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Awesome Earth Science Apps, Websites, and Games

The best Earth science lessons help kids build a greater understanding of the world around them. The subject gives students opportunities for inquiry into the complex workings of our planet and the natural phenomena that affect us on a daily basis. Students gain insight into the issues we face as a community, including natural disasters, climate change, fuel scarcity, and environmental pollution. Encompassing a wide range of terrestrial topics that include geology, meteorology, astronomy, and oceanography, here's a list of digital tools to support your Earth science lessons.

A Changing Planet

The Earth by Tinybop

Explore challenging concepts with beautiful, interactive free play

Bottom Line: When used in conjunction with the handbook, this interactive model is a good way to help teach kids about Earth.

Grades: K–2
Price:
Paid

Mystery Science

Big questions, kids' curiosity drive impressive science curriculum

Bottom Line: Powerful, quirky science units encourage inquiry and experimentation, inspiring students to ask and answer big questions.

Grades: K–5
Price:
Free to try

Earthquakes for Kids

Fact-heavy site could shake things up with more kid-friendly design

Bottom Line: Lots of great earthquake facts and data to be found, but most of it needs to be filtered through an adult.

Grades: 1–6
Price:
Free

Gizmos

Vast array of impressive, interactive science and math simulations

Bottom Line: This powerful and extensive set of math and science tools puts the learning in students' hands.

Grades: 3–12
Price:
Free to try

WWF Free Rivers

Gorgeous ecology AR model is simple but compelling

Bottom Line: The free price tag makes this app a no-brainer for including in any lesson on water resources, though teachers will still need to provide context.

Grades: 3–12
Price:
Free

Puzzling Plates

Piece together Earth's plates with fun science activities

Bottom Line: This great Earth science tool gives kids an opportunity to interactively explore concepts related to plate tectonics.

Grades: 4–8
Price:
Paid

Esri GeoInquiries

Captivating, focused map activities support larger curricular lessons

Bottom Line: These inquiry-based activities are a valuable visual and investigative resource for teachers and students in many different subjects.

Grades: 4–12
Price:
Free

Inq-ITS

Virtual labs epitomize the NGSS Science and Engineering Practices

Bottom Line: Earth, life, and physical science simulations coach kids through the NGSS Practices.

Grades: 5–10
Price:
Free to try, Paid

Focus on Earthquakes

Content-rich resource digs deep into the causes and consequences of earthquakes

Bottom Line: This content-rich Earth science resource uses a range of formats to engage kids and to support diverse learning styles.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Paid

High-Adventure Science

Highly relevant site teaches how to construct arguments, defend claims

Bottom Line: Provides a crucial and timely earth science backdrop to lessons on analysis, data, and modeling that are important for all students to grasp.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free

Stop Disasters!

Slick sim explores global natural disasters

Bottom Line: Few other browser-based sims better illustrate the potential of gaming for learning about serious issues in our world.

Grades: 7–12
Price:
Free

Earth's History

National Geographic Education

Top geography resource site provides global exploration opportunities

Bottom Line: This is a must-bookmark site for classrooms across the curriculum hunting for inspiring place-based resources.

Grades: Pre-K–12
Price:
Free

NOVA

Compelling science videos have high-quality classroom applications

Bottom Line: Unparalleled science documentaries offer a window into real-world scientific topics in a high-interest way.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free

CK-12

Super STEM, social studies resource with highly customizable content

Bottom Line: Making content accessible to kids with different learning styles, CK-12 could be the key to mastery for some students.

Grades: K–12
Price:
Free

NASA

Visually super NASA-backed treasure trove may overwhelm

Bottom Line: A visually stunning way to get kids interested in science and space exploration.

Grades: 2–12
Price:
Free

EarthViewer

Earth's deep geologic history and real science data at your fingertips

Bottom Line: An unbeatable Earth Science app for its data, scope, and potential for learning.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free

OER Project

Expansive world history courses powered by great open-source materials

Bottom Line: A stellar program for exploring foundational concepts in history, humanities, critical thinking, and science with tons of support for teachers.

Grades: 9–12
Price:
Free

Focus on Climate

MarcoPolo Weather

Adorable sandbox tool lets kids safely explore, experiment, observe

Bottom Line: A fun, cheerful way for kids to explore weather while appropriately touching on more serious issues like safety.

Grades: Pre-K–2
Price:
Paid

Climate Kids

Kid-friendly, expert site explores key climate issues

Bottom Line: A great launching point for engaging in accurate and timely climate change information.

Grades: 3–6
Price:
Free

Tuva Labs

Dynamic data-exploration tool offers large collection of data sets

Bottom Line: Partner with another teacher (preferably a data whiz) and work together to develop cross-curricular activities.

Grades: 4–12
Price:
Free, Paid

BiomeViewer

World habitat app full of intriguing visual comparisons, useful data

Bottom Line: This biome reference app helps students get local when understanding their planet Earth.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free

Earth-Now

Enticing display of climate data updated regularly

Bottom Line: There's a lot of potential in this visually stimulating resource tool, but teachers will need to do some serious legwork to make the data meaningful.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free

NASA Global Climate Change - Vital Signs of the Planet

Tons of climate change info from expert sources in one easy place

Bottom Line: This is a one-stop shop for climate change info, from basic intro content to practical guides and raw data; good for middle schoolers and up.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free

Structure of Earth

MarcoPolo Ocean

Young explorers discover oceans through puzzles and free play

Bottom Line: This fun app helps kids gain an appreciation for the waters that cover much of the Earth's surface.

Grades: Pre-K–K
Price:
Free

Google Earth

Dazzling globe-trotting tool has endless classroom applications

Bottom Line: This tool defines engagement and offers a completely open-ended experience perfect for use across the educational spectrum.

Grades: K–12
Price:
Free

PhET Interactive Simulations

Massive collection of excellent (and free!) science and math simulations

Bottom Line: Instantly add meaningful lab experiences to math and science classrooms for exactly $0? It's tough to beat that.

Grades: 3–12
Price:
Free

Earth Primer

Earth comes alive with interactive textbook; some content lacks depth

Bottom Line: Though it's pricey and its progress tracking is limited, these interactive graphics will spark curiosity while teaching kids about a variety of Earth Science concepts.

Grades: 3–6
Price:
Paid

Google Earth VR

Explore the world with an incredible new perspective and sense of scale

Bottom Line: An amazing experience that brings the world to life, despite the heavy investment in VR required.

Grades: 3–12
Price:
Free

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