Problem-Solving App Introducing Simple Machines and Mechanical Motion
Crazy Gears from Edoki Academy gets children to think critically and explore physics and other STEM topics. This puzzle-like app for iOS asks students to construct gears to find a way to “pull themselves to the next level.” Students figure it out on their own as they drag and drop various items into place, experimenting to discover different ways to connect a ball and chain so the next level gets “pulled” across the screen. Through 61 levels, the number of tools and gadgets increases, including wheels, gears, rods, pulleys, weights, racks, and hooks. Students are introduced to STEM skills that connect to tasks across disciplines. Teachers can create multiple user accounts so that individual students can play and not lose their progress. A guide for teachers offers definitions of the physics concepts and background information related to the tasks. Cost: $2.99
For nearly two decades, students from around the world have participated in Microsoft’s global technology competition, the Imagine Cup, to bring their unique tech solutions to life. However, the Imagine Cup is more than just a competition; it’s a chance for students to work with friends, network with professionals, gain new skills, and meet other youth who want to make a difference in the world.
The Noetic Learning Math Contest is a semiannual problem-solving competition for elementary and middle school students. The goal of the competition is to encourage students’ interest in math, to develop their problem-solving skills, and to inspire students to excel in math.
Scientist for a Day challenges students in grades 5–12 to think like NASA scientists. Students examine real spacecraft images of Uranus’s moon Miranda, Neptune’s moon Triton, and Pluto’s moon Charon. First they choose the destination they think would be the best place to return to with another spacecraft in order to learn more about these amazing worlds. Then they support their choice in an essay of no more than 500 words.