Sid's Science Fair
By PBS KIDS
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*Editor's Choice Award Winner from Children's Technology Review*
Sid’s Science Fair engages players (ages 3 to 6) in experiential learning with core science and math concepts from classification and identifying patterns to charting and sequencing. Emcee’d by Sid, from the hit series SID THE SCIENCE KID, the app presents three absolutely addictive Science Fair games specially crafted for your curious early learner(s):
GABRIELA’S “COLLECTION INSPECTION”
Use your interactive magnifying glass to discover fascinating patterns among a wide variety of objects, from butterflies and buttons to keys and coins. Gabriela has fourteen different collections to inspect—and different patterns every time—so this game offers many hours of repeat play!
MAY’S “CHART IT!”
Think statistics are boring? No, no, no. Not with May and her awesome “Chart It!” game. Players organize her miniature stuffed animals, balloon creatures, origami, silly faces, and other cool stuff on a chart by observing shared traits. These traits can include color, shape, orientation, and more. May has seven different collections, each of which has ten items and three charts.
GERALD’S “TIME MACHINE”
Get ready to travel through time! Or, rather, to make Gerald’s amazing pictures travel through time… First, choose from among his fourteen picture collections. Then order the pictures into a sequence, such as a snowman melting, candles burning down, a flower growing, or an apple being eaten. Once your sequence is in order (forwards or backwards in time both work!), you can swipe back and forth or tilt your device left or right to watch the time machine in action. But beware! Time machines can have unexpected results…
ABOUT THE APP
Sid’s Science Fair from PBS KIDS was developed by Carstens Studios in partnership with PBS and the Jim Henson Company, the producers of the groundbreaking TV series SID THE SCIENCE KID. The series, which airs weekdays on PBS KIDS, uses comedy to promote exploration, discovery and science readiness among early learners. Find all things Sid, including videos, songs, games, and activities, at http://pbskids.org/sid.
Beyond science facts...
Excellent! This is the first app I have seen that encourages curious preschool kids to think like scientists. They can explore details of common objects (leaves, pasta, toys…), categorize and count things with a chart that they build themselves, and observe visually interesting changes (plants grow, volcanoes erupt, ice melts…) or laugh at them in reverse using the “time machine” (plant shrinks back into a seed). All three games pose challenges and provide feedback for correct answers (arrange photos in proper sequence to show ice melting), while also letting kids play at their own pace, and explore in their own way. The games could go further in their support of scientific thinking, for example, by guiding players to identify which chart category has "more" or "less", or to think about which changes are reversible and which are not in real life. Kids do learn some scientific terms like “compare and contrast data” but most of the value of this app is in the way that it lets them play the role of a scientist who wonders about the world and makes new discoveries. Many of the activities involve common objects that parents could find around the house to extend the activities off-screen.
Keeps kicking me out!
I play all games before I let my 3yr old daughter play, and this one keeps kicking me out when I go to the collection inspection game. I can't even get into the game to try it. I have tried to redownlad it to the iPod itself, and from iTunes, and am still having the problem. I figure this would be something they could fix in an update. The rest of the game seems really good for learing, and challanging my child, if they could only fix this problem i would so give it 5 stars! I just don't know if I can tell my kid to just not go to that game...
Full Discloser: I bought this because I know the developer and wanted to support him. I didn't expect two first graders to really enjoy it being at the upper age limit of the game. My daughter 6yr just loves it. Maybe because it's an app she doesn't have to have to ask for help with. It was well worth the $3 I spent for the time and enjoyment the kids have had; not to mention the educational value. She still is playing with it daily.