If you are teaching with an iPad and need to “appify” science instruction, consider these apps for your classroom. This collection includes reference guides and games. Each intends to engage students with visuals, videos, and interactive elements. The cost appears after each app. If no cost appears, the app is free.
- Bloom ($4.99): See how plants spread their seeds.
- Field Guide for Lepidoptera: “Lepidoptera is an order of insects that includes butterflies and moths” (Source). This is a field guide.
- Journeys of Invention ($9.99): “With Journeys of Invention you can study, rotate and even operate some of the most revolutionary scientific inventions of all time. Step inside the Apollo 10 Command Module, examine a flea with Robert Hooke’s 17th-century microscope, explore the Large Hadron Collider, or even encode a secret message with a World War II Enigma Machine and share it with your friends to decipher. The app features original and insightful history specially written by Science Museum curators with a rich collection of historic photographs, rarely seen contemporary artworks, archive film footage and video.”
- Mammals ($2.99): Explore this interactive guide that shows how mammals play, grow, see, eat, move, and feel.
- Nature Guides: Find out more about birds, butterflies, moths, dragonflies, and damselflies with these informative color guides.
- Science 360: A reference guide for current science news featuring images, videos, and text.
- Science Glossary: A glossary of scientific terms and short biographies that support a science education website. All definitions link to related terms and to free, detailed science learning modules. It is geared for secondary students to use via the web. The various components are fine for anyone interested in science.
- Weather Line ($1.99): See this infographic maker for your local weather.
- World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Together: See endangered animals via images and read about them. The app features interactive elements.
- Ultimate Dinopedia-Complete Dinosaur Guide ($4.99): See 700 dinosaurs with National Geographic’s interactive Dinopedia.
- Video Science Guides ($0.99): “Short videos (80 lessons) demonstrate inexpensive and easy to recreate experiments that are designed to inspire and excite kids of all ages.”
- BioBlox2D: “BioBlox2D is a free mobile game for iOS and Android where you have to dock molecules together! Matching different shapes and charges. Switch, Rotate, Swipe and match the Ligands to create the perfect match for the Receptor. Learn about the fascinating world of bio-molecules and their interactions!”
- DragonBox Algebra 5+ ($4.99): “DragonBox Algebra 5+ Is perfect for giving young children a head start in mathematics and algebra. Children as young as five can easily begin to grasp the basic processes involved in solving linear equations without even realising that they are learning. The game is intuitive, engaging and fun, allowing anyone to learn the basics of algebra at his or her own pace.” There is also a DragonBox Algebra 12+ ($7.99). Find a wealth of other apps online.
- Galactic Genius with Astro Cat: “Galactic Genius with Astro Cat is a puzzle game app for ages 6-11 and beyond, based on mini games of logic, speed, memory, and concentration.”
- Play and Learn Science: “Encourage early science learning with Play and Learn Science, a suite of educational kids games from PBS KIDS! Let your kids play a wide range of games.”
Using These Apps
It may sometimes appear difficult to incorporate non-game apps into your regular lessons. The standard use for these apps involves students exploring a specific topic. These work well as research apps. This approach does work. Students may tire of only using apps for research. Ask students to determine what has been left out of the app. Create situations where they can research that information themselves. Students can share their findings via a new Google Site or OneNote Notebook. Suggest students think about a different way to group the content in the app. Prompt them to think about what new topics might be included in the future. Take the app-based information to the next level of Bloom’s for greater engagement.
Looking for More?
There are many online resources featuring iOS apps. What are some of your favorites?