Despite its limitations, Rough Science could be a nice way to introduce kids to the topics covered in the videos. Have kids take notes while watching the video that ties into your lesson, and encourage them to write down key vocabulary terms with definitions. Kids won't be able to pause the video, so they'll likely need to watch it more than once. Discuss the content from the video as a class, and then have kids complete the follow-up activity with their groups. If you use the app as an introduction, it could be fun to revisit the video and activity after you have finished teaching the lesson. Kids will likely have a different perspective once they have learned the content through classroom instruction.Continue reading Show less
Rough Science teaches kids about three different, yet very specific, science topics. The developers state that the content covers Australian curriculum for Years 5 and 6, which translates to ages 10 to 12. Any middle school student would likely understand the content and be able to complete the activities. Kids learn a little bit about Earth science, physical science, and life science. For Earth science, kids watch a video about Earth's layers. Then they complete an activity by drawing pictures of the layers, taking photographs of their drawings, and dragging labels to show the layers. For physical science, kids watch a video about the three main states of matter. In the follow-up activity, kids take photographs that they find around their house or school showing water as a solid, liquid, and gas. For life science, kids watch a video about evolution and adaptations. The follow-up activity requires kids to research a real-world example of evolution by natural selection and enter their notes in a digital notebook.
Kids can learn about specific topics related to Earth, physical, and life sciences by watching videos and completing short activities. The videos are enjoyable to watch and do a good job explaining the concepts. The narrator uses fun props to demonstrate the concepts, which can help visual learners. Unfortunately, it's not possible to pause or rewind the videos, making it difficult for kids to take notes or stop to reflect on the lesson. In addition, the post-video activities lack depth, interactivity, and progression. However, they can be used as a springboard or warm-up for other in-class activities. And the Rough Science Teacher Handbook (available as a separate download) offers fun ideas for ways to extend the learning. But if you're looking for an app with strong learning potential and a lot of interactivity, you may be disappointed.
Key Standards Supported
Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6–8 texts and topics.
Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
Key Standards Supported
Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals’ probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.
Matter and Its Interactions
Develop a model that predicts and describes changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of a pure substance when thermal energy is added or removed.