also talks about how the catastrophic, global Flood of Noah explains the geology and other science (including chemistry and microbiology) of each area. At the end of each video, he explains that God once judged the earth through the global flood. Jesus will return, and God will judge the earth again, this time by fire (2 Peter). He explains the gospel and the need to repent and follow Christ.
Noah Justice is ages 14-17 in the ten videos so far (twelve videos by the time you read this!), and he does a wonderful job of presenting some tough scientific concepts in the course of just 30 minutes for each video. The first six videos have a coordinating study guide with vocabulary, worksheets, and additional written information to go with the video. With the depth of information involved, I’d suggest a copy for each student! This series–with the study guides–is an excellent choice for science over the course of a year for grades 4-9 or so.
The Awesome Science series is produced by Noah’s father, Kyle Justice, whose work has appeared on such networks as National Geographic, ESPN, and the Outdoor Channel, along with his creative homeschool-family team.
Explore the Grand Canyon (Episode 1)
Did you know the Grand Canyon can be seen from the moon? In this 30 minute episode, Noah Justice takes kids through the Grand Canyon, explaining why we can be confident that the Grand Canyon took days, rather than millions of years, to form. He starts by talking about the history of the Canyon–Native Americans and explorers who lived and visited there. He then explains what secular scientists say about the formation of the Canyon, and defines secular humanism, and evolutionary geology.
Noah Justice explains how catastrophies (like the global flood of Noah) can explain the formation of geological sites we may otherwise be tempted to explain with conjecture and unobserved theories. He explains the issues with those theories that make them unlikely, if not impossible scientifically.
Noah Justice tells the story of Noah’s flood, and explains how viewing science through the history of the Bible explains the scientific evidence perfectly. The information is detailed, with tons of great shots, diagrams, and illustrations. Your students will come away from this video with a great preliminary understanding of geology and fossils. The film delves into apologetics as well, explaining why secular scientists are unwilling to consider the possibility of a global flood.
Amazon: Explore the Grand Canyon with Noah Justice
Explore the Grand Canyon with Noah Justice Study Guide (Awesome Science)
Christian Book: Explore the Grand Canyon with Noah Justice: Episode 1 DVD, Awesome Science Series
Explore The Grand Canyon with Noah Justice: Episode 1 Study Guide, Awesome Science Series
Related Products: Your Guide to the Grand Canyon
Geology & Biblical History Pack, 4 Books & 3 DVDs
Master Books: Explore the Grand Canyon DVD and Study Guide
Explore Yellowstone (Episode 2)
Did you know the first (Western) visitors to Yellowstone described it as the entrance to Hell? I can understand how sections of the park could give that impression. I mean, there’s steaming, bubbling paint pots that smell just strongly of sulfur. Our family loves Yellowstone. What an amazing place.
In this video, Noah Justice teaches students about sedimentary rocks, fossils, and discusses the natural outcome of a massive flood. He shows how we see evidence of a global flood in the sedimentary rock at Yellowstone. God designed our world to be self-cleaning. Dead animals on land and in the sea are quickly consumed by scavengers. For fossils to be created, there needs to be a sudden burial. A flood explains the fossils we see.
Yellowstone is a massive super-volcano. Noah Justice explains the geology, chemistry, and microbiology behind the geysers in the park before moving on to Hayden Valley. He discusses the former lake bed, the river, the canyon, and the glacial retreat that occurred. Noah Justice explains how the canyon could have been formed in just a day rather than over millions of years. He also talks about the different kinds of canyons and how they occur. We also learn about the microbiology of the fantastic paint pots in Yellowstone.
Noah Justice also explains the science behind volcanos and Old Faithful. We get to take a look at the limestone layers in the north part of the park too. Those limestone terraces are incredible. He also talks about the petrified forests of the park. I haven’t seen the petrified trees planted there (with compelling evidence that the trees were transplanted during a flood), and found this section especially interesting. He then explains the wood at the bottom of the lake and the process of petrification.
