I wasn’t a good science student at school. Having decided early on that I wasn’t any good, then encountered a few not-so-inspiring teachers, much of what I learned travelled in one ear, and straight out of the other.
Atoms, then. Little ball things orbiting one another… somehow. Right? Er… As you can tell, I’m a prime candidate for refreshing my knowledge of the subject through the medium of children’s non-fiction. Step up, Atoms by Kids Discover.
This time round, it’s all about the atoms. “Explore the smallest particles known to man, with detailed explanations of protons, electrons, and neutrons, the periodic table, and animations explaining the difference between fission and fusion,” as the App Store listing puts it.
Does this sound complicated? The publishers say that the app is aimed at ‘Upper Elementary and Middle School’ reading age in the US, which by our reckoning *quickly searches Wikipedia* is 10-14 ish.
As usual with this series, the content is a mixture of text, photos, videos, interactive 3D models, animations, quizzes and puzzles. In our experience, the Kids Discover apps are neatly presented and very accessible in their writing style, too.
Expect sections including parts of an atom, major discoveries, elements, the periodic table, fission and fusion, a look at the pros and cons of nuclear energy, and “A Lazer World”, which I sincerely hope looks basically like a Daft Punk video crossed with Doctor Who.
(Don’t be disappointed if it isn’t, obviously…)
Atoms by Kids Discover is a free download for iPad from Apple’s App Store. Yes, I was surprised at the free aspect, as normally the apps are charged for. Perhaps it’s an intro offer, or simply a way into the wider series.