Derby British Science Association

Science and Engineering in Derby and Derbyshire

Guest Post: Top Apps for Teaching Science to Kids

Another guest post from Samuel Clemens who shares his tips for  teachers and parents alike, for enthusing reluctant youngsters.

Science can be a tricky subject to get kids excited about, but interactive apps help! Here are some of the top apps for teaching and exploring science for all ages.
The Elements: A Visual Exploration
Price:  £9.99/$13.99 Device: iPad
This isn’t your father’s dusty periodic table poster! The Elements: A Visual Exploration makes it easy and fun to learn about the elements that make up our world. Instead of the standard letters and numbers, the periodic table comes to life with spinning objects that represent each element. Students touch the full colour icons to learn more about the element, including the element’s melting and boiling point, density and atomic weight. This app is great for all ages, but middle and high school students studying the periodic table will find the most use.
The Ultimate Dinopedia
Price:  £2.99/$4.00 Device: iPad
There’s just something about dinosaurs that kids love. If you have a dino-holic in your home, The Ultimate Dinopedia, created by National Geographic, is the ultimate stop for all the dinosaur information you could dream of. The app has illustrations and facts on more than 1,000 dinosaurs. Kids swipe the screen to see the next, or click on the photo to discover dino stats, facts and read-along story about the creature. There’s even a cool interactive “Dino Family Tree” to show the evolution of dinosaurs. The Ultimate Dinopedia is great for preschoolers and primary students who love dinosaurs.
Frog Dissection
Price: £2.49/ $3.99 Device: iPad
According to the nonprofit organization SAVE THE FROGS!, thousands of frogs are taken out of the wild for dissection, creating problems with the ecosystem that frogs often regulate. Frog Dissection is the 21st century way of learning about the insides of a living creature. The app starts with a whole frog belly up, instructs students where to cut and pin, then allows students to get a 360-degree view of the frog’s internal organs. Students get all the learning with none of the ick factor. Due to the nature of this app, it’s best for middle and high-school students.
Solar Walk
Price: £1.99/ $2.99 Device: iPad and iPhone
This is a huge change from the tennis ball and wire solar systems of the past! Solar Walk is a time-sensitive interactive model of the solar system and Milky Way galaxy that lets you navigate through the planets in a 3D view. You can see close-ups of planets; learn about planet trajectories, structures, exploration and much more. Man-made satellites are also included in the app. With crisp graphics, smooth controls and realistic up-close images, this app is almost as good as going into space. This app is great for all ages, from preschool to college aged students.
PHYZIOS Studio
Price: Free Device: iPad
Physics has never been so much fun. PHYZIOS Studio lets you generate any type of materials that appear in the real world on the app screen, and as you draw, materials interact with each other based laws of physics. Materials include fire, water, rubber, cold, vapour wood and more, and kids can see how materials relate to and react with one another. This easy-to-use app is fun for kids of any age; older kids and high schoolers can identify with scientific principles, and younger kids will love drawing, playing and animating different elements.
NASA Official App
Price: Free Device: iPhone or iPad
It’s no surprise one of the best science apps comes from one of the most respected space exploration agencies in the world. The official NASA app has more than 156,000 images, news and feature stories, life streaming video, ISS and Earth orbiting satellite trackers, tweets and more. This is a must-have app for science buffs and space fans of all ages.
About the Author: Samuel Clemens is a former educator who spends his time reviewing study tools and technology for students. You can also find Samuel consulting for businesses such a Time Warner and other cable providers.

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This entry was posted on February 18, 2013 by in Guest Authors and tagged , .

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