Our little town of Wantage is quite amazing. Not only that we are 40 min away from Oxford (so much to see and do!), 1,5 hrs from London, but just in our town there is always something happening – if you look around that is. This week we are celebrating literature enjoying a week of books related events. Today Dawid and I went to meet astronomers from Harwell talking about the current space research. Our local museum (20 meters away form our home;)) is a nice hub for kids and grown ups, great community centre, so we love to go there. I do not think I need to tell you just how excited my seven-year-old son was about the meeting and the fact he could touch and investigate a real piece of moon rock! We know personally two people in our area involved in space research so science becomes something very practical for my son.
But I would like to use this opportunity to list great iPad apps we are using to learn a little bit more about it. If you happen to own an iPad do try them out – most of them are free and the impact on kids is just unbelievable! And I bet you will never look up at starts the same way again! In no particular order here it is (you can find some of them for Android devices too):
1. NASA Science: A journey of Discovery – great app updated quite fast, now also with Curiosity photos from Mars.
3. NASA Rocket Science – made me laugh at first as the name reminded me of someone who tends to overuse the term in social media marketing world, but the app itself is great fun. Kids can build their own rocket, choose skills and learn in the meantime.
4. NASA 30 years Shuttlebook – great piece of history of space discoveries!
5. Puzzle Planets by National Geographic Society – great game which helps kids understand how planets come to be.
6. Star Walk – I think it’s a great app for all – I am learning about the stars and constellations every time I open it up. It’s fun for kids because it shows them exactly what starts are up in the sky and where. Worth the money!
8. NASA Viz – visualisations are probably the best way to help kids understand complex, often abstract concepts and for parents – well, you cannot help but wonder how amazing tech can be today!
9. Angry Birds Space HD – I like this game because it works with trends (kids talk about Angry Birds and socialise around the game) but also introduces though gaming basic concepts of space, like for example gravity. This particular one tends to be updated, so you will see kids playing on Mars which gives you a chance to talk about the recent Mars mission too.
10. Angry Birds Star Wars – if you manage to actually let your kids play it you might be able to introduce them to the cult movie too. I personally think it’s good to keep a narrative of a particular area of study so why not let your kids experience a little bit of Star Wars, Star Trek and the like?
Let me know what’s missing from the list! NASA has a great apps collection so I am trying to keep this to the top 10 for now;)