Teachers might use solAR - Explore Planets in AR as a starting place to introduce the study of different planets in the solar system. With the AR feature, you can almost literally bring planets into your classroom, and this is a fun way for students to interact with astronomy. Encourage them to take screenshots of each other while interacting with the planets.
The app includes a few basic facts, making it easy to compare the planets with one another, but you'll need to provide significant depth and contextual learning on your own. This app is a useful visual for including in a larger lesson that would be found elsewhere.Continue reading Show less
SolAR - Explore Planets in AR is an app where students can explore the solar system and the planets and moons contained therein. Students can choose a planet, study its surface, zoom in and out, rotate it, or pause its rotation. They can also read short planetary descriptions that include some very basic facts. The planets are shown with a good amount of surface detail and color. The AR feature allows students to "place" the planet in their environment and interact with it. Devices without AR can still enjoy the regular 3D viewing. The planet options available are Mercury, Venus, Earth/Moon, and Mars in the free version, with Jupiter and its moons, Saturn and its moons, Uranus and its moons, Neptune and Triton, Pluto and Charon, the Solar System, the Sun/Earth/Moon relationship, the Inner Solar System, and the Outer Solar System unlocked with the in-app purchase.
Creative teachers will be able to integrate solAR - Explore Planets in AR into lessons on astronomy, and its visual aspect can help students learn to recognize planets. It makes an effort at authenticity, but it's light on features and entirely lacking in any kind of support or lesson materials. Hopefully this will spark curiosity in students and questions for discussion.
Students who spend time with the app will learn some basic planetary facts and become familiar with what the planets look like, but most learning will have to come from teachers and students finding new ways to be creative with the app.
Key Standards Supported
Earth’s Place in the Universe
Use observations of the sun, moon, and stars to describe patterns that can be predicted.
Develop and use a model of the Earth-sun-moon system to describe the cyclic patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the sun and moon, and seasons.
Develop and use a model to describe the role of gravity in the motions within galaxies and the solar system.
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