Brainpop is one of five useful science apps and features an interactive educational video featuring different science topics with a library of over 750+ educational videos. The app covers lessons in maths, engineering, technology and health. It’s designed for ages 9 – 11 and the concepts are simplified for any non-expert audience to understand making it applicable to adults looking to grasp basic science concepts. There’s also junior version designed for kids between ages 6 -8.
It’s easy to navigate and the interactive quiz at the end of the movie helps test your knowledge making it a useful learning tool. It’s available on android and iOS and like many of the apps, has a free version with limited videos and a subscription option giving you full access to the educational library.
Although shortlisted as one of my favourite most useful science apps, it has other subjects including music and art.
Who wouldn’t want to know what their brain is thinking and how it does it. If you’re fascinated about how the brain works, then you’ll love this one coming in as number two of my useful science apps list.
You can interact with a selected part of the brain by zooming and rotating your region of interest for more details. The regions come with information on function, associated disorders case studies and reference to current research. Handy for any medical/ research students and anyone with an interest in the brain.
The resolution is clear and the regions are clearly labelled and colour coded making it easy to use and navigate.
If you’re curious about the universe and the night sky then this one is for you. Think of that bright star leading the wise men to the Christ and how technology today would have guided them? Basically, with the sky view app, simply point your phone to the sky and it identifies the galaxies, stars, constellations, planets, and satellites in the sky at your location. Would make for an interesting date night on the beach or a stroll on the street.
Sky view was voted best app on iTunes in 2011 and 2012 and best android app in 2014; if there was a category for useful science apps I am sure it would have won this too. Even if you’re not a fan of astronomy this will interest you. Go on, you know you want to try it.
Chemist – Virtual Chem Lab
Navigate Dexter’ laboratory at your fingertips. If you like to blow things up but health and safety in the lab wouldn’t allow you, then here’s your alternative. Play around with chemical reactions in the virtual lab while learning at the same time. The app could do with a few tweaks here and there to optimise the user experience and the library of chemicals expanded but overall not bad.
Surgeon simulator (iOS) / Touch Surgeory (Android)
Had to save the best for last. It is crazy fun yet educative. Choose a surgery from transplants to open heart and you’re guided as to what to do although you have to make key decision yourself which determines how your patient will end up, i.e. dead or alive. With a multi-player mode, this app will make for a good family game/ competition among friends. Who will be crowned winner?
Beware though, you may think twice before signing off consent for that surgeon to cut you open. It’s fun, exploratory and the patient is in your hands. Not sure how real surgeons feel about this app. Bet it makes them cringe. Still, I love it.
If in doubt, check out the videos on you-tube of players gone mad. You’ll surely be entertained.