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
The Kids Ahead program is designed to inspire young people to learn about STEM through innovative interactions in the physical and virtual worlds. The program is part of a larger national initiative led by Southern Methodist University to improve STEM skills in young people.
eCYBERMISSION, an Army Educational Outreach Program, is a free web-based STEM competition for students in grades 6–9. The program is committed to answering the nation’s need for increased national STEM literacy and to expanding STEM education opportunities across the country. eCYBERMISSION is looking for educators, community leaders, parents, and professionals interested in STEM to create teams of students. Complete your teams’ registration by November 21 and your students will receive a freeSTEM Kit. Visit eCYBERMISSION.com to register today.
In October the Intelitek STEM and CTE Education Foundation (ISCEF) kicks off the 2018 Cyber Robotics Coding Competitions (CRCCs) in 14 states and the District of Columbia. The CRCCs are the first-of-its-kind, free-to-participate, online coding and robotics tournament for students in grades 5–9 that enables schools and districts to engage students in STEM learning by using game-based competitions that are both safe and fun.