Reach Across the Stars, an augmented reality (AR) app for iOS and Android, by the Smithsonian Institution, introduces students to female luminaries in the fields of astrophysics, chemistry, and more. Through videos, audio interviews, and AR experiences, students learn about Hidden Figures mathematician Katherine Johnson, aviator Bessie Coleman, physicist and chemist Marie Curie, astronauts Mae Jemison and Cady Coleman, and many others. The roster, which is updated regularly, has expanded to include Christina Hernandez, a systems engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who worked on the Perseverance rover that recently blasted off for Mars. (Students can explore the rover and its instruments in AR.) The app presents its roster of scientists as constellations—truly putting these heroes among the stars. Cost: Free
Now with Apple ARKit, Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar can be brought to life in the real world. Through an augmented reality experience, children can watch their own Very Hungry Caterpillar appear in their classroom, on a kitchen table, in a garden, on their playground, or anywhere else they want to play with it.
Fans of Jane Austen can visit her House from the comfort of their home, or wherever they are. They can stroll through the House, now a Museum, on a 360-degreevirtual tour, wander through the gardens with the Museum cat, or take in an online exhibition.
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum provides unique fieldtrip opportunities for teachers and students to engage with the museum’s content online. Among the museum’s offerings are “Earth and Its Place in the Universe” (grades 5–12); “Finding Our Way: Geography and GIS” (grades 6–8)); “Living Through History” (grades 1–8); and “Paper Airplane Design” (grades 3–8).