March 13, 2017

Wonders of Science Fill App for Middle and High School Students

By Rob Klindt, Contributing Writer | Literacy Resources

Slithering snakes and waddling penguins. Introducing these creatures into classroom lessons is a great way to pique students’ curiosity about the world of science and biology. And what about the technology of controlling sound waves? Or looking at what happens in a robotics summer camp for kids?

Logo for the Science 360 app from the national science foundationThose topics and hundreds more fill the “Science 360” educational app from the National Science Foundation (NSF). It’s a great resource for teachers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) classrooms.

In tablet-enabled classrooms with internet access, the app targets students in upper elementary grades through high school. It includes hundreds of downloadable photo fact sheets and illustrations, videos and news updates on dozens of science and technology topics from around the world.

Among the app’s top features:

  • A regularly updated news feed of breaking scientific news
  • A unique 360-degree view content-search mode
  • Hundreds of downloadable images from NSF sources
  • Intuitive app navigation using touch-and-drag technology
  • Streaming video on a wide range of scientific topics

The app makes a great supplement to classroom lesson plans and independent study programs. And to enhance lectures, teachers can use an electronic whiteboard to project photo fact sheets and videos from the app for classroom viewing.

Getting started

The app works with most newer iPad and Android tablets. Because it uses a large amount of data, teachers should verify that their classroom has a good high-speed Wi-Fi connection before using the app for the first time.

“Science 360” launches with an impressive content search page featuring hundreds of thumbnail photos that users scroll through by dragging a finger across the screen in any direction. To choose a topic, simply tap the image.

Here’s a sampling of science and technology videos, illustrations and photo fact sheets from around the world in the app:

  • Black holes and deep-space objects
  • Measuring the reflexes and reaction time of hockey players
  • Studying glacier activity on Baffin Island
  • The life of King penguins on Macquarie Island
  • The secret of a snake’s slither

All content is either produced by the NSF or gathered from scientists, colleges and universities, and NSF science and engineering centers. It’s updated regularly, so it’s a good idea to check back often for breaking news.

What’s included

Content in the “Science 360” app is all-inclusive. It includes hundreds of high-quality images, videos and animated clips on dozens of science, technology and engineering topics curated by the National Science Foundation. A high-speed Wi-Fi connection is required to view the material.

Content from the app can be downloaded and shared with others via email or social media programs like Facebook or Twitter.

There are no in-app advertisements or registration requirements.

Download details

The “Science 360” app from the National Science Foundation is free. It can be downloaded from iTunes and is compatible with iPad tablets running iOS version 7.0 or later. It’s also available on Google Play and works with digital tablets running Android operating system 4.2 or later.

Rob Klindt’s “App Reviews” combine his passion for writing with an ever-growing interest in educational technology. His simple, straightforward approach to reviewing educational apps help educators and parents leverage new tools for students in and out of the classroom.

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