DIY Nano

(i)

 

Learning(i)

Spark big interest in tiny things on this super science app.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Easy to use. Meticulously designed with very clear directions. Step-by-step experiments with images and written directions. For some experiments, you'll have to plan ahead and gather materials in advance.

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

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that DIY Nano makes nanotechnology understandable for kids and gives them ways to experiment with the tiniest bits of engineering and science marvels at home. This easy-to-navigate app includes short videos about topics like materials used in nanotechnology, "nano" and nature, and how nanotechnology affects everyday life. The more than 10 step-by-step activities and experiments here are quite easy, but many require you to plan ahead and gather materials in advance. There's also an in-app link to Whatisnano.org, a site devoted to nanotechnology education.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • vocabulary

Science

  • engineering
  • biology
  • chemistry
  • gravity
  • measurement
  • substance properties

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • investigation
  • part-whole relationships

Creativity

  • innovation

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Informative, sometimes-funny videos have just enough depth to keep kids engaged while not overwhelming them with too much detail. The well-done activities provide hands-on, real-world engagement. Almost all require some adult assistance.

Learning Approach

Well-done videos as well as excellent activities help kids learn nanoscience. Even if kids don't have the materials to do the activities, they can learn from reading the directions and explanations.

Support

Extension activities and experiments are laid out with easy directions, excellent photo illustrations, and a well-designed user interface for both the activity and video selections.  

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • vocabulary

Science

  • engineering
  • biology
  • chemistry
  • gravity
  • measurement
  • substance properties

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • investigation
  • part-whole relationships

Creativity

  • innovation

DIY Nano can help kids learn about the tiniest things in science, technology, nature, and even "nanomedicine." Kids can learn nano-related science and engineering vocabulary, as well as simple lessons about biology, chemistry, substance properties, and the measurement of billions of tiny things when brought together or separated. Through the experiments, kids also practice following directions, investigation, and applying information. DIY Nano is a complete starter resource for future nano-enthusiasts.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

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What's it about?

Kids can tap on well-categorized, labeled videos to watch them (each just a few minutes long), or choose from 15 activities or experiments on DIY NANO. The activities and experiments each include a materials list (some items may be more complicated to acquire and messier than others), instructions, and detailed explanations of why they do what they do. Kids can also visit Whatisnano.org from within the app for even more nanotechnology-related information. Through email or AirPrint, users can share a PDF of an activity.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Kids can gain real enthusiasm for all things nano by watching the informative, sometimes funny, videos and doing the activities on DIY Nano. This ingenious, uncluttered, easy-to-use app can help kids understand how tiny things act differently and can be very helpful to humans and nature in ways that are so much easier to understand than one would think of words like "nanotechnology engineering." From videos about nanocoatings and talking about a billionth of a meter to experiments about how gummy shapes are built via chemistry, this app is hugely interesting. The only small critique is that many of the ingredients or tools needed for the experiments aren't typically found in the average home. Still, DIY Nano is simply an excellent app about a complex topic for kids of a wide age span.

Families can talk about...

  • Help your kids choose the experiment or activity that looks most interesting to them and then gather the necessary ingredients, objects, and tools.

  • Reinforce the messages of how tiny things can change our everyday lives by pointing out nanotechnology in everyday items, like cooking, sports, or art materials.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:January 28, 2015
Category:Education
Size:46.40 MB
Publisher:The Lawrence Hall of Science
Version:1.3
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.0 or later

This review of DIY Nano 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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About Our Rating System

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