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Taking Science to the Next Level

by Lori Gracey
Google Science Journal

Google, as we all know, provides a wide variety of amazing tech tools and resources that are used every day by millions (billions?) of us. I recently discovered another of their free offerings, the Science Journal app.

Google Science Journal App

“Available for both iOS and Android, the app is a free digital science notebook that includes more than 70 hands-on science activities.” (Please note that the link to the Android app in the Google Play store only works with a personal Gmail account, not a G Suites for Education account. Make sure you are logged in using your personal Gmail.) While doing the activities, students can record measurements and their observations in the app itself. Sensors in a student’s phone can record and graph phenomena such as light, sound, and motion; they can also connect to external sensors via Bluetooth if some are available. This includes sensors from Vernier and those made using an Arduino.  Additional experiments and teacher lesson plans are available as a free download from Google partners like the Exploratorium, Science Buddies, and more.

Google Science Journal

The provided experiments can run anywhere from 15 minutes to two or more hours. And, of course, the app can be used to journal other experiments as well. While the experiment is running, students can take photos of the results and post them in the notebook, as well as adding their own notes and observations. It’s definitely a way to better engage today’s youth with science. There is an excellent, step-by-step tutorial available here.

Because the app is running on a device such as a smartphone, it makes it easy to take science out doors and engage students in hands-on learning. And the price is definitely right! The app is perfect for a STEM, STEAM, or maker space, as well as something that can be shared with families for extended learning.

 

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