Top Pick

Excellent Ecology and Environmental Science Apps, Games, and Websites

Whether investigating the varied interactions of organisms or observing the dynamics of our changing planet, scientists focus on solving local and global environmental issues. Apps, games, and websites can help students understand how these scientists might work to control pollution, manage natural resources, study climate change, or evaluate alternative energy. The tools on this list are great options for all ages that can help students make real-life connections to the Earth and its varied environments. 

Become Citizen Scientists

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
Citizen Science Publisher: GLS Studios
Comical narrative game shows intersection of ecology and social issues
Grades 4-8
Type Game
Price Free
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Project Noah Publisher: Networked Organisms
Contribute kid research to stellar crowdsourced field guide
Grades 4-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Project Noah Visit Website: http://www.projectnoah.org/
Engaging online community for relevant, hands-on science fieldwork
Grades 4-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
iNaturalist Visit Website: http://www.inaturalist.org/
Global citizen-science community for real-world research
Grades 7-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 4

Explore Earth's Ecosystems

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
PBS Kids: Plum Landing Visit Website: http://pbskids.org/plumlanding/
Web games, outside adventures offer in-depth tour of Earth’s ecosystems
Grades 1-4
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
DIY Lake Science Publisher: The Lawrence Hall of Science
At home or on location, explore and model watersheds and ecosystems
Grades 2-7
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Crack the Books Publisher: MES Publishing LLC
Interactive biomes textbooks impress; subscribe for premium features
Grades 2-8
Type App
Price Free to Try, Paid
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Expeditions Publisher: Google Inc
Fire up the warp drive to bring VR field trips to your classroom
Grades 3-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
iBiome -- Wetland Publisher: Springbay Studio Ltd.
Smartly designed environmental sim, great for learning about ecosystems
Grades 4-8
Type App
Price $2.99
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 5
Habitactics Publisher: Amplify Education
Keep your ecosystem from crashing in this addictive puzzle game
Grades 6-12
Type App
Price Paid
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated

Investigate Global Issues

Plum's Photo Hunt Publisher: PBS KIDS
Photo-finding missions get kids out to explore and enjoy their world
Grades 1-4
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
National Geographic Kids Visit Website: http://kids.nationalgeographic.com
Stunning photos and in-depth stories of Earth's peoples and wildlife
Grades 1-6
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
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
ARKive Visit Website: http://www.arkive.org/
Captivating catalog of biodiversity with great classroom resources
Grades 6-10
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
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
Fate of the World: Tipping Point Publisher: Red Redemption
Complex global-influence game in which players’ choices rule the world
Grades 10-12
Type Game
Price $18.99
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated

Promote Environmental Awareness

Ansel and Clair: Little Green Island Publisher: Cognitive Kid, Inc.
Wonderfully engaging eco-sim lets kids become pollution fighters
Grades 2-4
Type App
Price Free to Try
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
Earth Rangers Visit Website: http://www.earthrangers.com/
Kid conservationist's paradise with great images, vids, animals galore
Grades 2-8
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
EcoKids.ca Visit Website: http://www.ecokids.ca/
Eco-minded site with fun games and a wealth of teacher resources
Grades 3-8
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
SimCityEDU: Pollution Challenge! Publisher: GlassLab
Classic city building game tuned to teachers' needs
Grades 5-8
Type Game
Price $19.99 individual; $49.99 to $649.99 license packs
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 3
Enercities Publisher: Paladin Studios
Environmentally-minded city sim models sustainable building
Grades 6-12
Type Game
Price Free
Platforms Linux, Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4