Created by Designmate for iOS, Plantale is an engaging learning app that takes students on a journey of a plant’s life. Using the Plantale app, students can explore a sunflower plant’s life cycle and reproductive cycle in augmented reality (AR). Four options within the app allow students to examine the plant and step through the stages of growth, from planting the seed to reproducing, withering, and dying. Animations, labels, informative text, and interactive elements help students see what happens in a plant, from the outside in, during all of these stages. The app covers internal anatomy and gives students a look at the outside of the plant during every stage, from seed onward. Topics such as room temperature, pH, and amount of water are addressed briefly. Students can also plant their own sunflower in AR and then return to that spot over the next several days to water and fertilize the plant to keep it healthy and watch it grow. Cost: $0.99
In smaller rural schools, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education can face troublesome barriers. In our K–12 district of 730 students, we have many of the common obstacles, including limited funds, no extra faculty, and an already overloaded class schedule. These three join arms to block us from using any of the really cool programs we’d like to. Other institutions sing praises of cutting-edge programs and share their successes. Meanwhile, rural schools are trying to figure out how to educate equally deserving kids in STEM.
In spring 2018, Reaktor, an AI and tech partner in Finland, and University of Helsinki came together with the aim of helping people be empowered, not threatened, by artificial intelligence. Together, they built Elements of AI to teach the basics of artificial intelligence to people from a wide range of backgrounds.