Top Pick

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 Publisher: Tinybop
Explore challenging concepts with beautiful, interactive free play
Grades K-2
Type App
Price $2.99
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Mystery Science Visit Website: http://mysteryscience.com
Big questions, kids' curiosity drive thoughtful science curriculum
Grades K-5
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Earthquakes for Kids Visit Website: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/kids/
Fact-heavy site could shake things up with more kid-friendly design
Grades 1-6
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 3
Puzzling Plates Publisher: Tasa Graphic Arts, Inc.
Piece together Earth's plates with fun science activities
Grades 4-8
Type App
Price $2.99
Platforms Android, iPad, Kindle Fire
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Focus on Earthquakes Publisher: Tasa Graphic Arts, Inc.
Content-rich resource digs deep into the causes and consequences of earthquakes
Grades 6-12
Type App
Price $3.99
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Stop Disasters! Publisher: United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
Slick sim explores global natural disasters
Grades 7-12
Type Game
Price Free
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4

Earth's History

National Geographic Education Visit Website: http://www.natgeoed.org
Explore the fascinating, wide world with multimedia resources
Grades 2-10
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
NASA App Publisher: NASA Ames Research Center
Visually super NASA-backed treasure trove may overwhelm
Grades 2-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
CK-12: Earth Science Visit Website: http://www.ck12.org
Multimedia resources inspire kids to hypothesize, investigate, prove
Grades 6-9
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
NOVA: Planet Earth Visit Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova
Examine evidence to figure out how our planet was shaped
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 5
Big History Project Visit Website: http://www.bighistoryproject.com
Fascinating look at life's bigger questions offers a fresh perspective
Grades 9-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 5

Focus on Climate

MarcoPolo Weather Publisher: MarcoPolo Learning
Adorable sandbox tool lets kids safely explore, experiment, observe
Grades Pre-K-2
Type App
Price $2.99
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Climate Kids - NASA's Eyes on the Earth Visit Website: http://climatekids.nasa.gov/
Kid-friendly, expert site explores key climate issues
Grades 3-6
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
Edheads Visit Website: http://www.edheads.org
Realistic, appealing simulations deliver superb science content
Grades 3-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Earth-Now Publisher: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Enticing display of climate data updated regularly
Grades 6-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
NASA Global Climate Change - Vital Signs of the Planet Visit Website: http://climate.nasa.gov
Tons of climate change info from expert sources in one easy place
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated

Structure of Earth

MarcoPolo Ocean Publisher: MarcoPolo Learning
Young explorers discover oceans through puzzles and free play
Grades Pre-K-K
Type App
Price $2.99
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 5
Google Earth
Cool geographical exploration tool has endless classroom applications
Grades K-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
PhET Interactive Simulations: Earth Science Visit Website: https://phet.colorado.edu
Solid simulations are more illuminating than textbook diagrams
Grades 1-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Earth Primer Publisher: Chaim Gingold
Earth comes alive with interactive textbook; some content lacks depth
Grades 3-6
Type App
Price $9.99
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 4
Google Treks Visit Website: http://googletreks.org/index.html
Cool tool uses maps to create fun projects, could use some updating
Grades 4-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 4