Throughout the video, we learn about science, history, the Bible, and Creation science versus secular science. Noah Justice gives a compelling alternative theory for the science behind the wonders at Yellowstone National Park, using the history of the Bible as a basis for truth.
Amazon: Explore Yellowstone with Noah Justice
Awesome Science: Explore Yellowstone with Noah Justice Study Guide
Christian Book: Explore Yellowstone with Noah Justice: Episode 2 DVD, Awesome Science Series
Explore Yellowstone with Noah Justice: Episode 2 Study Guide, Awesome Science Series
Related Products: Your Guide to Yellowstone National Park
Geology & Biblical History Pack, 4 Books & 3 DVDs
Master Books: Explore Yellowstone DVD and Study Guide
Explore Meteor Crater and Petrified Forest (Episode 3)
We begin this video in Arizona’s Painted Desert. Noah Justice explains the Grand Staircase that stretches from Bryce Canyon in Utah to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. He explains how the recession of a global flood would create continental movement, volcanoes, and gigantic lakes. We see evidence of two large lakes (or seas) in the Southwest. The draining of these lakes and the volcanic activity that would have resulted from the chaos of the Flood explains much of what we see in this incredible landscape.
Noah Justice then takes us to the Petrified Forest. The Forest is amazing, with beautiful painted hills, and incredible petrified logs lying everywhere. The colors in those logs is amazing. There used to be crystals in many of them, which you won’t see anymore, as many people blew up the logs to steal the crystals! Still, the petrified wood is gorgeous. Noah Justice explains how a catastrophe would explain why the logs don’t have any bark, as they would likely rub together in a floating log mat during a flood. The logs don’t contain any coal, which is unusual, and the trees have large growth rings, having grown in a much healthier environment. The logs were petrified once they were buried by silica. With flood conditions, the logs could have petrified quickly, rather than over a long period of time, as secular science teaches. The trees and colorful, layered hills, and rounded rocks were exposed as the flood waters receded.
Noah Justice frequently references the observations we were able to make during and after the eruption of Mt. St. Helens. Because this catastrophe occurred in modern history, it gives us a real window into what actually occurs geologically during a catastrophe. We spend a good deal of time on those lessons in this video.
We then explore Meteor Crater in Arizona. The giant crater is 4200 feet wide and 750 feet deep. Scientists used to think the Crater was formed by a volcano, but now understand it as a meteor impact site. Noah Justice explains the problems with the theory that dinosaurs died as a result of meteor activity. Noah Justice explains the science behind the meteors, even showing us how a meteor compares to a bullet firing from the gun.
As with each video, Noah Justice explains how a biblical worldview impacts the way we understand scientific data. He also explains the coming judgment explained in the Bible, foreshadowed by the judgment during the Flood, and calls us to repent for our sins and believe in Jesus Christ.
Amazon: Explore Meteor Crater and Petrified Forest with Noah Justice
Awesome Science: Explore Meteor Crater and Petrified Forest with Noah Justice Study Guide
Christian Book: Explore Meteor Crater and Petrified Forest with Noah Justice: Episode 3 DVD, Awesome Science Series
Explore Meteor Crater and Petrified Forest with Noah Justice: Episode 3 Study Guide, Awesome Science Series
Master Books: Explore Meteor Crater and Petrified Forest DVD and Study Guide
Explore Yosemite and Zion National Parks (Episode 4)
In the fourth Awesome Science video, Noah Justice takes us first to Yosemite National Park in California. It covers 1190 spare miles, set aside by Abraham Lincoln. The park has granite cliffs lining the Yosemite Valley. Noah Justice talks about the secular theory of the granite formation versus the Creation Science view of how these rocks were formed. As in his other videos, Noah Justice explains aspects of geology and evolutionary science using scientific terms, and diagrams. Here, he talks about uniformitarianism versus catastrophes, delving into rock dating and the assumptions that uniformitarianism uses for dating. He explains how a global flood and other large catastrophes affect these dating assumptions.
