Space Science Investigations: Plant Growth

App review by
Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Media
Space Science Investigations: Plant Growth App Poster Image
Immersive astronaut sim combines space and life science.

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Kids say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about space travel and growing plants under microgravity conditions. Although moving through the space station in "zero-g" is initially difficult, it's a great experience for kids and helps them understand one of the many challenges astronauts face. With video clips, educator guides, and lesson plans, kids can learn about zero gravity, plant growth, lunar travel, and conducting experiments as they manipulate variables.

Ease of Play

It takes a bit of time to master the navigation controls, and more help when kids get stuck would ease possible frustration.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Space Science Investigations: Plant Growth is a simulation game that takes kids on a virtual exploration of the International Space Station (ISS). NASA developed the app, so it's education-based and 100 percent free. The realistic, detailed graphics and the controls for maneuvering in zero gravity fully immerse kids in the experience of living like an astronaut. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

User Reviews

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Kid, 10 years old February 11, 2018


Very fun but didn't take very long.Wish there was more.

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?

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love space and STEM apps

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