Science is an important academic subject. It helps to build a student’s understanding of the world around them and their place in it, as well as how to apply scientific methods to solve everyday problems.
It’s also hard. Science can be confusing and difficult, especially if you don’t have someone who can help you understand it. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of some of the best apps for science!
Best Apps For Science
We took a wander through the Play Store to help you get the science apps for Android that your classroom needs. These are six of our top picks to help bring the sciences to life. They cover chemistry and physics in really great, hands-on ways. You’ll love how much fun your students can have in the virtual labs.
- Amazing Science Facts
From physics to chemistry and natural sciences, this app brings fun to any lesson. You and your students will no doubt be inspired by the fascinating facts it throws out about the world around us.
- Periodic Table 2019
Access to the periodic table is one of the most essential parts of any chemistry lesson. This app gives your students a handy table that they can take with them and consult at any time. What’s more, it’s not a static table – you can sort the elements by group, or search for them by name.
- Toca Lab: Elements
Want to get your younger students to love chemistry? Then this is the app for your class. You can interact with the elements and learn about their personalities (or chemical traits) in a fun and engaging way.
- CHEMIST – Virtual Chem Lab
Get your students doing experiments in class or at home – safely! This virtual lab allows you to try mixing up different compounds and chemicals, and see what happens. Students can also try out different procedures and equipment you might not have available in your lab. There’s nothing like actually seeing firsthand how acids and water behave mixed together in the wrong way.
- Physics Studio
Bring the world of physics to life in this virtual lab. Your students can actively engage with experiments rather than just watching them on a video. They can also take a closer look at why things happen the way they do, and what that means in the real world.
- Starfall Catalyst for Students
Science really is fun, and this game can help you prove that to your students. It has all the trappings of popular third-person shooter games but also makes the player solve chemistry-related challenges. They’ll definitely be learning as they play.
Get covered with the right MDM
Mobile Device Management (MDM) gives you two essential elements: keeping track of your actual devices and opening a link between you and your students that helps them to excel in school. The Mobile Guardian solution gives you even more, with comprehensive web-filtering and linked parental controls available for Android.
Science apps for Android is just the start
Have you checked out our other lists for Android apps in our STEM series? There is a wide range of science apps for Android, plus those for technology, engineering and math. Your students will love working with them and you’ll love the results you see in class.
best science apps for adults
Your smartphone is packed with sensors and miniaturized equipment. Instead of using them to snap photos or message friends, harness those instruments for the sake of science. Software can turn a phone into a mobile science laboratory, letting you make research observations, track earthquakes, study birds and stars and the elements, and even project a virtual particle accelerator. Here are some of our favorite apps for doing science on your smartphone.
eBird helps log your bird spotting. eBird
Many of these apps let users take part in publishable research and conservation efforts. For example, amateur bird-watchers should download eBird. The app, managed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, not only lets you identify and log bird sightings, but also makes it easy to share those findings with others—including scientists who plot bird populations around the globe.
First, install the free app. Then use its friendly, intuitive interface to plot your location and mark the birds you spot in the area. In addition to observing and sharing, the app also helps you identify puzzling species, provides data on common sightings in your locale, directs you toward nearby bird hotspots, and flags you when the opportunity arises for a potentially rare sighting. If you go birding in more remote regions, don’t worry—eBird also works offline.
eBird is free for Android and iOS
- Star Walk
This app maps the night sky. Star Walk
Is that bright dot overhead a star or a planet? Ask your phone. Star Walk will use the sensors in your device to figure out where you are—and which celestial objects your camera has in its sights. Then it tells you a little about the stars and planets you’re looking at.
Even if you’re not currently gazing at the stars, the app will offer information about the night sky—it can even track the ISS across space. From sunset times to the geological make-up of Mars, you’ll find a ton of scientific content to explore. The app is free—if you don’t mind putting up with ads. For an ad-free version, you’ll have to pony up $3.
Star Walk is free for Android and iOS with ads, $3 for Android and iOS without ads
- NASA Globe Observer
NASA Globe Observer
Real research can draw on the work of NASA Globe Observer users. NASA
The NASA Globe Observer is another app that relies on your findings to inform official scientific research. Currently, you can use it to collect data in three areas: cloud cover, land cover, and mosquito habitats. In each case, you snap photos and observe conditions, then submit this information to NASA.