He then talks about how the Yosemite Valley was cut. Noah Justice takes on the idea that the Merced River or glaciers were able to erode the massive valley. He explains the effects a global flood would have on cutting valleys, and how each valley formation would look. He also talks about the Great Ice Age, and the evidence we see of that. He explains the temperature changes and volcanic activity we would have seen following the Flood, as well as why this would have occurred. Secular scientists don’t take catastrophic events into account, which complicates their models, as they base their assumptions only on current conditions. Noah Justice explains that the Ice Age following the Flood could have taken only 70 years to disappear. Creation Scientists believe there were ice dams that collapsed, causing many of the valleys of the West Coast. This, of course, caused more temperature equalization, looking like four separate glaciations.
We then travel to Zion National Park in southern Utah, a part of the Grand Staircase. It covers 229 square miles, so is fairly small. The park was inhabited by Native Americans for thousands of years. It’s a beautiful park with jutting red cliffs, and rolling sandstone mesas. There are nine separate geological formations in the park. Noah Justice explains how the giant chunk of sandstone in the park matches the sandstone of the Appalachians. How did the sandstone move across the nation? Well, during a global flood, of course. He also addresses the canyon at Zion, and talks about how it could have been cut in a very short period of time, and the evidence for it being a young canyon.
We get to see the eroded river bed as well, and learn about the science behind its formation. My boys especially liked that section and have declared that we must visit this section of the Grand Staircase soon so that we, too, can wade in the river channels.
Amazon: Explore Yosemite and Zion National Parks with Noah Justice
Explore Yosemite and Zion National Parks with Noah Justice (Study Guide) (Awesome Science)
Christian Book: Explore Yosemite and Zion National Parks with Noah Justice: Episode 4 DVD, Awesome Science Series
Explore Yosemite and Zion National Park with Noah Justice:Episode 4 Study Guide
Related Products: Your Guide to Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks
Geology & Biblical History Pack, 4 Books & 3 DVDs
Master Books: Explore Yosemite and Zion National Parks National Park DVD and Study Guide
Explore Mount St. Helens (Episode 5)
Noah Justice begins this video by discussing the history of the area, and the volcanic activity. Mt. St. Helens is in southwestern Washington. The volcano began having activity in March 1980. May 18, 1980, there was an earthquake, giant avalanche, and a lateral steam explosion. This lateral explosion gave scientists insight on 300 volcanoes around the world that they had not been able to explain before. The following ash and pumice cloud spread across inhabited areas. A mud flow ran down the Toutle River into the Columbia River. 57 people died, and the results to the surrounding environment was catastrophic.
The change to the geologic features from this catastrophic event–the explosion of Mt. St. Helens–has given Creation scientists a vast amount of data with which to analyze current evidence based on catastrophic events. Noah Justice references the volcanic devastation of Mount St. Helens and the resulting geological changes through many of his videos.
Noah Justice then takes us to the volcanic Ape Caves of Mt. St. Helens. There are some black and white photographs of 1950s loggers and their families from the area, and my husband had his family photos from the 1920s out, looking for his relatives. There’s a good chance you’ll be watching our family history in this video! Noah Justice talks about the lava tube of the cave, explaining why we know it was a recent formation, and how we can apply that knowledge to other volcanic caves around the world.
We can also see the formation of geological layers (lamina) over a period of hours due to the catastrophic explosion from Mt. St. Helens. This really impacts the assertion of secular scientists that geological layers take thousands or millions of years (long ages) to form. We can apply these observations to other canyons across the world.
In March of 1982, the activation of the volcano heated ice and snow, forming two new canyons, causing a new mud flow, and forming new canyons and channels down the Toutle River. In just hours, canyons up to 140 feet deep formed. So much for the idea that canyons only form through erosion over million of years! This is the difference between observational science and historical science. The observations from Mt. St. Helens have impacted our understanding of geology! Noah Justice covers a number of other issues, like the tree beds resulting from the explosion.
