What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there isn't any questionable content in the Solar System for iPad app. As the name suggests, the app is a digital book about our solar system -- including facts about the sun, planets, moons, asteroid belts, and more. This reference app comes to life with high-resolution photos, videos, animation, music, and text -- and some interactivity, as well. Mom and Dad might enjoy this just as much as kids.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
Thinking & Reasoning
- making conclusions
- thinking critically
- analyzing evidence
Engagement, Approach, Support
An extraordinarily attractive resource for amateur astronomers, Solar System for iPad has interactive 3-D imagery of the celestial bodies, extensive videos and animated sequences, and even an opening song set to space imagery.
Kids read, tap, and play to learn, reading accurate and relevant articles and facts and viewing photos, illustrations, videos, and animation sequences. Kids have a lot of control over their experience as they explore.
There's quite a bit of content here, but all of it is well organized and easy to navigate.
What's it about?
Solar System for iPad lets kids explore the universe by reading articles and facts about our solar system -- be it the rings of Saturn or the atmosphere of Mars -- as well as viewing hundreds of photos, artist illustrations, videos, and animation sequences. Kids touch the iPad screen to interact with the content, such as zooming in and out of Uranus or Jupiter, or to flick through interactive portions, such as "How to spot a planet?"
Is it any good?
SOLAR SYSTEM FOR IPAD is an extraordinary – and extraordinarily attractive -- resource for amateur astronomers with text provided by best-seller author (and former radio astronomer) Marcus Chown, along with interactive 3D imagery of the sun, planets, moons, and more. You can "touch" Saturn's rings (based on images from NASA's Cassini mission), flick through the icy rubble of the Kuiper Belt (rocky bits left over from the birth of planets), or pinch and zoom into Earth to study the continents from above (with or without cloud cover). Along with an opening song set to space imagery, this app features dozens of articles; high-resolution galleries; extensive videos and animated sequences; and key data for each planet or moon (diameter, mass, volume, gravity, atmosphere, and so forth). While relatively pricey at $13.99 as of the time of this review, Solar System for iPad is an out-of-this-world pick.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Visit a local planetarium, observatory, or air and space museum to learn more about astronomy.
Consider buying or borrowing a telescope and looking at the stars with your kids. Or spend some time stargazing together with the naked eye on a clear night.