A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
In SPACE SCIENCE INVESTIGATIONS: PLANT GROWTH, kids begin by finding Naomi, who is an astronaut in the International Space Station. Naomi is the point of contact and gives kids instructions and support for completing tasks. The first task is to get familiar with the ISS by navigating the various labs, modules, and nodes. This is perhaps the greatest challenge of the game since kids navigate under zero gravity by pinching, rotating, and tapping as they float through the station. Fortunately, there is a map to help locate specific areas of the station. When they finish a task, kids report back to Naomi and earn a patch. Tasks involve gathering supplies and dragging them into inventory, viewing video clips about plant growth in space, filling water bags, reading activity books, flying through the lab without touching the walls, and more. The ultimate goal is to successfully grow plants that produce vegetables for a salad. After all, astronauts need to eat!
Is it any good?
This clever app is a wonderful way for kids to explore life aboard the International Space Station and learn the importance of growing food in space. Tasks and rewards keep kids motivated to reach the end goal. Each task is clearly explained in text and audio, and accessing support materials is as easy as tapping a link. It's frustrating at times to navigate through the station under zero gravity while searching for supplies, and a little more help when kids are floating around unsure how to proceed would keep them on track. Also, the audio can be a bit glitchy. Overall, however, Space Science Investigations: Plant Growth offers an excellent combination of space science, life science, and experimental design -- all for free!
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Space Science Investigations: Plant Growth teaches about space exploration. Talk about what scientists hope to accomplish in the future, plans to visit Mars, and the challenges and opportunities related to this kind of space exploration.
Visit the NASA website to learn about the most recent discoveries in space science.
Ask kids what they think life would be like on Mars. Since the environment does not appear to support life, how can people grow food on Mars? What other challenges might there be?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Subjects: Science: ecosystems and the environment, gravity, plants
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: investigation, thinking critically
Self-Direction: achieving goals, set objectives
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: December 5, 2016
- Category: Education
- Topics: Science and Nature
- Size: 195.00 MB
- Publisher: NASA
- Version: 1.1
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later; 2.3 and up Android
- Last updated: April 23, 2021
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.