Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Useful Science Apps from Apple

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.

2.  Instant Heart Rate Monitor ($0.99)-  In middle school science we investigate many questions regarding what might affect our heart rate.  Students often come up with some very interesting questions which require more precise measurement than your feeling your pulse with your fingers on your hand.  For example, one student wanted to test whether chewing gum affected our heart rate.  With an Ipod Touch 4th Generation or an Iphone, you can put your finger over the camera and the device will record your pulse rate.

3.  Decibel Reader ($1.99)- Our school does have more sophisticated and accurate decibel reader, but this one works fine for the simple sound experiments we do in middle school science.  The more accurate one is used mostly by the high school physics classes.  Again, I love the portability of this device.  Students that are dong experiments at home can download this app on their own personal devices at home and continue to experiment, which many do!!


  1. Can you please recommend some more apps like Tinkerbox at free? Thanks for the sharing, I am download the tinkerbox.http://www.appsta.com/android-tablet

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.