For example, say you decide to help out with clouds. With the app, you can snap shots of the sky, identify the types of fluff you see, and log your location using your phone’s GPS sensors. Then NASA can compare what you’ve recorded with satellite imagery. This lets scientists build up a better picture of weather conditions and systems, which is invaluable for future research.
NASA Globe Observer is free for Android and iOS
MyShake helps contribute to earthquake prediction models. MyShake
Researchers at the University of California – Berkeley’s Seismological Laboratory want to use smartphones to build up a global picture of seismic activity. That’s why they developed MyShake. This app relies on your phone’s sensors to gather data, but it does so in the background, without affecting your device’s usual activity. Then researchers can use that information to improve their models of earthquake activity and refine their prediction systems.
The app itself is simple to use—it runs silently in the background, logging seismic activity and identifying genuine earthquake tremors (as opposed to jolts from your morning jog). However, you can use it for more than mere data collection. MyShake also lets you view recent seismic movements nearby or anywhere in the world, and it provides advice on what to do in the event of an earthquake. Ultimately though, the main purpose is research—research that could end up saving lives down the line.
MyShake is free for Android
- The Elements
The Elements gives you a tour of the periodic table. The Elements
The periodic table is full of fascinating elements, and yet somehow, it remains lamely two-dimensional. Flesh it out with The Elements, an interactive digital resource for iOS devices. (Disclosure: Popular Science contributor Theodore Gray created this app.) It displays each of the elements in its physical form, alongside information about it.
For every element, you can zoom in to the object and rotate it in three dimensions. This comes with quick facts as well as more in-depth background details, such as properties, how it was discovered, its applications, and even its current price on the open market. The app also informs users about the periodic table as a whole. Although it has a steeper price than many on this list, this is a fantastic educational app—you’ll keep coming back to it.
The Elements is $9 for iOS
Let your phone create a (virtual) particle accelerator. AcceleratAR
Ever wanted to build a particle accelerator in your spare room? This intriguing app lets you do just that—virtually—through the magic of augmented reality. The app lets your phone’s camera overlay digital graphics of a rudimentary particle accelerator on top of the physical world. It’s not quite the Large Hadron Collider, but it’s still impressive.
You do need some physical markers, in the form of paper cubes, to make this work. Once you’ve downloaded the app, access these instructions on the AcceleratAR website. As you set things up, you’ll learn about the physics of particle accelerators and electromagnetic fields—even if the particles whizzing around your coffee table are only virtual.
AcceleratAR is free for Android
- Wolfram Alpha
Wolfram Alpha provides scads of mathematical and scientific information. Woflram Alpha
Forget your graphing calculator. Wolfram Alpha (which you can also access through its website) is a supercharged search and calculation engine. This app can chart physics and chemistry formulas, list the properties of materials, display information on Earth’s geological layers, produce detailed star maps, and much more.
Need to know how several metallic alloys compare, or analyze the motion of a spring pendulum, or compare the energy production of two countries? Wolfram Alpha can toss out the answer in seconds. It goes way beyond scientific data too—this tool will solve complex math equations, convert between units of measurement, and even help you access weather data.
Wolfram Alpha is $3 for Android and iOS
- Science Journal
With Science Journal, you can record experiments and observations on your phone. Google
Google’s Science Journal app gives you tools to record data about the conditions around you. It can, for instance, harness the sensors in your phone to take light, sound, pressure, and motion readings. It can also connect with external sensors over Bluetooth to gather data through those instruments. Within the app, you can supplement your observations with notes and photos.
The neat, well-designed interface makes it easy to log data manually or have the app gather it automatically. You can also revisit your previously-recorded logs and export this data to other apps, such as spreadsheet programs. This lets you keep working from your phone, your computer, or a web browser on any device.
Science Journal is free for Android and iOS
David Nield is a freelance contributor at Popular Science, producing how to guides and explainers for the DIY section on everything from improving your smartphone photos to boosting the security of your laptop. He doesn’t get much spare time, but when he does he spends it watching obscure movies and taking long walks in the countryside.
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