Top Pick

Best NGSS Apps, Games, and Websites

With their three-dimensional blend of Disciplinary Core Ideas, Crosscutting Concepts, and Science & Engineering Practices, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have tons of potential to reshape how students learn science. However, teachers know that it can be a tall order to find edtech well-suited to NGSS's unique style of inquiry-driven and conceptually focused STEM learning. These tools are the best we've found for investigating phenomena and doing science, not just learning content. 

Analyze Real-Life Data

Lawrence Hall of Science: 24/7 Science Visit Website: http://www.lawrencehallofscience.org/kidsite/
First-class site for science games and investigations
Grades K-5
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 3
Playground Physics Publisher: New York Hall of Science
Fun video app lets students track motion to explore physics concepts
Grades K-10
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Tuva Labs Visit Website: https://tuvalabs.com/
Access to curated data sets has tons of potential, needs more teacher support
Grades 4-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 4
Lab4Physics Publisher: Lab4U Inc.
Bring physics to life using lab sensors built right into your smartphone
Grades 6-12
Type App
Price Free, Free to Try, Paid
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
NOVA Labs Visit Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/labs/
Online science, mastered: exceptional content within meaningful tasks
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 5
The PocketLab Publisher: Myriad Sensors
Gather and analyze live data anywhere
Grades 6-12
Type App
Price Free, Paid
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, Chrome, Windows Phone
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated

Develop a Global Perspective

Ansel and Clair's Adventures in Africa Publisher: Cognitive Kid, Inc.
Find lions, giraffes, and a robot (oh my!) in this fab app adventure
Grades K-3
Type App
Price $4.99
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 3
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
Journey North Visit Website: http://www.learner.org/jnorth/
Long-standing citizen science site continues to inspire learners
Grades 1-8
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Zooniverse Visit Website: https://www.zooniverse.org/
Real research powered by volunteers makes classroom content relevant
Grades 2-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
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
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

Engage in Engineering Practices

Curiosity Machine Visit Website: https://www.curiositymachine.org
Kids build, share, receive pro feedback with awesome engineering site
Grades 2-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
PBS LearningMedia: Teaching NGSS Engineering Design Through Media Visit Website: http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/
Videos, lessons, essays, PD help bring engineering practices to kids
Grades 2-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 5
Design Squad Nation Visit Website: http://pbskids.org/designsquad
Classmates can compete to solve fun engineering problems
Grades 3-8
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
DIY Sun Science Publisher: The Lawrence Hall of Science
Exciting astronomy resource brightens learning in the classroom
Grades 3-8
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 5
Mosa Mack Science Visit Website: https://www.mosamack.com/
Engaging design challenges turn kids into actual science detectives
Grades 5-8
Type Website
Price Free, Free to Try
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 5
Autodesk Design Academy Visit Website: http://academy.autodesk.com
Outstanding project-based tutorials for popular engineering software
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated

Play with Simulations and Sandboxes

Simple Machines by Tinybop Publisher: Tinybop
Excellent elementary NGSS engineering practices embedded in fun games
Grades K-5
Type App
Price 2.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
PhET Interactive Simulations Visit Website: https://phet.colorado.edu
Massive cache of excellent (and free!) science and math simulations
Grades K-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 5
Algodoo Publisher: Algoryx
Sandbox tool enables engaged, conceptual physics inquiry
Grades 4-12
Type Game
Price Free
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
Prepmagic Visit Website: https://www.prepmagic.com/
Customize science simulations to highlight phenomena
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Kerbal Space Program Publisher: Squad
Design and launch a rocket into space in realistic astrophysics sim
Grades 9-12
Type Game
Price Free to Try, Paid
Platforms Linux, Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated