Smartphones and tablets make for an ideal educational tools, and app maker are taking advantage of the power of those mobile devices to create interactive showcases, educational ebooks and even apps for citizen scientists to help in the search for knowledge. Check out 20 of the best science apps for Android and iOS devices.
Based on Theodore Gray's The Elements, the app by the same title is a lavishly illustrated romp through the periodic table of elements. Starting off with an illustrated periodic table, users can tap on each element to see an object composed of it, such as a crystal, toy or sculpture. The app also reveals vital facts about the element, including how humans have used that substance throughout history. Lavish illustrations, fun facts and the latest information from Wolfram Alpha are combined into a richly interactive app that more than justifies its steep asking price.
The result of a successful educational game Kickstarter, ChemCaper Act 1: Petticles in Peril (Android, iOS) bills itself as a "Chemistry Role Playing Game", with gameplay, creatures, and environments based on Chemistry concepts. Players take on the role of Roub Idyum, a pampered young Moon Being thrust into danger when the previously friendly Petticles go wild. As you explore the world and its mysteries, you can tame and combine Petticles as well as craft potions with lab equipment using principles of chemistry such as the various chemical bonds and elemental properties. It's an interesting combination of education and actual challenging gameplay, and we're interested in seeing how the rest of the story goes.
Google's Science Journal app turns your Android device into a portable research station, taking advantage of your phone's sensors to record things like sound levels, light levels, and motion. The Science Journal app combines with a series of activities and experiments designed by the Exploratorium that are designed to show kids ages 10+ the basics of the scientific method, as well as basic principles of physics.
Based on National Geographic's book of the same name, the Ultimate Dinopedia is a lavishly illustrated reference guide to more than 700 discovered dinosaur species. Every entry includes art depicting each dinosaur, as well as a rich collection of stories, facts, size comparisons and other neat information. Other features take a look at the lost world of the dinosaurs, such as hatchings, migrations and the mystery of their extinction. This is the perfect gift for a budding paleontologist, or anyone whose inner child is fascinated with these extinct creatures.
BrainPOP is an educational media stalwart with a wealth of animated videos aimed at K-12 students, and now, BrainPOP's mobile app (Android, iOS) brings these videos right to your kid's smartphone or tablet. The Featured Movie app brings a small library of free videos as well as a daily featured movie and quiz, while subscription options increase the number of videos you can view or unlocks the full BrainPOP mobile library of educational videos and quizzes.
A collaboration between the Science Museum of London and Touch Press, Journeys of Invention is an educational app designed to showcase the long history of invention by showing kids numerous historical and groundbreaking inventions. Kids cun study, rotate, explore, and even operate numerous historical objects, such as the Apollo 10 Command Module, Robert Hooke's microscope, and the Enigma encoding machine. Guided collections, such as "Horizons", "Atoms and Rays" and "Dangerous" show how these artifacts relate with each other, and how one technological innovation leads to new understandings and new inventions.
Explore the amazing world of our planet's biodiversity with Brian Cox's Wonders of Life (Android, iOS). The interactive multimedia app allows users to explore more than 30 different creatures and habitats through a variety of articles, more than a thousand hi-res photographs and more than 2 hours of HD video. It's a wonderful tour of the richness of the Earth's ecosystem.