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
ASM Teacher Materials Camp is a weeklong, idea-generating workshop introducing teachers to methods that will make core math and science principles more enticing and relevant to their middle school and high school students. The materials topics are motivators in any engineering, technology, or science course as students complete projects of personal worth to them.
An initiative of Microsoft Philanthropies, TEALS (Technology Education and Literacy in Schools) helps high schools throughout the United States and in British Columbia, Canada, build and grow sustainable computer science programs. TEALS pairs trained computer science professionals from across the technology industry with classroom teachers to team-teach computer science.