Classic Experiments in Science History FULL

App review by
Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Media
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Info-packed resource lacks hands-on fun.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about the Archimedes' principle, Ben Franklin's experiments with electricity, the Doppler effect, Mendel's laws, Newton's gravitational theory, and color theory. The history and scientific principles behind the theories and laws are explained, and kids can answer questions to apply what they've learned. Kids also can read biographies of the scientists who contributed to the development of these theories and laws. Videos and graphics support the text, and the information is accurate and age-appropriate. However, the interactive elements are limited. Some hands-on lesson plans or labs would make the learning experience much more meaningful for kids. Classic Experiments in Science History FULL is a solid extension to initial learning about these scientific principles, but a more hands-on approach will ignite kids' enthusiasm further.

Ease of Play

Clean and simple design makes navigation easy. Kids explore using simple tap gestures.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Classic Experiments in Science History FULL is a resource that explains foundational science concepts through text, graphics, and video. By exploring the app, kids can learn the history behind six scientific theories and the backgrounds of the scientists who discovered them, such as Gregor Mendel, Benjamin Franklin, and Archimedes. Note that the vocabulary takes for granted that users are strong readers and know a little about these concepts already. No privacy policy is available, but no personal information is required to use the app.

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What's it about?

Kids begin by selecting one of the six scientists on the main page of CLASSIC EXPERIMENTS IN SCIENCE HISTORY FULL. Each scientist is credited with a different theory or law. Then, kids can choose from Experiment, Theory, or Biography. The Experiment option takes kids through a series of questions related to the theory or law they're exploring. After answering a question, kids can watch a brief video that illustrates the answer, followed by a written explanation. The Theory option provides the background behind the theory or law, and the Biography option provides the background of the scientist, with a focus on the development of the scientific concepts.

Is it any good?

A lot of useful information about some of the most important theories and laws of science is available, but kids probably won't be very excited by it. The cartoon-style graphics might help make the content appealing to kids, and the videos break up the text and provide excellent visual support. Unfortunately, the app misses an opportunity to connect to current, real-world scenarios, and there aren't any suggestions for hands-on lessons or labs that apply the theories and laws. Also, the elevated vocabulary and lack of accessibility features limit the audience to kids who read really well and who already know a little about the science involved.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the development of these scientific theories and laws contributed to society. For example, how did Benjamin Franklin's experiments ultimately change the way people live?

  • Families can discuss other scientific theories and laws and find out through research which scientists contributed to their development.

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For kids who love science and invention

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