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10 next-generation science apps for education

These next-generation science apps range from visually stunning multimedia to great resources for curious minds

science-apps-educationThe Next Generation Science Standards are a new set of standards that provide consistent science education through all grades, with an emphasis on technology and engineering.

eSchool News readers have shown a strong interest in learning more about how apps can help educators improve learning and deliver instruction more efficiently. One reader recommended using the OnScreen DNA ModelOnScreen Gene Transcription, and OnScreen DNA Replication for teaching DNA structure and function via interactive 3D simulations.

Another reader shared a personal favorite science app called The Atomic Dashboard, which teaches about the chemical elements and the periodic table.

We have compiled our own list of the the top 10 next-generation science apps for education. This is just a sampling of available science apps. Do you use an app that isn’t on the list? Make sure to mention it in the comments section below.

[Editor’s note: Prices are current as of press time. Please note that app prices may fluctuate. Apps listed in alphabetical order.]

1. Chemist, iPadAndroid tablet $4.99

This science app is one of the only virtual chemistry labs for tablets to conduct chemistry experiments and explore chemistry reactions with different lab tools. Try mixing chemicals by pouring them into beakers or test tubes. You can also heat the chemicals with a bunsen burner, or put a piece of cesium into water. The 3D stage enables the parallax effect from different angles. Chemist has a built-in database with more than 200 chemical reagents, and additional chemical reagents will be added periodically through the online database CloudLab for more chemical reactions.

(Next page: Apps 2-6)

2. ExoplanetiPhone/iPad/iPod, Free

This science app, developed and maintained by a professional astronomer, is a highly visual and interactive catalog of all known exoplanets: Planets orbiting stars beyond our own Solar System. It is frequently updated whenever new discoveries are confirmed. An amazing model of the Milky Way lets students explore the universe all the way from the Solar System to the cosmic microwave background.

3. Gene ScreeniPhone/iPad/iPod, Free

Gene Screen allows students to learn how recessive genetic traits and diseases are inherited and how certain diseases are more prevalent in different populations. Gene Screen also provides information on some recessive genetic diseases and genetic screening programs. Gene Screen was produced by the DNA Learning Center, Cold Spring Harbor laboratory, and was developed with support from the Marcus Foundation in partnership with the Victor Center for the Prevention of Jewish Genetic Diseases, Albert Einstein Healthcare Network, Philadelphia, USA.

4. Max & Ruby Science Educational Games, iPhone/iPad/iPod, Free

Max & Ruby Science Educational Games will help young children become prepared for school with these science learning games for kids in Preschool and Kindergarten. Children join bunny siblings, Max and Ruby, at the local fair where they’ll teach them about physical science through guided narration and music, specifically the properties of liquids and the motion of objects. This app also includes a bonus game that allows children to drag and drop objects and characters into scenes from the popular television series, as well as tap them to see a surprise animation.

5. MS Life Science BuddyiPhone/iPad/iPodAndroid, $1.99

MS Life Science Buddy is a tool for learning middle school Biology. This app was designed by a teacher who has used all possible multimedia resources in the classroom for teaching regents curriculum. MS Life Science Buddy is not only an app for learning Biology and living environment, but also an app for teachers. Features include: Lessons on multiple topics, interactive quizzes by topic (with real regents questions), daily Biology and science news updates, Regents exams with key, videos from YouTube, and flash cards by topic.

6. Next Generation Science StandardsiPhone/iPad/iPodAndroid, Free

View the Next Generation Science Standards in one convenient app; a great reference for teachers, parents and students to easily read and understand the standards. Quickly find standards by various topic arrangements or keyword search. The NGSS App is a product of MasteryConnect in partnership with the National Science Teachers Association.

(Next page: Apps 7-10)

7. Ocean Science, iPad,$2.99

The Earth has one big water system with many features, and this science app provides a journey deep into the sea. Students can learn the seven essential principles of Ocean Science with movies, 360° pictures, animations and motion graphics.

8. Science MobileiPhone/iPad/iPodAndroid, Free [Full articles require a subscription]

The Science Mobile app lets users read summaries, and abstracts (subscribers can access full-text articles from ScienceScience Translational Medicine, andScience Signaling); share articles, links, and job postings through Facebook, Twitter, and eMail; get the latest news at ScienceNOW; search job openings and tap other resources at Science Careers; access the Science weekly podcast and other multimedia; store content for reading without an internet connection.

9. Shout Science! iPad, Free

This science app is a comic storybook app for young readers (ages 7-11) about scientists and scientific discovery by Scott Dubois. Shout Science! consists of three narrative biographies that take place during the Scientific Revolution in Europe. This app was designed exclusively for the iPad and combines vertical scrolling panels with ambient animation, interaction, and sound to enhance reading comprehension. Each story also includes a supplemental page of reference images and timelines.

10. VideoScienceiPhone/iPad, Free

This science app provides a growing library of over 80 hands-on science lessons for home and the classroom. These short videos demonstrate inexpensive and easy to recreate experiments that are designed to inspire and excite kids of all ages. VideoScience is hosted by Dan Menelly, a Science Teacher at the UN International School and a 2010 Einstein Fellow with the National Science Foundation in the Office of Cyberinfrastructure. VideoScience is presented by Science House and the Science House Foundation.

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