Bill Nye The Science Guy

 

Learning(i)

Kids dig into concepts with funny science educator.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Very easy to use. Bill Nye's narrated instructions in each activity are clear and simple. Even the do-it-yourself science experiments are extremely easy, although kids need to be able to read fluently or have an adult read the instructions to them in this section of the app.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Kids can watch trailers (one to two minutes) for the videos, but to get the full-length videos (around 20 minutes each), they'll need to tap "buy" to exit the app and go to iTunes. Videos are $1.99 each; you can also buy several together in Volume 1 ($22.99) or Volume 2 ($27.99). Some areas of the app have promote other Bill Nye products as well.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Users don't need to submit any personally identifiable information. There's no privacy policy within the app itself, but the full Disney privacy policy related to online media products appears on the Disney.com website.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Bill Nye the Science Guy is an interactive, multifaceted science app that will most certainly get kids excited about science. Bill Nye is an excellent science teacher who really knows how to bring science topics to life for kids. This app is no exception. From cool optical illusions woven into a storyline about alien invasion to a video game-like planetary adventure to DIY at-home science experiments, kids will find something to love about science on this app. Parents should know that the app includes links to iTunes to purchase Bill Nye videos.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • vocabulary
  • following directions

Science

  • motion
  • substance properties
  • engineering
  • astronomy
  • biology
  • chemistry
  • electricity
  • energy

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • hypothesis-testing
  • investigation
  • thinking critically

Self-Direction

  • initiative

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Whether they're exploring cool game-style space adventures or trying some DIY experiments at home, kids will find this app well-designed and engaging. It hits the sweet spot between kids' everyday interests and interesting science education.

Learning Approach

In-app activities, DIY experiments, videos, and other science information all approach science from different, kid-friendly angles, yet with a surprising amount of depth (even more so if you purchase the full-length videos).

Support

The six DIY science experiments that require nothing more than everyday household items are an excellent example of how apps can provide real-world extension activities to complement digital learning.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • vocabulary
  • following directions

Science

  • motion
  • substance properties
  • engineering
  • astronomy
  • biology
  • chemistry
  • electricity
  • energy

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • hypothesis-testing
  • investigation
  • thinking critically

Self-Direction

  • initiative

Kids can learn a lot about science and science experimentation with Bill Nye The Science Guy. This app covers a wide range of science topics -- engineering, astronomy, chemistry, biology, electricity, energy, substance properties, and more. It also encourages kids to test science concepts through conducting their own experiments, and by thinking critically about some of the facts presented by interacting with related objects on the in-app games. Bill Nye the Science Guy packs in videos, DIY experiments, and so much more to get kids interested in science.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

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What's it about?

First, kids must press their thumb on the opening screen to gain top-level clearance to the desk of Bill Nye, research engineer. Once at the desk, kids can tap on a rocket ship for a planetary adventure, a television to watch clips of Bill Nye science videos (full videos must be purchased), learn some science facts from a Bill Nye bobblehead doll, read about science experiments you can do at home, and more.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Bill Nye The Science Guy is an app that even quite young kids can use to dig into science concepts without much adult help. That said, some sections -- like the more detailed information about science facts and experiments -- require quite a bit of reading. So kids will need to be fluent readers or have someone read those sections to them. But for other games -- like the optical illusion or space adventures -- and a few of the DIY experiments, kids will just need to view pictures or gather some very basic household items (one requires just tape, a piece of paper, and a comb). The really great thing about this app is that Bill Nye explains science concepts clearly through the visually and intellectually engaging videos (even just the free intros) and activities. Best of all, most all of the content on the app is free.

Families can talk about...

  • Encourage your kid to choose a science experiment or two from Bill Nye The Science Guy, and provide support as needed.

  • If your kid isn't yet a fluent reader, read some of the more in-depth science info pages aloud.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:June 13, 2013
Category:Education
Size:469.00 MB
Publisher:Disney
Version:1.0
Minimum software requirements:iOS 6.0 or later

This review of Bill Nye The Science Guy was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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