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Excellent Ecology and Environmental Science Apps, Games, and Websites

Whether investigating the varied interactions of organisms or observing the dynamics of our changing weather, real scientists focus on solving local and global environmental issues. Apps, games, and websites can aid student understanding of 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 diverse environments. 

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Become Citizen Scientists

Journey North

Long-standing citizen science site continues to inspire learners

Bottom line: Extensive resources can help kids collect, share, and analyze evidence about seasonal change.

Zooniverse

Real research powered by volunteers makes classroom content relevant

Bottom line: Engage in meaningful, relevant research with citizen scientists from around the world.

Project Noah

Contribute kid research to stellar crowdsourced field guide

Bottom line: An outstanding resource that makes science relevant with lots of classroom potential.

Project Noah

Engaging online community for relevant, hands-on science fieldwork

Bottom line: Project Noah is a free and easy way to take part in biodiversity research with the support of a knowledgeable and global community.

iNaturalist

Global citizen-science community for real-world research

Bottom line: Teens can do hands-on nature research, but in a limited way.

Explore Earth's Ecosystems

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.

Coral Reef by Tinybop

Quality coral reef ecosystem app a no-brainer for young explorers

Bottom line: With this fun, well-packaged app, young students will learn how interconnected life in the coral reef is.

PBS Kids: Plum Landing

Web games, outside adventures offer in-depth tour of Earth’s ecosystems

Bottom line: Student-directed investigations and outdoor extension activities elevate Plum Landing beyond just a companion site for the TV show.

DIY Lake Science

At home or on location, explore and model watersheds and ecosystems

Bottom line: The combination of easy-to-use task directions and accessible materials make this great for class centers or family extensions.

Expeditions

Fire up the warp drive to bring VR field trips to your classroom

Bottom line: With stunning scenes and a flexible delivery method, your students will thank you for journeying together through space and time.

iBiome -- Ocean

Fun interactive app dives deep into aquatic food webs

Bottom line: With some extra scaffolding, this interactive resource can be a unique way to reinforce concepts related to ocean ecosystems.

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.

iBiome -- Wetland

Smartly designed environmental sim great for learning about ecosystems

Bottom line: iBiome -- Wetland is a fun, interactive way to learn about ecosystems without the hassle of getting wet.

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.

Habitactics

Keep your ecosystem from crashing in this addictive puzzle game

Bottom line: Habitactics employs game-based learning to help students discover relationships in ecosystems.

Tyto Ecology

Well-developed biome sim provides cheap, endless learning

Bottom line: This affordable ecosystem balancing game teaches life science skills while keeping students engaged.

Investigate Global Issues

National Geographic Kids

Stunning photos and in-depth stories of Earth's peoples and wildlife

Bottom line: This amazing collection of multimedia resources teaches kids about animals, habitats, countries, and cultures.

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.

ARKive

Captivating catalog of biodiversity with great classroom resources

Bottom line: Powerful images and videos capture kids' attention and make them want to learn more.

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.

Fate of the World: Tipping Point

Complex global-influence game in which players’ choices rule the world

Bottom line: Complex multi-issue game succeeds in teaching world politics and global development while building perspective and decision-making skills.

Promote Environmental Awareness

Earth Rangers

Kid conservationist's paradise with great images, vids, animals galore

Bottom line: Great ecology lesson plans and videos are rich with engrossing animal goodies, but the accompanying games don't teach much science.

EcoKids.ca

Eco-minded site with fun games and a wealth of teacher resources

Bottom line: Kids will learn about the environment in a fun and interactive way, while teachers will find useful lessons, templates, and printables.

SimCityEDU: Pollution Challenge!

Truncated environmental city-planning sim geared toward classrooms

Bottom line: This version of the SimCity game still has something to offer, but it's probably not worth the subscription cost on its own.

Enercities

Environmentally-minded city sim models sustainable building

Bottom line: It carves out a useful niche in a popular genre, showing how city planning, technological development, economics, and quality of life intersect with sustainability.

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