Meet Science: Force and Motion

App review by
Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Media
Meet Science: Force and Motion App Poster Image
Well-balanced resource with lessons, experiments, and games.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about forces and motion by reading, watching animations, playing games, and conducting experiments. The lessons are well organized by topic, and they are presented using on-screen text as well as audio. Some of the lessons are text-heavy, but simple and colorful animations help break up the text and keep kids engaged. Kids can assess their understanding by taking a brief quiz at the end of each lesson or a longer quiz that covers all the lessons. Hands-on experiments reinforce concepts from the lesson, and mini-games apply what they learned about magnitude and direction of forces, speed, and inertia. A well-done illustrated glossary helps kids build science vocabulary. Meet Science: Force and Motion gives kids multiple ways to explore specific science concepts.

Ease of Play

Content is well organized, so navigation is intuitive. Some kids might benefit from an instruction screen to help them get started.

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Consumerism

A Parent Zone, which can be accessed by solving multiplication problems, contains links to buy the developer's other apps.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Meet Science: Force and Motion is a digital science resource that's part of a suite of similar apps. The resource includes lessons, mini-games, and simple experiments. There's also an illustrated glossary for reference. Quirky characters guide kids through the lessons, and each lesson includes a brief quiz and suggestions for experiments. After solving a multiplication problem, users can enter the Parent Zone, which takes users to a listing of other apps for sale. Read the app's privacy policy to learn about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

MEET SCIENCE: FORCE AND MOTION has four exploration areas: Learn, Experiments, Glossary, and Mini Games. In Learn kids can choose from six lessons that cover topics with both text and voice-over speech. Each lesson page includes an animation that supports learning. A lesson ends with a brief quiz and links to experiment videos that relate to the lesson. In Experiments kids can directly access the experiments that appear at the end of the lessons. The experiments are fairly simple, but some require materials such as spring balances that might be hard to find, so planning ahead is essential. In Glossary kids can tap to read and hear definitions. The glossary has a tab labeled "Aha"; it contains a five-chapter dictionary that connects force and motion science with everyday phenomena. In Mini Games kids can choose from three games that challenge them to apply what they learned. The app tracks top mini-game scores so kids or grown-ups can monitor progress.

Is it any good?

This is a useful resource with a variety of strategies for teaching kids about fundamental science concepts, and the addition of a few more games and improved quiz questions would make it even better. The lessons contain age-appropriate content, the supporting graphics do an excellent job of illustrating concepts, and the mini-games target concepts from the lessons, giving kids an opportunity to apply what they learned. Though the quizzes that follow each lesson are good practice for kids, there are only three quiz questions, some of the wording is awkward, and quiz scores can't be saved. The experiments include a materials list, instructions for setup, an opportunity for kids to make predictions, and a summary of the results. Some experiments would benefit from additional guidance regarding setup and analysis of results, and some of the grammar is incorrect. Despite its drawbacks, it's a unique, targeted resource.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about forces and motion that they experience every day. How do they use pushes and pulls? When is friction most relevant?

  • Spend time preparing and conducting the experiments with kids. Have them write a prediction for each one and discuss the results together. 

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Subjects: Science: energy, gravity, motion, physics
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, hypothesis-testing, investigation
  • Price: $4.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Release date: September 3, 2015
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 529.00 MB
  • Publisher: NCSOFT
  • Version: 1.0.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 6.0 or later

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