One of the complaints I frequently hear from teachers is that there just aren’t very many good high school level science instruction apps out there. And from what I’ve seen, they’re right. There are plenty of science tool apps…like interactive periodic tables, reference apps, even simulations where an already-capable user can manipulate switches and levers to observe changes onscreen in waves and molecules and the like. But I have seen almost no excellent science instructional apps for higher level science.
I’m pretty excited to share with you a new app called the Super Ultimate Graphing Challenge put out by a new edtech startup called The Universe and More. The Universe and More team is a couple of young, enthusiastic guys, both of whom have Physics degrees. One, Matthew Blackman, is a high school Physics teacher, the other, Jordan Ledvina, is studying at the MIT Sloan School. Together they are coming close to pulling off what was seemingly impossible….a physics app that teaches kids the concepts of physics and is fun.
I reviewed the Super Ultimate Graphing Challenge app about a month ago. It has so many things I like…it is mastery-based, it gives clear feedback to the learner, the graphics are nice and clean and it’s easy to see what’s going on. And I, a self-confessed Physics-o-phobe (yes, I took that class in college where the professor threw a ball to demonstrate an arc!), could not only use the app successfully, but because the difficulty increased gradually, I found myself becoming more competent as I went along. I had a couple of suggestions for the guys…I asked that more information be provided about the learning objectives and I suggested that the program include some remediation for learners who make repeated errors with the problems. I’m hoping some of those changes will be made in a later release.
The guys at The Universe and More are just getting started on this journey, so the Super Ultimate Graphing Challenge is only available online right now…but it is FREE for all to use as of this writing. Their goal is to make this game into an app, so your kids will be able to run it on devices sometime soon.
Also, I hear they are raising money, so if you know an edtech investor who is looking for an opportunity that is sure to make a big bang (pun, intended!), send them to Matthew and Jordan!
Do you have other high school science apps with real instruction that you can recommend? Please share!