Our complaints about this app were so insignificant, they were practically…nanoscopic.
Science apps for kids run the gamut from fantastic to absolutely rubbish. The best ones, we’ve found, aren’t necessarily those that are jam-packed with facts and overflowing with information. Rather, they’re the ones that manage to convey the information in a fun and engaging way. We took a look at DIY Nano this week, and were pleased to discover that it’s a readily comprehensible and easy-to-use app that teaches kids about the nano world – the world of the very, very tiny.
Begin with the basics
DIY Nano has a good pedigree – it comes from UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science in partnership with the NISE (Nanoscale Informal Science Education) network. It’s free, and works on iOS devices. It does a great job of introducing nanoscale science, engineering and technology to beginners, with plenty of graphics, simple language and lots of examples.
The experiments are mostly easy to perform at home with basic materials. Each comes with photos, a summary, explicit instructions and an explanation. The same activities can be downloaded from whatisnano.org, a complementary website that offers other great resources for teachers and parents. The app also features a number of short videos (most are under five minutes) that offer easily comprehensible information on the benefits of nanoscale research, knowledge and materials. Applications of nanotechnology are included (like treating certain kinds of diseases and making flat-panel TV displays), giving the material real-life relevance.
Should you download it?
Nanoscale science, technology and engineering weren’t areas we knew a lot about before we picked up this app, but we’ve got a much better idea about them now. We’d recommend downloading this app if your target audience is age eight or up, although some of the experiments could be performed (and understood by) younger children.
|Good Point||Kids with a science bent will probably find this app a bit too simple for them, but it makes a great introduction to nanoscience.|
|Bad Point||We would have liked to see an interactive feature built into the app, in addition to the experiments to be performed at home.|
|Comment & Tip||You can find lots more resources at whatisnano.org, including games, videos and PDFs of science experiments for home of the classroom.|
|Price||Free||Latest Update||April 25, 2012|
|User Age||8 and up||Category||Education|
|Size||14.1MB||OS||iOS 5.0 or later|
All images from iTunes