I was given a download of the newest PBS Kids iPad app called Sid the Science Kid’s Science Fair app. Eva and I played with this app for a while and she was very taken with it. She’s been after me almost every day since to ask me to play the app. And it is a pretty fun app too. Basically the App has three mini games to it: Gabriela’s “Collection Inspection”, May’s “Chart It!” and Gerald’s “Time Machine”. These games help to teach kids some great scientific and math related skills.
With Gabriela’s “Collection Inspection” game kids look through a bunch of collections that Gabriella has. Kids use a magnifying glass to match a small part of the collection. Kids use their powers of observation to see what is in the collection and then find specific the specific part that matches. Being able to see things in a more abstract way is a great skill to learn. This lets the child look more thoroughly at the things around them and find something that isn’t always obvious.
Gabriela’s “Collection Inspection” Mini game – Screenshot from my iPad
The second of the mini games is May’s “Chart It!”. This mini game lets kids sort through a collection of items that have some similarities and some differences. They click and drag items into squares on a chart. The match color, shape and other distinguishing factors. Kids see how items can be grouped together based on their attributes. There are a couple of ways that each collection can be charted, too.
May’s “Chart It!” Mini game – Screenshot from my iPad
The third minigame is Gerald’s “Time Machine” and this one Eva had more trouble with and I found to be the weakest and least fun game of the bunch. You have to move a series of 5 pictures into the order from first to last, so for instance from a seed growing into a plant or a rocket ship taking off. Kids put the photos on the timeline in order and then the pictures dance. On the next page the pictures then go in order in a mini animation to show things like decay, blast off and more. This game was sort of boring and it was one that Eva had more trouble with which means that she’s got to work on the order of things more. I would have liked to have seen more from this minigame.
Gerald’s “Time Machine” Mini game – Screenshot from my iPad
My overall impression of the app was that it is a good app, a bit simplistic though, I would have liked to have seen a few more games introducing other concepts. Eva played through and will play through again and probably not get bored but I was hoping for a little bit more. Where was Sid’s science project, Sid simply interviews the other classmates about their projects. I’d rather see him with a project too. Maybe in future updates there will be more minigames added. The ones that are there already have some good concepts to teach kids and I am happy about that. I guess I just wanted to see a little more.
Here is the official Press Release on the App.
PBS AND THE JIM HENSON COMPANY LAUNCH NEW SCIENCE-FOCUSED APP
Based on the hit series SID THE SCIENCE KID, Sid’s Science Fair App for iPhone & iPod touch supports PBS KIDS’ curricular focus on STEM – science, technology, engineering and math
ARLINGTON, VA, September 19, 2011 – PBS KIDS today announced the newest addition to its successful suite of educational apps for iPhone and iPod touch, Sid’s Science Fair, which is available now on the App Store. The app, based on the animated preschool series SID THE SCIENCE KID from The Jim Henson Company, encourages children ages 3 to 6 to explore and experience science. Sid’s Science Fair supports PBS KIDS’ curricular focus on STEM – science, technology, engineering and math.
“Today, children are entering kindergarten unprepared to succeed in science and with negative views of the subject, so PBS KIDS is on a mission to inspire a passion for science in kids while they are young, through STEM-focused content on-air, online, and now on mobile devices,” said Lesli Rotenberg, Senior Vice President, Children’s Media, PBS. “We’re excited about the Sid’s Science Fair App because it helps build core science and math skills – and fosters kids’ excitement in understanding the world around them.”
The Sid’s Science Fair App includes three mini-games that build science and math skills:
Gabriela’s “Collection Inspection”: Choosing from several different exploration environments, children discover patterns in natural objects using an interactive magnifying glass.
May’s “Chart It!”: Children use charts to explore a set of objects and then organize ten objects on a chart according to a shared trait, such as color, shape and orientation.
Gerald’s “Time Machine”: Children explore how different objects – from food to plants – change over time. They first order the events in sequence, and then the events form into a timeline that players can move forward and backward in time to see the transformation.
“We know that touch screen devices are intuitive for young children, so we’re excited to extend SID THE SCIENCE KID onto this platform – enabling kids to engage with the series beyond television and computers,” said Jason Seiken, Senior Vice President, Interactive, Product Development, and Innovation, PBS. “Our PBS KIDS apps for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch have performed extremely well so far; the PBS KIDS Video for iPad App streamed over 60 million videos in August.1 We expect Sid’s Science Fair to build on this success.”
Images of the SID’S SCIENCE FAIR App can be found on PBS PressRoom.
To learn about all PBS KIDS apps, visit PBSKIDS.org/mobile.
SID’S SCIENCE FAIR joins PBS KIDS’ STEM-focused line-up of content for kids, including series like SID THE SCIENCE KID, THE CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT! and CURIOUS GEORGE, as well as mobile apps like DINOSAUR TRAIN EGGSPRESS. PBS KIDS is increasingly serving kids where they live, learn and play – helping to make anytime a learning time on mobile devices, on-air, online and beyond.
About SID THE SCIENCE KID
Each episode of The Jim Henson Company’s SID THE SCIENCE KID focuses on a single scientific concept that is presented using Preschool Pathways to Science (PrePS©), a practical science readiness curriculum used in preschool classrooms that was created by cognitive researchers and preschool educators, incorporating lessons learned from developmental research as well as classroom experience.
The award-winning SID THE SCIENCE KID website (at PBSKIDS.org/sid) inspires kids to think like a scientist, with a kid-friendly video player, songs, games, activities, and materials. Accompanying lesson plans and at-home investigations can be found online at PBSTEACHERS.org and PBSPARENTS.org.
About The Jim Henson Company
The Jim Henson Company has remained an established leader in family entertainment for over 50 years and is recognized worldwide as an innovator in puppetry, animatronics and digital animation. Best known as creators of the world famous Muppets, Henson has received over 50 Emmy Awards and nine Grammy Awards. Recent credits include the Emmy® nominated SID THE SCIENCE KID, DINOSAUR TRAIN, WILSON & DITCH: DIGGING AMERICA and “Pajanimals.” Features include “The Dark Crystal,” “Labyrinth,” “MirrorMask,” and “Unstable Fables” and television productions include “Fraggle Rock” and the sci-fi cult series “Farscape.” www.henson.com.
About PBS KIDS
PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for children, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community-based programs. For information on specific PBS KIDS programs supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit PBS.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.
Disclosure: I know I mentioned it above but I got a free download of the app. the opinions about it are 100% mine.
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