Top Pick

Science Tools Backed by Research

A lot of tech tools claim to have learning benefits, but how do teachers know what's the real deal? One way is to look for either tech that's inspired by the latest research into learning, pedagogy, and instructional design or tech that's been evaluated by researchers. It's not always easy to find this information, so we've curated a list of science apps, games, and websites that fit the bill. 

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
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
Maggie's Earth Adventures Visit Website: http://www.missmaggie.org/
Follow eco-conscious Maggie on engaging, multidisciplinary journey
Grades 2-5
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
ExploreLearning Gizmos Visit Website: http://explorelearning.com
Vast array of science and math simulations impresses
Grades 3-12
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
BrainPOP: Science Visit Website: http://www.brainpop.com
Silliness and simplicity make for great animated science video clips
Grades 4-8
Type Website
Price From $220
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
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
Possible Worlds Publisher: Center for Children and Technology
Entertaining, well-researched games correct scientific misconceptions
Grades 4-12
Type Game
Price Free
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
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
Flocabulary: Science Visit Website: http://www.flocabulary.com/
Hip-hop beats make heads bop, but science content might not
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 4
POX: Save the People Publisher: tiltfactor
Engrossing strategy game offers lessons in public health
Grades 6-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
Re-Mission 2 Publisher: HopeLab
Six arcade style games tackle tough subject of cancer
Grades 6-12
Type Game
Price Free
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
Cogent Education Publisher: IS3D, LLC
Think like a scientist: Solve biology case studies
Grades 9-12
Type App
Price $29.99 Per Case, Per Class, Per Year
Platforms Android, iPad, Apps for Windows, Mac Apps
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 5