Celeste SE

 

Learning(i)

Planets come to life through your smartphone's camera view.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The app crashed a few times (screen message: "stopped unexpectedly"), but otherwise very intuitive and worked well.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

The app uses GPS to determine location, but does not appear to use location for any other reason.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that kids who can read will get much more out of Celeste SE than younger kids because of the trivia and educational information that accompanies each planet. But it's still easy enough to point the Android's camera view to the sky that many pre-readers will use it just to enjoy the virtual view of the planets, moon, and sun (no other stars on this app). This app also has a compass feature, which is fun for kids learning directions.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • astronomy

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • investigation
  • part-whole relationships

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

We dare you to look away from the stunning images of the solar system delivered to your phone. The pop-up facts may be a bit dry for younger kids, but older kids will want details.

 

Learning Approach

It's empowering to find the planets, the sun, and the moon in relation to where you're standing, and to track their paths. Pop-up facts bring some depth to a mostly fun, visual approach to learning about celestial bodies.

 

Support

An intro page shows how to calibrate your device for more accurate planet positions, but that's the extent of a tutorial. The compass may expand learning opportunities. 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • astronomy

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • investigation
  • part-whole relationships

Kids can learn about astronomy by viewing the planets, the moon, and other celestial bodies in "augmented" images that show them as if they were visible to the naked eye. Kids can also learn investigation skills by choosing which part of the sky and which celestial body to focus on, reading the related facts, asking questions, and making inferences. This may lead kids to investigate another planet or celestial body, building the concept of part-whole relationships as they relate to objects in space. Celeste SE is an amazing way for kids to learn about the objects in our solar system.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

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What's it about?

Simply point your smartphone to the sky to view the augmented reality images of celestial bodies (that may or may not be visible to the naked eye). Choose the one you want to know more about and move the phone to align it with the circle on your smartphone's screen. Tap the button in the popup window and you'll see the path the object takes through the sky and more information about it.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

CELESTE SE is an "augmented reality" app, which means users can see images of the sun, moon, and planets (not the planets in real time a la telescope) and their pathways and time of arrival through the sky in your phone's camera view, day or night. It's more fun to use outdoors because whether you're looking at the moon from outside or in your house, it will appear the same -- it just looks like the moon is sitting below your ceiling.

Families can talk about...

  • Take your kid outside to use this app at first. The concept is easier to grasp there, rather than indoors.

  • Use the app to track the sun's path throughout a day. Talk to your kid about how people have always been interested in celestial movements and used other pre-technology tools like sundials and monuments to track them.

App details

Device:Android
Price:$1.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:January 7, 2010
Category:Education
Topics:Science and nature
Size:1.30 MB
Publisher:Terminal Eleven LLC
Version:1.0.5

This review of Celeste SE 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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