Photo Stuff with Ruffgets children exploring their surroundings, finding out what the objects in their world are made of, and learning STEAM skills, such as those related to materials science. The app is based on The Ruff Ruffman Show from PBS KIDS, which models science inquiry skills. In the app, children choose one of 40 scenes in which they can contribute textures to certain areas of the picture (80 or so texture opportunities in total). After they have chosen a scene, children tap the yellow camera icon wherever it shows up to choose a material property to search for, such as fluffy, sharp, bumpy, squishy, loud, cool, long. Then, using the camera on their device, they take a picture of the chosen texture, property, or material, which then fills in the area in the scene. This action creates a custom scene with textures from children’s own environment, combining Ruff’s cartoon world with the real world. Children can retap the spot to retake the picture if they are unhappy with the initial result. Ruff helps children go through the app with voiced instructions (captions can be turned on or off). The app is available for iOS, Android, and Kindle devices. Cost: Free app
NoRILLA (novel research-based intelligent lifelong learning apparatus) is a mixed-reality system that combines physical and virtual worlds to improve children’s STEAM learning in an enjoyable and collaborative way. Based on scientifically proven research at Carnegie Mellon University, NoRILLA’s specialized AI algorithm tracks what students are doing in the physical environment and provides personalized interactive feedback to children as they experiment and make discoveries in the real world.
Now in its fourth decade, WGBH Boston’s NOVAtelevision series remains committed to in-depth science programming in the form of one-hour documentaries and long-form miniseries—from the latest breakthroughs in technology to the deepest mysteries of the natural world. In addition to the weekly television broadcasts, NOVA extends its award-winning science reporting both online and in classrooms.
The BioBits Project was started by a group of synthetic biology researchers at Northwestern University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Wyss Institute at Harvard University, who wanted to help students learn biology by doing biology. Their aim was to enable students to perform a range of simple, hands-on biological experiments without the need for specialized lab equipment and at a fraction of the cost of current standard experimental designs.