Amazon: Explore Mount St. Helens with Noah Justice
Explore Mt. St. Helens with Noah Justice (Study Guide) (Awesome Science)
Christian Book: Explore Mount St. Helens with Noah Justice: Episode 5 DVD, Awesome Science Series
Explore Mount St. Helens with Noah Justice: Episode 5 Study Study Guide, Awesome Science Series
Related Products: The Case of the Missing Mountain (Mystery Rangers)
Master Books: Explore Mt. St. Helens DVD and Study Guide
Explore John Day Fossil Beds (Episode 6)
Noah Justice talks about the basalt lava flows that created the sedimentary beds in the fossil bed areas in Oregon. John Day was a hunter and trapper who came to Oregon in 1812. The Fossil Beds cover about 14,000 acres. There are ten separate rock formations in the canyon, which fit into the column of ages. Noah Justice explains how secular scientists and biblical Creationists both use the column, yet interpret it differently. He explains how the Flood would have impacted the geological formations in the area, and how those areas would have looked had they not formed as a result of a flood. Science shows that the layers formed in water. Noah Justice also talks about the excavation of the Columbia River bed, explaining how there is evidence that giant sheet erosion carved the John Day Fossil Beds, with a huge amount of draining water carrying large amounts of earth into the Pacific Ocean.
Noah Justice shows us the many leaf fossils in the Palisades area, explaining that the fact that the leaves were fresh–not withered, showing that the fossils were quickly formed. The fossils from the area show that the earth was more temperate and tropical than it is now, assuming the plants were from the area, not carried from another area of the earth. It is likely that the plants were carried in by water. We also see petrified logs planted in the cliffs, which would indicate a large-scale flood.
Noah Justice then moves on to the animal fossils found in the Fossil Beds. The forest animals found are quite different from the animals we know today, and the area is fairly barren (14 inches of annual rain). There are fossils of mammals, but also of fish, flying creatures, and salamanders. The evidence points to the idea that the John Day Fossil Beds are a giant burial ground from a global flood, with plants and animals from other areas being buried all at once.
The Gable Creek Conglomerates have quartzite layers, which must have come from another part of the country. They intersect with sandstone that was formed underwater, from currents coming from an opposite direction. Picture Gorge is a canyon with at least 17 distinct lava flows. These may have come from fissures. The Gorge walls are near-vertical, showing they are young in age. The John Day Formation is made of different colors of ash. The mammal fossils in the Formation are disjointed, and show they may have formed beneath shifting waters. At Goose Rock, we also see intersecting rock types and layers coming from different directions, indicating a formation or deposit of rocks beneath shifting water.
Amazon: Explore John Day Fossil Beds with Noah Justice
Explore John Day Fossil Beds with Noah Justice (Study Guide) (Awesome Science)
Christian Book: Explore the John Day Fossil Beds with Noah Justice: Episode 6 DVD, Awesome Science Series
Explore the John Day Fossil Beds with Noah Justice: Episode 6 Study Guide, Awesome Science Series
Related Products: Explore with Noah Justice DVD Pack with Study Guides: Episodes 1-6, Awesome Science Series
Geology & Biblical History Pack, 4 Books & 3 DVDs
Master Books: Explore John Day Fossil Beds DVD and Study Guide
Explore Glacier National Park (Episode 7)
Glacier National Park in Montana covers over 1.2 million acres. The park has over 200 waterfalls, and a variety of wildlife. The rocks in Glacier are prime examples of the Protozoaic record. Most of the rocks of the Rocky Mountains are sedimentary, having been formed under water. The geologic column layers in this area are out of order, with the top layer from an era that is supposed to be older than the “younger” rock layers beneath. Secular scientists have a theory for this, called an overthrust, but this formation is easily explained by a catastrophic event, such as a global flood. The fossils are also out of order, with more complex fossils below fossils of more basic organisms. Noah Justice spends a good deal of time discussing this issue.
