3 Great Science Apps to Start the School Year

Ah, summer. I spent June and July browsing fun science apps and taking a much deserved break from blogging. Here are some fun ones to explore this fall and consider using with your classes during the next school year. A number of these were found on "apps gone free" and if you haven't downloaded it, do it and you may find many apps offered for free or discounted prices for a limited time.

Plague Inc. -Plague incorporated is a fun (albeit disgusting) way of learning about bacterial, viral and fungal transmission. In this game, the user plays the role of the bacteria and tries to decimate the worldwide population before it's cured. Players start the country of origin and learn about transmission through planes, boats, and border to border transmission. Playing the part of the bacteria, you must decide how to "build" your deadliness through livestock transmission, symptomatic spreading and abilities. May be interesting as Ebola is in the news and is being watched. Download this from the app store here.

Chemio-Chemio is a great reference for chemistry students. Until I stumbled across this, I used "The Elements" which is good, but extremely expensive. Although Chemio doesn't have shiny rotating 3d pictures of elements, it does has many of the same features such as periodic table information, solubility, molar calculator, and atomic model with orbitals. On a quasi-related note, "little alchemy" is a free web-based game with dubious chemistry laws, but it is the most fun young learners will have when learning about how many elements they can make!

Skeptical Science- Skeptical Science is great for debunking the the opinions of people that decry global warming as a myth. The app helps users navigate the arguments against global warming and find factual rebuttals to arguments such as "Antarctic ice is growing" and "The warmest year on record happened long ago". Since 9 of the last 10 years have been the warmest on record, and 97% of climate scientists agree that it is happening despite what the fossil fuel industry says, this seems to still be a political hot-potato.

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