Top Pick

STEM Apps for Higher-Order Thinking

These seriously fun apps help students develop and apply a conceptual understanding of science by solving puzzles, designing solutions to novel problems, and engineering new inventions.

Bugs and Bubbles Publisher: Little Bit Studio, LLC.
Fascinating graphics engage as kids practice pre-reading, STEM skills
Grades Pre-K-K
Type App
Price $2.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Crazy Gears Publisher: Seven Academy
Highly applicable STEM-themed free play, easy appeal for wide audience
Grades K-3
Type App
Price $1.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
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
The Robot Factory by Tinybop Publisher: Tinybop
Improve designs, collect favorites in robot creation sandbox
Grades K-8
Type App
Price $3.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
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 $2.99
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
DIY Nano Publisher: The Lawrence Hall of Science
Turn kids into budding nanoscientists who explore the tiniest things
Grades 2-5
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
Doodle Fit Publisher: Gamelion Studios
Geometric puzzler makes playing with blocks fun
Grades 2-6
Type App
Price Free to Try, Paid
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire, Nook HD
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
Inventioneers Full Version Publisher: Filimundus AB
Budding engineers create design solutions with fun physics puzzler
Grades 2-8
Type App
Price $2.99
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire, Fire phone
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
SMART Adventures Mission Math 2: Peril at the Pyramids Publisher: Kata Enterprises, Inc.
Story-based, STEM-focused game helps kids dig math
Grades 3-5
Type App
Price $4.99
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Trainyard Publisher: Matt Rix
Stump students with innovative train-routing puzzler
Grades 3-7
Type App
Price $.99-$2.99
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Autodesk Digital STEAM Measurement Publisher: Autodesk Inc.
Interactive, lab-like exploration of measurements is a good STEAM tool
Grades 3-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 4
World of Goo Publisher: 2D BOY
Stellar physics builder with wiggly, animated goo balls
Grades 4-8
Type App
Price $2.99-$4.99
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Nook HD, Apps for Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
Go Car Go Publisher: Caravan Interactive, Inc.
Challenging game makes physics fun
Grades 5-10
Type App
Price $.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
Cargo-Bot Publisher: Two Lives Left
Challenging game helps kids learn to think like programmers
Grades 5-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
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
Science Journal Publisher: Marketing @ Google
Turn your Android into a lab sensor to collect and analyze data
Grades 6-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
TinkerBox Publisher: Autodesk Inc.
Fantastic physics puzzler puts a virtual maker faire in kids' hands
Grades 6-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Autodesk Digital STEAM Applied Mechanics Publisher: Autodesk Inc.
Kids explore concepts in fun but sometimes frustrating mini-games
Grades 7-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 4