best stem apps for kids

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Best Apps to develop your Kids’ STEM skills over the holidays

We’ve put together ten of the best apps designed to develop your kids’ ‘Science Capital’, a now-popular term used to conceptually measure an individual’s exposure to and knowledge of science. Social and cultural experiences greatly affect young peoples’ aspirations and involvement in STEM. Nurturing kids’ interest in science is so important and that’s where, as parents and educators, we have a huge part to play.

If your kids participated in a Fire Tech camp this December, these apps will enable them to continue their camp learning. Or, your family might be travelling during the festive holiday? If so, with these STEM-orientated apps they can usefully while away the time. As well as being designed for individual engagement, many of the apps we have listed offer great all-round family entertainment as well.

FingerCAD HD: £8.99

A student and professional app for budding Engineers, this app is suitable for teenagers, enabling them to create structures and environments with a first-person walk-through tool. By building or adding mechanical components the designs can be very detailed. There’s also freehand drawing as well as image and colour palettes.

Frog Dissection: £3.99

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Winning numerous education prizes, this app offers an ethically-friendly means of exploring the inner workings of a frog. With additional ‘wet lab’ information, the experience is surprisingly authentic. Frog Dissection is hugely engaging and educational for 11+ or younger ages with an adult.

Stephen Hawking’s Pocketsize Universe: £2.99

Six mind-bending discoveries all about the universe – Space Time, Black Holes, Big Bang, Expanding Universe, Elementary Particles and Light & Waves, are all explained in detail. There’s a tool to map one’s personal progress. Encouraging your people to work through the app over a period of time. This is no one-hit wonder!

TextCode Viewer: FREE

A source code reader that is Github integrated, TextCode Viewer is great for writing programs in Python and C++ when you’re on the hop. It has a previewing facility that will allow kids to copy, paste and hack code.

Wuzzit Trouble: £1.55

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A family-based game focused on fun whilst developing confidence in mathematical concepts. Kids can exercise their 21st century problem-solving and critical thinking skills. A great app for treating mathematics as a sociable and discursive activity.

Tappity: FREE

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Tappity is focused around the topics of Space, Life, Earth and Physical Science and is designed to link to the curriculum. Participants can interact with a real science expert, Haley. 100% interactive, the app can be played offline as well – really useful if travelling.

NASA Visualization Explorer: FREE

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Linked to NASA, the compilation of cutting-edge research stories in an engaging and exciting format. The app follows their fleet of research spacecraft and uploaded with news updates every week.

HudsonAlpha iCell: FREE

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iCell gives biology enthusiasts a 3D view inside three types of cells: animal, plant, and bacteria. Learn about various careers: biologists, biochemists, and DNA researchers and biotechnology. Explore the tiny cellular structures, Organelles, that perform specific functions within a cell.

Rugged Rovers, FREE

Developed to coincide with the ‘ENGINEER YOUR FUTURE’ exhibition at the Science Museum, London, this app can be played anywhere. Design and test an all-terrain space rover on a Mars-inspired terrain. Race against others and improve your score. Go as far as you can and try to be the top rover!

iBiome Wetland, £2.99

This award-winning educational game on biodiversity is very poignant both in terms of the recent level of rain as well as a focus on protecting nature. Focusing on wetland habitat participants can learn from Professor Bio about the species whilst building marshes and swamps. Kids are challenged to make plants and animals flourish by learning and following laws of nature.