This month here at Elemental Science we are going to talk a bit about technology and how we can harness it for teaching our children about science.
I thought that the best way to start this discussion would be to share with you all some of our favorite apps for science. Some of these are on my phone, which is an Android, but most of them are on our children's tablet, which is an iPad, so I had to get their help for this one!
These apps are ones that we regularly use and find useful - my guess is that you will enjoy them too!
A quick note the ones marked with a "$" cost money, but all the other ones are free!
There are several tree apps out there, but if you live on the east coast, I highly recommend the Virginia Tech Tree ID app - partly because it is easy to use and partly because it is designed by my alma mater.
Nobody does birds better than Audubon and this app is evidence of just that! The pictures are beautiful and we love that it also includes the bird calls so that we can make sure our ID is spot on.
This app is great for when you are visiting a national park, which we try to do several times a year. You can select the park you are in and then learn more about the flora and fauna found in the park.
#4 - Google Sky (Android only)
We love to use this app when we are out at night to find the different constellations we are trying to spot when stargazing. We also enjoy its companion, Google Earth, during the day. (For Apple devices you can try StarWalk, although I have never personally used this one.)
NASA has been pushing to make space more accessible to all and this app is evidence of that desire. Not only can you flip through their repository of space photos, but you can also stay up-to-date on the latest space news.
My kids didn't really want to use this app after the first time, but I do think that it is worth mentioning as it is a really neat way to look at the different body parts and systems.
My kids love using this app to design, build, and test their rockets. They don't always fly all that well, but my kids always come back for more!
#8 - Disney Nature (iTunes only)
I have not ever played this game, but my kids say it's part learning, part science, and a whole lot of fun!
There is not a whole lot of real science behind the concoctions you can create with this app, but our kids enjoy mixing the different elements to see what they can make.
I know, I know, but there has to be some scientific value to creating and designing your own world, plus our kids love this one!
We love to play along with the Kratt brothers, from the PBS Wild Kratts show as they explore habitats and learn about the animals there. It's a great way to bring the show to life.
#12 - Tiny Bop (iTunes - $)
This is a collection of ten science games and it is a bit pricey, but our kids love this app. Our youngest loves to test out robots and build volcanoes with this app.
Hands-on science - what can you use? Why do you have to do this? And how do you actually do experiments at home? Click "Read More" to get the answers.
Writing for homeschool science - what should it look like? And how do you know if you are doing it right? Click "Read More" to learn the answers!
The periodic table visually shows the elements. It is a key concept we need to share with our students, but which table is the right one - click "Read More" to find out.