Apps · Kids' Tech · Technology

Favorite STEM Apps

As I mentioned previously, I recently did a STEM drop-in program for families. We featured four apps in the program and provided a bibliography with additional apps for families to look at on their own. Here I’ll talk some more about these awesome STEM apps!

These are the four apps we featured in our program:

TynkerTynker by Tynker ($4.99 in iTunes for the full app)
First grade and up

This app teaches kids beginner coding skills. Kids build simple programs by arranging code blocks in the correct order. There are several different themes (outer space, dinosaurs), each with levels that become progressively more difficult. This is a fun app that I actually enjoyed playing with as an adult!

Here kids have to program the astronaut to get to the tablet without running into the obstacles in his way.
Here kids have to program the astronaut to get to the tablet without running into the obstacles in his way. You can see the program that’s running in the upper left corner.

Grandma's Kitchen appGrandma’s Kitchen by Fairlady Media ($1.99 in iTunes)
Grades K-2

This app is really a hodgepodge of early learning skills, but we included it as a STEM app because there is a large math component. It covers simple fractions, counting, telling time, patterns, and more. A kindly (and rather stereotypical, really) grandma leads kids through each simple activity.

One of the fraction activities in Grandma's Kitchen.
One of the fraction activities in Grandma’s Kitchen.

Operation MathOperation Math by Spinlight Studio ($2.99 iTunes and Google Play)
Second grade and up

This has long been a favorite math app of mine. Kids work on addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, in levels that get progressively harder. But the cool part is the special agent theme. Kids race a clock to move the agent on to his next next mission.

Operation Math Operation Math

Cat PhysicsCat Physics by Donut Games ($1.99 in iTunes, free for Android)
Second grade and up

This is a deceptively simple app featuring two cats. All you have to do is get a ball from one cat to the other. It gets tricky because there are obstacles in the ball’s path, so you have to figure out how to get the ball to move in the way you want it to. For example, if there’s a hill, you position an up arrow in the ball’s path to get it to jump over the hill. Figuring out how to get the ball to do what you want becomes more difficult as you move up the levels–I enjoyed playing this and forced myself to quit when I got stuck on a level (must. put. down. iPad.).

Cat PhysicsCat PhysicsI also created a short list of other STEM apps I like, that families could explore after the program. If you’d like to see the list, here you go! STEM apps for grades 1-5

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