App of the Week: Geometry in 3D

Ed. note: App of the Week picks are now being curated with help from the editors of Graphite.org, a free service from Common Sense Education. Click here to read the full app review.


What’s It Like? Volumize is an app that allows students to import photos from their iPads (using the built-in cameras or any other file in their library) and then draw virtual 3-D geometric solids over the photo to roughly approximate its form. They can adjust the interface’s measurement scale to accurately reflect real-world measurements, making this more than just a virtualization tool –- it’s a powerful 3-D ruler, too. The app then automatically calculates the area and surface area, showing the steps and pieces of those calculations and a net of each solid. For compound shapes, it does all the combination work for you.

Price: $3

Grades: 6-11

Pros: Intuitive interface, automatic calculations, and built-in tools for reporting mean it’s ready for classroom use right out of the box.

Cons: Automatic calculations remove the technical work from geometry, controls can be a bit finicky, and the shape palette is limited.

Bottom line: A quick way to make solids more tangible, especially when paired with good lesson plans that get students working directly with formulas.

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