Noah Justice then talks about the evidence for multiple Ice Ages. He covers the evidence for these ages, and explains how and why secular scientists interpret this data. He spends a good deal of time explaining meteorology, our known history of glaciers and ice formation, and shares why we can believe that multiple ice ages could have occurred in a short period of time. He also discusses why a catastrophic event–like a global flood–would have allowed for the quick end of the ice ages, and allowed for the Missoula Flood, forming huge lakes, carrying boulders great distances, and causing the geological formations we see. We learn, also, about hydraulics and erosion. Secular scientists believe the ice ages were about 100,000 years long, with 10,000 years between. They don’t have a reason for these ice ages to occur, but they believe we’re headed for another one. Of course, Creation scientists look to a catastrophic global flood for answers.
Noah Justice then explains mechanisms that can cause the climate to change, namely, sun spots and volcanism. He explains why these causes are much more compelling that man-made climate change. He also explains how God has designed our environment to absorb man-made pollution, and cyclical climate change.
Amazon: Explore Glacier National Park with Noah Justice
Christian Book: Explore Glacier National Park with Noah Justice DVD, Episode 7
Master Books: Explore Glacier National Park DVD
Explore Rocky Mountain National Park (Episode 8)
In this video, Noah Justice takes us to Rocky Mountain National Park in central Colorado, covering 415 square miles. There 150 lakes and 450 miles of streams, with 12,000 foot peaks. Noah Justice begins talking about how mountains are formed. They can be folded, domed, fault-blocked, or volcanic. He explains that a catastrophic event, like the Flood, could have formed mountains in a very short period of time, rather than the millions of years claimed by secular science. The mountains in Rocky Mountain National Park are covered in marine fossils. Secular scientists think the park was once covered in a shallow sea.
Noah Justice then discusses tectonic plate movement, first proposed by a Creation scientist. He explains the secular scientific theory for the formation of the Rocky Mountain range. Creation scientists agree with the mechanism for mountain formation, but support the idea that it happened much quicker during a catastrophe. Catastrophic plate tectonics is the name for this. Noah Justice also discusses subduction, granite, continental shelves, and the formation of canyons. Much of this information reiterates aspects from some of the other videos, and introduces more details and further science. This repetition and deepening of information helps kids really understand the information. Noah Justice also discusses erosion, uplift, and continental height reduction, and how these point to a young earth.
Noah Justice then takes us to dunes in the park valley. He asks a good question: how did the sand dunes get there–in the middle of the mountains? They probably blew in from the Rio Grande River. This process is still taking place. Noah Justice talks about the formation of sand dunes across the world. We also take a look at Devil’s Tower, and Noah Justice presents two theories on how the Tower formed. It’s an impressive display.
Amazon: Explore Rocky Mountain National Park with Noah Justice
Christian Book: Explore Rocky Mountain National Park with Noah Justice DVD, Episode 8
Master Books: Explore Rocky Mountain National Park DVD
Explore Dinosaur National Monument (Episode 9)
Dinosaur National Monument (which is an incredible place!) is located in Colorado in Utah. In 1909, a large deposit of dinosaur bones was found. The park is now 200,000 acres. Only a small number of the bones have been excavated, and there is road just to the quarry. The park has some incredible Native American petroglyphs from the Freemont people. The Visitor’s Center covers a partially-excavated wall full of dinosaur bones… and clam shells. If you ever have the opportunity to go, and you can handle a steep incline, be sure to take the short guided walk behind the Center. Your kids will get to touch dinosaur bones sticking out of hills, and dig for leaf fossils in the shale.
Noah Justice spends some time talking about a secular worldview versus a biblical worldview. I know when we visited the Center, the guide explained the clam shells by saying there used to be a small sea in the middle of the United States. My husband asked if a global flood couldn’t explain the shells. It was clear that the guide had heard that before, and that he didn’t appreciate the input. But it sure makes sense to us.
