We have a mobile Ipad cart and several middle school students bring their own 4th Generation Ipod Touches and Iphones to school, which affords me a lot of freedom when it comes to integrating technology into my middle school science labs. With such great access to apple products, I have spent some time this year investigating useful science apps for labs. Some apps have been invaluable, as they are much cheaper than purchasing a science instrument from a supply store all on it's own. In addition, students will often go home and use the same apps we use in school at home on their own personal devices, thus extending their learning time. Science fair projects are much easier now that we have apps. Here are a few of the science apps I have used:
1. Tinkerbox (free)- this physics type game allows you to build complex machines from simple parts. It is very similar to an old game called "The Incredible Machine". You learn about simple machines, mechanical engineering principles and problem solving. After some free play time, I will usually give the students some guiding questions to help them with steer them in certain directions regarding their learning.