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April 10, 2014 / carlispina

Run Experiments and Learn About STEM With DIY Nano and DIY Sun Science

DIY Sun Science LogoWhether you are teacher, librarian, or parent, if you are interested in STEM education for children, you will want to check out the DIY Nano and DIY Sun Science apps created by The Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkley.

DIY NanoEach of the apps takes a similar format, including activities and media on the topic of the app. The DIY Nano app was created in connection with Nanoscale Informal Science Education (NISE) Network. It includes 15 experiments that exemplify nano science and that can be run by children. Each experiment includes a list of materials, instructions for running the experiment and an explanation of the experiment and how it relates to nano science. It also includes over 40 fully-captioned videos on the topic, many with kids talking about nano science, as well as a link to the What Is Nano? website, which offers additional resources for teachers and kids. The DIY Sun Science app, which was created in connection with NASA, takes a similar approach, including activities as well as videos and images. In addition, it also offers a Sun Observatory, which connects users directly to images of the sun from NASA’s satellite. With the observatory, users can see different wavelengths of light being emitted by the sun. It also offers a a puzzle that lets users see how much they have learned about the sun from the app. Each app offers a nice mix of materials. While the experiments mostly require input from adults, the apps do a nice job of getting kids directly involved in the process of learning about nano science and the sun.

DIY Sun Science Screenshot

DIY Sun Science Screenshot

These free apps could be a great addition to a library STEM program since they offer a variety of different types of activities that could be used at the library or shared with parents. Each of the experiments can be exported as a PDF or shared via email, which makes it easy to use the app even if you only have access to a limited number of iPads. These apps are definitely worth checking out if you have an interest in STEM education and educational experiments for kids.

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