Review by Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Education | Updated May 2014
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Meet Science: Magnetism and Electricity

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Super-handy classroom resource has lessons, quizzes, videos, and more

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Critical Thinking

Subjects
  • Science
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
4-8
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Pros: Many layers of learning are built in: lessons with animations, follow-up quizzes, an illustrated glossary, sample experiments, and mini-games that help kids apply what they learn.

Cons: The quizzes are a little too brief and would be more useful if they were scored.

Bottom Line: Comprehensive, multi-layered resource is great for teaching kids about magnetism and electricity.

This app would be a fun instructional tool in the classroom. As you teach kids about electricity and magnetism, choose a lesson from the Learn section and have kids read the lesson in pairs. Afterwards, ask how they did with the quiz, and watch the experiment videos as a class. Have kids make predictions about the experiments when prompted by the videos. If possible, gather materials for the experiments so kids can do them in small groups. Use the mini games as a reward or as a practice tool before an exam.

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Meet Science: Magnetism and Electricity is organized into four main areas: Learn, Experiment, Glossary, and Mini Games. In Learn, kids can choose from seven different lessons that cover topics with both text and voice-over. Each page of a lesson includes a cheerful animation that supports learning, a brief quiz to assess learning, and links to the experiment videos that relate to the lesson. In Experiment, kids can directly access the experiments that appear at the end of the lessons. The experiments are fairly simple, but some require materials that kids may not be able to get their hands on. Nonetheless, seeing the concepts from the lessons in action is a good learning experience. In Glossary, kids can tap to read and hear definitions. There's also a section called "Aha," which contains a four-chapter dictionary that connects science with everyday phenomena. In Mini Games, three different games challenge kids to use their knowledge about magnetism and electricity to score big and win. Top scores are tracked and can be displayed with the tap of a finger.

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By reading, watching experiments, and playing games, kids can learn about important topics related to magnetism and electricity. The lessons are packed with great information, and they include on-screen text as well as audio. This is particularly useful for kids who have different learning styles. Some of the lessons are text-heavy, but simple and colorful animations help break up the text and keep kids engaged -- something that traditional textbooks cannot do. Lessons are followed by brief quizzes, which help assess understanding. However, each quiz only has three questions, so you'll need to develop more elaborate quizzes or exams in order to fully assess understanding. The lessons also end with videos of experiments, which reinforce what kids learned in the lessons. With a little planning, most of the experiments could quickly be done in the classroom. An illustrated glossary helps kids build vocabulary related to the lessons and experiments. Kids can play the mini-games to apply what they learned about conductors, circuits, and electromagnets. It can be hard to find games that truly apply science concepts while keeping kids engaged, but these do it quite nicely. 

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Animations, interesting facts, and challenging gameplay are bound to keep kids interested.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

With quizzes, experiments, and mini-games, kids have many opportunities to apply what they learned in the lessons. A cheerfully illustrated glossary helps kids build vocabulary.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Quizzes do not have hints, but they have feedback for incorrect answers. The developer's website has a tutorial video and a news blog.


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