Science Apps in the Classrooms
With many school districts implementing a 1:1 program and choosing tablets as their tool of choice, there is a need for identifying educational apps. What exactly is the role of an app within an educational setting and how do you go about choosing quality apps? Many districts and/or teachers choose to use a scoring rubric to help them decide whether an app will find its place within the classroom. There are many posts that boost the “The Top (insert number here) Apps …”.
I truly believe that deciding what the learning goal is and whether you want the student to practice a skill, gain or access information or create an end product is essential in determining which app best suits the setting. While there is a plethora of free apps available, sometimes it is worth the cost to pay for an app when the quality and functionality are high.
I have come across several apps that I like and find useful in the science classroom:
- Moon Globe HD $0.99 (iOS)
Satellite imagery and topographic laser altimeter data are combined to render the Moon with realistic lighting in real-time 3D.
Frog and Rat Dissection are greener alternatives for teaching dissection in the classroom. This iPad app is suitable for middle-school students who are learning about organs and organ systems as part of their life science curriculum.
- Coaster Physics $0.99 (iOS)
What are the laws of Physics governing the motion of a roller coaster? How are speed and acceleration related? How does the g-force change at different points along the track? Coaster Physics makes learning all this super easy and fun, whether you actually need to know this stuff for Physics class or if you are just curious about roller coasters.
- Virtual Heart Free (iOS)
Virtual Heart lets you explore multiple real-time views of the human heart, using the same highly realistic visual elements as the iconic Giant Heart at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago.
- WolframAlpha $2.99 (iOS & Android)
Remember the Star Trek computer? It's finally happening--with Wolfram|Alpha. Building on 25 years of development led by Stephen Wolfram, Wolfram|Alpha has rapidly become the world's definitive source for instant expert knowledge and computation. Across thousands of domains--with more continually added--Wolfram|Alpha uses its vast collection of algorithms and data to compute answers and generate reports for you.
- Universer Unit Converter Pro $0.99 (iOS)
Helps you make easy conversion between more than 1202 various units of measure in more than 55 categories.
- Molecules Free (iOS)
Molecules is an application for viewing three-dimensional renderings of molecules and manipulating them using your fingers. You can rotate the molecules by moving your finger across the display, zoom in or out by using two-finger pinch gestures, or pan the molecule by moving two fingers across the screen at once.
- TinkerBox HD Free (iOS)
If you can imagine it, you can build it with TinkerBox. TinkerBox is a fun, free-to-play physics puzzle game. While it is full of interesting science facts and teaches basic engineering concepts, TinkerBox is more than just educational!
- Bubble Ball Free (iOS & Android)
Try this fun, new physics puzzle game, where you will test your ingenuity and thinking skills to get the bubble to the goal. Use the pieces and powerups provided, and come up with creative solutions! There are two types of pieces, wood and metal. Wood pieces are affected by gravity when you hit Start, while metal ones stay where you placed them. Use powerups to give the bubble speed boosts and even reverse gravity!
- Amazing Alex HD $2.99 (iOS & Android)
From cleaning up his room to battling cardboard robots in his backyard, Alex creates amazing chain reactions to get the job done with the maximum amount of fun! Now he has some challenges for you -- and he wants to see the most creative solutions YOU can create!
SimplePhysics lets you design complex structures for everything from tree houses to ferris wheels and then simulates your design with a sophisticated physics engine. SimpleRockets allows you to design your own rocket ships. Blast off into space. Explore the solar system. See if you have what it takes to be a rocket scientist.
What types of apps do you use in the science classroom? Be sure to join our conversation by using the hashtag #DE3Mteachers.