What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that NOVA Elements is a fun educational app that gets kids interested in the building blocks of matter. Kids can construct atoms and molecules using popular touchscreen features. In this way, the app engages kids in an interactive learning experience. A beautifully designed periodic table provides information about the elements at the tap of a finger, and the video chapters from the NOVA movie Hunting the Elements are easily accessible for kids who want to learn even more. Text and audio instructions are available for the activities, which can be useful for kids with varying learning styles.
What kids can learn
- substance properties
Thinking & Reasoning
- applying information
- thinking critically
Engagement, Approach, Support
Well-designed graphics and an interactive game keep kids engaged. The easily accessible video clips are entertaining and even funny at times.
A lot of the material is reference, particularly the periodic table. However, kids can build their own models of atoms and molecules, so they learn and practice conceptual skills to some degree.
Kids can make more than one attempt at an answer, and the correct answer is provided if desired. Audio-visual instructions are clear and concise.
What's it about?
When starting up the app, kids can choose from three options: "Watch Hunting the Elements," "Explore the Interactive Periodic Table," or "Play David Pogue's Essential Elements." While exploring the interactive periodic table, kids can tap on an element to read about, and build an atom of, the element. Some elements even include links to relevant video clips. In the Essential Elements game, different items and the molecules that make up the items are provided. The task is to choose an item and then build the atoms that make up the molecules of the item. Then, you build molecules using a drag-and-drop feature to correctly place the atoms. If you're wrong, you can try again. But you'd better hurry, because time may run out! Kids can see correct answers by tapping the Auto Build button.
Is it any good?
NOVA ELEMENTS is a great learning tool for kids who want to know about the elements. Building atoms and molecules gets kids engaged in the learning process, which is always a good thing. The information provided about the elements in the periodic table is somewhat basic, but it's interesting enough to encourage kids to keep tapping on the elements to learn more. The fun, easily accessible video chapters from Hunting the Elements make the app a well-rounded addition to any science-related digital-learning library.
Families can talk about...
Watch the video clips with kids and encourage discussion about how different elements are used in everyday life.
Find items around the house, particularly in the kitchen, and challenge kids to identify elements that make up the item.