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Tech Apps: Digital STEM

Techapps_pulse

Tech Apps: Digital STEM

9 apps that will transform your science class. By Catherine Logue

Beakers. Bunsen burners. Microscopes. Skeletons. The science lab has always been full of wonders. What’s changed: Many of the latest science, technology, engineering, and math tools can fit in the palm of your hand. New STEM apps are taking old-school equipment—such as anatomical models, levers and pulleys, electrical circuits, and books—and reinventing it for the digital era. These tools enable kids to tour the rain forest, create their own video games, and even turn their classmates into moving anatomical models. Here are nine inventive apps to supplement your science lab. 

What Are Your Favorites?

Tracey Graham
Fourth- and fifth-grade teacher, ­Westgate ­Alternative ­Elementary School, Columbus, OH
Lightbot: Code Hour. “I love this app. It’s simple to use and students get to enjoy small successes quickly as they learn how to code.” Free.

David Andrade
K–12 education strategist, CDW-G, New York, NY
CK-12. “With electronic textbooks, simulations, virtual labs, practice, and interactive explorations, CK-12 is an amazing resource for teaching STEM subjects.” Free.

Samantha Kosakowski
Digital learning specialist, ­Spofford Pond School, ­Boxford, MA
Explain Everything. “Students can create presentations or record screencasts on any subject. Add videos, images, and voiceovers to explain your topic.” $3.99.

6 More Great STEM Apps

Coda Game. Kids as young as age 6 learn coding basics by using simple programming language to create their own video games. Students drag and drop visual code blocks and triggers to write the rules of their game. iOS. $3.99.

Simple Machines. Introduce elementary schoolers to six simple machines: levers, pulleys, inclined planes, wedges, wheels and axles, and screws. Kids explore real-world physics as they use the devices to perform experiments. iOS. $2.99.

Circuit Jam. In this virtual lab, students play games with electrical circuits—safely! Young engineers can  solve more than 100 puzzles by modifying circuits to generate electrical signals of various shapes. Android. Free.

Door 24 Plus. Build fact fluency with Snargg Splatt, a game in which kids stop a villain by completing math facts. Then, tackle computational fluency with Victor Fixer, in which students solve equations to rebuild a robot. iOS. Free.

Arloon Anatomy. Imagine a 360° view of a heart. This 3D anatomy app allows students to manipulate organs from the body’s systems. Use the augmented reality feature to map 3D images onto a moving person. Informational text accompanies each simulation. iOS and Android. $2.99.

Crack the Books. Through images, videos, and animations, Crack the Books takes kids on a journey through the world’s biomes. Each volume has adjustable reading levels. Kids can visit the “forest” for free; other books cost $9.99. Full library access is $29.99 per year. iOS.

 

 

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in edu Pulse are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.