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RoundUp March 2016 – Hands-On Science Apps

Hands-on experiences are second to none for learning, so this month’s Roundup is dedicated to hands-on science apps. Whether the app is designed to shrink students down to the size of a cell to tour its different parts, or designed to give students a safe and free method to experience earthquakes, dissections, or dangerous chemistry experiments, this Roundup is uniquely designed around the student experience.

  1. HudsonAlpha iCell lets students explore three-dimensional maps of the plant, animal, and bacteria cells from a 360-degree perspective by dragging their finger across their tablet’s screen. As they do, students can tap the different elements of the cells, and the app will provide them with descriptions of the tapped elements’ functions. Plus, students can select the rigor level of the descriptions that ranges from basic, intermediate, and advanced. Though students can view a cell under a microscope in a classroom, the multiple perspective and immediate descriptions of the cell’s elements offer students additional experiences and information that cannot be replicated via a microscope. With its unique design, this app scored an 8.9 for its design and it has high potential for student engagement. To learn more about Hudson Alpha iCell, click here.
  2. Mammalian Organ Dissection Lite allows students to investigate mammals’ organ systems, inclusive of the brain, eye, heart, and kidney. The app includes detailed images, descriptions, diagrams, and quizzes for each organ. Although the elements in the app could be taught using paper-and-pencil activities, the app houses them all in one location, which makes them more accessible and usable to teachers and students alike. Plus, its unique interface lets students dissect animals digitally, which has great implications for the science classroom. With its high scores for design and connections to future learning, science teachers will definitely be able to use this app in the classroom. For ideas how, click here!
  3. Earthquake Simulator 2D is a great way to illustrate earthquake science with a hands-on demonstration. Users build structures with blocks of different lengths and heights. Next, users input a magnitude for the earthquake simulation. Then, users can test their structures and view the science of how the structures are influenced by the quake. Check out an app lesson featuring this app here. For the full review, instructional ideas, and more, follow this link.
  4. Looking for a fun app to use in the chemistry classroom? ChemCrafter allows students to mix volatile chemicals together safely. Students purchase chemicals, mix chemicals, learn about the reactions taking place, and earn awards for performing different experiments. With its strengths in Design and Instruction, ChemCrafter scored a 7.5. out of 10 on our comprehensive evaluation rubric. See the full review here.