The Elements: A Visual Exploration
The Elements: A Visual Exploration is an exceptional educational app that lets students experience the fascination and beauty of the universe’s building blocks in a new and exciting way. The Elements: A Visual Exploration was developed by Touch Press and is the first of a series of revolutionary books created from the ground up for iPad. This app is not just a guidebook to the elements: it will also deepen students’ appreciation of the elements that make up the world. The app is based on the best seller Theodore Gray, “The Elements”. Mr Gray is the columnist of Gray Matter for Popular Science Magazine. This app is priced at $13.99.
Features and operation of the app
The Elements: A Visual Exploration app is the best solution for students who have had a bad experience with chemistry classes and for those who are afraid that chemistry will be a very tedious subject. The Elements will demonstrate to them that the periodic table is not just a cluster of letters and numbers since it brings to life all of the various elements on the iPad. The home screen shows a periodic table full of mini movies. When a student taps on an element, the movie expands to fill the screen and display some essential facts about the element’s physical properties.
This app has a compelling array of images, text and interactivity. It starts from the attention-grabbing periodic table where each element is displayed with a slickly rotating sample. If a student wants to know about “tin” all they have to do is tap the tin soldier. If its”gold” they are interested in, they only need to tap the gold nugget. Instantly, samples of the element will fill almost the entire screen, sharply photographed and rotating around in full circle right in front of their eyes.
Beside the images is a row of figures and facts that students only have to tap to see the details and current information about the element. This is made possible by the embedded WolframAlpha answer engine. Once the student taps the WolframAlpha for gold, the app will come up with the current market price of gold plus many other facts about gold.
The real magic though starts on the second page of the element’s info. Over 500 vivid photos of objects representing the element are displayed – filling up the page. These freely rotating objects can be examined from all angles by a simple tap of the finger. Students can make several objects spin all at once and even all of ten of their fingers to examine the objects. Other pages also have live video clips of experiments that show fascinating properties of the elements.
With a double-tap, a student can bring the object up in full screen, a second tap and the image divides into two 3D images. Students can use inexpensive 3D glasses to view all 500 objects pop in 3D on the screen and spin them in 3D with a tap of the finger.
The Elements: A visual exploration as a teaching tool
Burr Elementary School in Fairfield, CT is using several iPad apps on a cross-curricular project for grades 3-5. It is an environmental study called “Oil and Water don’t Mix: Technology Based Solutions for a Better World”. Research on the BP oil spill is the spring board of the study. Students will expand the research to a study of comprehensive scientific information on the history and effects of gas and oil in several geographical areas. The students will use The Elements: A Visual Exploration to investigate the properties of oil and gas and their effects on planet Earth.