Celebrate science, technology, engineering and maths with this round-up of awesome apps for British Science Week 2017...
Today marks the start of British Science Week, a UK-wide celebration of all things insight, answers and solutions. There’ll be events round the UK designed to help ignite your curiosity, fact find, and generally get your science on, but if you can’t make your nearest one, don’t worry; you can always join the quest for knowledge from your phone.
To help you do just that, we’ve been on a fact-finding mission of our own, rounding up the best apps that let your join the scientific community, undertake experiments, and learn more about the world around you. Here’s all the ingredients you need for a portable lab…
Science Journal by Google | Android, FREE
A genuine digital field lab, Google’s foray into the world of home-grown experiments is an impressive toolkit for inquisitive minds. It’s designed to let you use your phone’s numerous inbuilt sensors (or third party peripherals) to run experiments over multiple rounds of trials, collect and collate data, annotate your findings and either store everything as separate projects or export for wider use.
Journeys of Invention | iPad only, £9.99
Looking for inspiration on your scientific journey? Explore an interactive network of the world’s most important and game-changing inventions with this app by the Science Museum. Rotate and explore the inner workings of the telephone, learn about how the Enigma Machine came to be, and even sit inside the Apollo 10 Command Module.
Rugged Rovers | iOS, Android, FREE
Another Science Museum-made app, Rugged Rovers is a great, gamified physics app for kids and big kids alike. It’s been designed with the help of Mars Rover engineer Abbie Hutty, with the aim of the game being to design and test rovers on the surface of the red planet. Deploy yours in the simulation, learn from its mistakes, fine-tune and try again – just like the pros.
Star Walk 2 | iOS, Android, £2.99
Star Walk is the daddy of all astronomy apps, having been around long enough to own one of the first genuine ‘look what smartphones can do’ moments thanks to its clever use of your handset or tablet’s gyroscope and accelerometer. Hold it above your head and the app will accurately layer the constellations, planets and more onto your screen, based on where on the planet you’re standing. From there you’ll be able to learn everything there is to know about every type of celestial body going, and even track the ISS across the sky.
Run the Solar System | Register online, FREE
While we’re on the subject of exploring the skies, Run the Solar System proves you don’t need to stand still to find out more about the cosmos. Created by the same team behind Zombies, Run!, the app lets you race around our local system by doing a 10k – wherever and whenever you like – during British Science Week, with an adventurous commentary track from broadcaster Dallas Campbell. Just don’t mention poor old Pluto.
Attenborough’s Story of Life | iOS, Android, FREE
Getting to know how space ticks is great, but what if your scientific tendencies lean more towards biology? Sir David Attenborough’s Story of Life app will scratch that itch no end, thanks to its comprehensive catalogue of footage from over 40 years of wildlife documentaries. There are over 1000 clips to gorge on, as well as the ability to record and upload your own – like a modern day Darwin.
What’s Invasive | iOS, Android, FREE
Science is all about working together and collecting data for the benefit of the wider community. And that’s the thinking behind What’s Invasive – an app that lets you document the march of plant and insect species that can be dangerous to others if left unchecked. To do so you can snap a pic and upload your whereabouts using GPS, or pick from a huge list of suspect species – and feel a bit like Seymour from Little Shop of Horrors in the process.
Get more great apps… Click here to check out our roundup of this month’s best new and updated apps.