FREE science app – DIY Sun Science teaches kids about the science of the sun. Funded by the NASA and developed by Berkeley’s Lawrence Science Hall, this educational app is the second in a series of FREE science apps. It includes 12+ hands-on activities, live images of the sun from NASA’s satellite, videos of the sun, and more. Each activity starts with a summary which gives an overview of the activity, the time it will take to complete (prep – clean-up), and the suggested age group. Next, there is a materials list. All items are inexpensive and widely available. Then there is a series of step-by-step directions – with pictures. Finally, there is an explanation of “what’s going on” in the activity. Related videos are at the bottom of the page so that your child can learn more. This app is very well-organized, easy to use, and provides a wonderful introduction to sun science. The best part about the app is that it gives kids and adults the opportunity to learn something new together which is fabulous!
Recently updated to include 3 new hands-on activities and 8 new nanotechnology videos is another FREE science app – DIY Nano. This educational app teaches kids (and their adults) about the nanoscale. Funded by the National Science Foundation and developed by Berkeley’s Lawrence Science Hall, this educational app provides a series of activities and videos about nanoscale science, engineering, and technology. There are 12 hands-on activities in this app. Each one starts with a summary which gives an overview of the activity, the time it will take to complete (prep – clean-up), and the suggested age group. Next, there is a materials list. All items are inexpensive and widely available. Then there is a series of step-by-step directions – with pictures. Finally, there is an explanation of “what’s going on” in the activity. Related videos are at the bottom of the page so that your child can learn more. This app is very well-organized, easy to use, and provides a wonderful introduction to the world of nanoscale science. The best part about the app is that it gives kids and adults the opportunity to learn something new together. How exciting is that?!?
FREE from the National Science Foundation comes Science 360 for iPad – scientific images and videos from around the world. This educational app covers a range of topics and breaking news from NSF-funded institutions. New content is added weekly. Users can browse the app’s unique 360 display board to learn about something new or they can find specific content by searching keywords. It’s easy to save images and videos for later use right within the app – perfect for teachers who are gathering resources for a unit. The quality of the images is spectacular and they are available in HD for download to your iPad. Keep abreast of the latest scientific discoveries with this app – a great resource!!
Great FREE educational app – Bill Nye The Science Guy. 2013 was Bill Nye’s 20th Anniversary and Disney celebrated with the release of this educational app. Kids scan their thumbs to gain entrance to Nye Labs – a scientifically fascinating place. There they can play games, watch clips from their favorite shows, try some experiments, and more. When I was still teaching, I frequently used Bill Nye’s materials. My students loved his energetic, fun videos and often begged to watch them again! It’s no wonder he is the winner of 38 Emmys. This app takes kids to a place where science rules!!
Two FABULOUS & FREE educational apps from the Exploratorium!! Both interactive books contain illusions, articles, and videos. These apps make science fun by answering questions like – What color is a whisper? Are there secret messages in music played backward? Kids will love the illusions and you won’t believe these apps are FREE! Very interesting – for kids AND their parents/teachers.
BrainPOP has been around for more than a decade as an educational website. The site features short animated movies – 750+ lessons covering science, social studies, math, art & music, etc. The content is geared for grades 4 and above but I found that many movies were also suitable for third graders. When I was in the classroom, it was one of my favorite online resources.
Now you can download the BrainPOP Featured Movie, the educational app for FREE! Your child can learn something new every day. After watching the daily movie there is a short interactive quiz. And… if your child can’t get enough of this app, there are two subscription options: $1.99 per month/ 4 movies & quizzes a day OR $6.99 per month/full access.
Teachers could add the BrainPOP movie of the day to their daily routine. Watch it at a transition time – right before lunch, after lunch, while waiting for buses to called, etc. Interesting and educational!!
Also available for FREE is BrainPOP Jr. Movie of the Week, another educational app. Every week Annie and Moby (two lovable characters) help 5 to 9 year olds learn about a different subject. There is also a quiz and activities to accompany each animated movie. BrainPOP Jr. has been on the web since 2006 delivering content for younger students in science, social studies, reading, writing, math, and more.
Again, teachers could add the BrainPOP Jr. Movie of the Week to their routine. Start your Monday off with the “Movie of the Week” or use it on Friday. BrainPOP gives teachers another way spark kids interest in learning!
FREE again for limited time – Zachy the Robot: The Leaning Tower of Robocity, episode 1 of an interactive cartoon series for kids ages 3-7. The series was developed and tested in cooperation with Carnegie Mellon University Children’s School. It introduces basic STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) concepts to kids. In this first episode, kids are introduces to basic engineering concepts when Zachy and his friends, the Repairbots, are called in to fix a skyscraper that is leaning. Kids will love watching this animated adventure and helping the Repairbots solve the problem. This educational app was a winner of a Parents’ Choice Recommended Award in 2011 – a well-deserved honor! It exposes kids to STEM concepts in a fun & engaging way!
Who doesn’t love robots? Robots for iPad is FREE for a limited time. This educational app was listed as “New & Noteworthy” by Apple. It was also reviewed or mentioned in the NY Times, Mashable, Wired, CNET and more! Kids (and adults) can explore real-world robots with this fun app which is chock full of interactivity, animations, photos, videos, & articles. The app introduces over 150 robots from 19 countries. Kids can swipe each robot for a 360° view then tap the robot to interact with it. There are also hundreds of videos and 500+ pictures. The app has information about all kinds of robots (drones, androids, etc.) as well as information about some famous robots – Honda’s humanoid Asimo, a NASA Mars rover, and Google’s self-driving car. VERY cool and very informative!
Teachers, there are lots of possibilities for using this app in your classroom. After exploring, use it for writing activities – descriptive paragraphs, write about a robot you would invent, pick a robot and write a story, etc. The app’s ratings section could be used for graphing activities. There is also a great timeline included as well as a section on how to get started in robotics. I can see how kids will love this app. 🙂