PlayScience – Review – Learning and teaching science can be lots of fun
App Type: Uncategorized
Version #: 1.0
Date Released: 2011-11-23
Price: 1.99User Rating:
Learning doesn’t have to be boring, and teaching kids doesn’t have to be exhausting, either. With the variety of tools at our disposal in this age of rapidly evolving technology, we can easily make learning and teaching a fun pair. Especially when equipped with an iPhone, learners and teachers alike can work in “magical” ways to make their respective tasks less boring and less exhausting.
A good example of how the iPhone can significantly contribute to the sphere of pedagogy is PlayScience. It’s an iPhone app that, as its name suggests, combines scientific concepts with playful activities. It smartly takes advantage of the device’s external hardware-dependent interface mechanisms in presenting a number of basic scientific ideas through different interactive twists.
PlayScience is geared primarily toward teaching preschoolers, so the scientific principles included in the app are just basic ones. Included are basic principles categorized into five major scientific concepts, namely, temperature, sound, inertia and gravity, light, and electricity. True to the app’s name, each category comprises introductions to physical laws that entail some sort of fun activity involving the iPhone itself to help kids better understand how the physical world works. And, of course, the app uses colorful cartoon art all throughout to further entice young learners. Every page in the app is also accompanied by a short explanation of the principle on hand read aloud by a soft female voice. It’s far from being obstructive–it’s instructive, in fact–but this read-to-me feature can be turned off if so desired.
Let’s take one example from each of the five categories to illustrate the all-important fun factor of PlayScience. Under Temperature, a chubby king is feeling quite chilly. Beside him is a thermometer, which indicates that his body temperature is well below normal. Kids are then tasked to rub their fingers against the king to make him warm and restore his normal body temperature. Under Sound, kids can learn about sound intensity by singing softly into the iPhone’s built-in microphone to lull a baby to sleep, all the while avoiding making loud noises so as not to wake the baby. Under Inertia and Gravity, the slightly more advanced concept of inertia is introduced through the alternate tapping of the acceleration and brake pedals of a bus, wherein the passengers accordingly jerk forward and backward. Within the Light category, secondary colors are created when any two of the three primary colors are activated by tapping on them. And finally, for Electricity, kids are instructed to tilt the device sideways in order to make waves for the generation of tidal power.
The Temperature category consists of five pages of principles and their corresponding mini-activities, while each of the other categories includes four. This seems an odd distribution, but if you combine one of the pages under Temperature that is actually about the chubby king feeling hot with that about him feeling cold, then the distribution across all categories becomes even. The prospect of adding more concepts with furture app updates is not to be ruled out, so at a couple of bucks, PlayScience is a nice investment that counts toward turning science from mere study to engaging play.
Would I Buy Again:Yes
Who Is It For:Preschoolers and their parents and teachers
What I Like:Fun mini-activities using the iPhone's interface functions to faciliate learning
What I Don't Like:Only five principles included in each of the five categories
Final Statement:PlayScience makes learning and teaching elementary science fun for both preschoolers and their mentors.
? Playscience using various interface functions of iPhone is a self-directed science study application to help preschoolers learn science easier.
- This application is designed to easily and cheerfully teach scientific principles by using iPhone’s various functions such as touch, wind, tilt and voice recognition.
- Learn 21 science principles with five categories of temperature, sound, gravity/inertia, light and electricity.
- Easier descriptions, voice actor’s clear recording, cute and pretty pictures will help preschoolers to understand scientific principles easier.
? Experience scientific principles with Playscience
1) Concept of Temperature Category
: Kids can experience various situations related to temperature in our daily life such as the boiling point, melting point and freezing point of water, oil and the relations between body and temperature so that they can learn about temperature easily.
2) Themes of Temperature Category
? Water and Oil
? The King is Cold
? The King is Hot
1) Concept of Sound Category
: Kids can easily learn how to deliver sound, level of sound(DB), reflection of sound and concept of frequency through a parrot repeating words, singing a baby to sleep and
2) Themes of Sound Category
1) Concept of Gravity/Inertia Category
: Kids can easily understand the concepts of gravity and inertia through driving a bus, taking out a grain of pepper from a pepperpot and Pierrot jumping on the trampoline.
2) Themes of Gravity/Inertia Category
? Gravity of The Earth
1) Concept of Light Category
: Kids can learn about concepts of light through making various colors with the three primary colors, shadow quiz and making lightning.
2) Themes of Light Category
? Three Primary Colors
? Sun, Moon and Earth
? Shadow Quiz
1) Concept of Electricity Category
: Kids can learn about the entire process related to electricity from the generation to consumption. When they learn about how to generate electricity in the wind power plant, tidal power plant and water power plant, kids would have time to consume the electricity they made.
2) Themes of Electricity Category
? Wind Power Plant
? Tidal Power Plant
? Water Power Plant
? Home Appliances Use
? With Playscience, science can be play not study.
Article By Andi
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