The dinosaurs are found buried in layers of sand and mud, which fossilized and protected them from scavengers. Fossils are found below the KT layer of rock, which indicates a mass extinction event to scientists. Noah Justice explains why an asteroid could not create the massive amounts of iridium found in the KT layer all over earth. Volcanic action, however, could explain the presence of iridium. This fits with our understanding of what happened during the Flood of Noah.
Noah Justice talks about dinosaurs, and the secular assumptions about them versus what we know from the Bible. He also mentions the manner in which dinosaur skeletons are laid out. The kind of look like they were thrown about… by water. Often, their heads are snapped off, and if they are intact, they look as though they were dragged. Many are spread across big areas, and not intact at all, buried in mud and sand (now sedimentary rock). We also learn about recent dinosaur discoveries, like the recent discovery of dinosaur bones with blood, soft tissue, and vessels inside.
Amazon: Explore Dinosaur National Monument with Noah Justice
Christian Book: #9: Explore Dinosaur National Monument With Noah Justice
Master Books: Explore Dinosaur National Monument DVD
Explore the Mammoth Site (Episode 10)
The Mammoth Site in South Dakota has the biggest collection of mammoth fossils on the globe. The bones were found during construction for a new housing development. Scientists found both Columbian and Woolly Mammoths, and built a large center over the site. Noah Justice explains the secular view for how the mammoths came to be buried in a sinkhole, then counters that with the Creationist view.
Noah Justice discusses how the bones are being excavated, and talks about carbon 14 dating. He explains how carbon 14 atoms are formed, then talks about how the carbon 14 breaks down to nitrogen 14 and carbon 12. Scientists then calculate how long ago an animal died. The problem? Carbon 14 decay is random. The half life of the atoms is just a little over 5,000 years. The atoms shouldn’t be present in anything over that age at all. Noah Justice describes the assumptions that secular scientists rely upon, and talk about some reasons these assumptions are flawed. He then points to the Bible as our guide to history.
Noah Justice also talks about micro versus macro evolution. He illustrates this with people groups in the human race. He ends by discussing the manner in which the mammoths were probably killed at the end of the Ice Age.
Additional NEW Awesome Science Episodes
These DVDs are brand new, so I didn’t have the opportunity to review them, but these places are some of the coolest sites on earth.
Awesome Science Read (Watch) & Play Kit
As promised, I’m going to incorporate Read & Play Kits with some of my reviews, as well as host independent Read & Play Kits throughout the year as well. This is the way we study subjects — a little reading or viewing, and hands-on activities to go along with the learning. I’ve included play-along options for younger siblings, as well as Dover coloring books that coordinate (we love coloring to go along with our studies!).
There are some great options for hands-on study to go along with the Awesome Science DVD and study guide series. I found some fun National Parks resources, and some fabulous geology study tools. I had to include the World Discovery Box because if you have a geology enthusiast, this would be the ultimate gift, and they’d be able to add their own specimens to it (legally, of course–it’s illegal to collect specimens in some National Parks).
Awesome Science Videos and Study Guides: See the links for each video above.
National Parks Yahtzee: YAHTZEE: National Parks Travel Edition Game
Play-Along Options for Younger Siblings: Playmobil Ranger with Forest Animals AND Ranger’s Lookout Post
OR Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. My First Microscope
For Total Geology Enthusiasts (this is so cool!): World Discovery Box Medium
Coordinating Dover Coloring: National Parks Coloring Book (Dover Nature Coloring Book)
Colored Pencils: 4 & 5 Star Colored Pencils
Thinking Kids Book Review Indexes
Thinking Kids Pinterest Book Boards
- Read & Play Kits
- Christian Books for Preschoolers
- Christian Books for 4-7 Year Olds
- Christian Books for the Middle Grades
- Christian Books for Middle School
- Christian Books for High School
- Christian Books for Kids’ Devotions
- Christian Books about Parenting
~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), Wonderfully Made (CF4K, 2016), and Bible Road Trip. Her work has been featured in internationally-recognized children's magazines over 150 times.