Vernier Science Education - June  2024


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Earth and Space Science

Apps for Earth Science and Geology

Author Post
Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28250 Points

Hi Everyone -

A free Earth Viewer App for iPads was just released by HHMI (Howard Hughes Medical Institute) Biointeractives.

Earth Viewer

Looks amazing for Earth Science and Geology teaching.
Let's share our favorite teaching Apps for iPads, Kindles and other devices and how we incorporate them into our teaching practice.


Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28250 Points

Earth Now looks terrific! Thanks Tina. Glad to hear they have an Android version so I can use it on Kindle Fire. Dorothy

Jennifer Rahn Jennifer Rahn 67955 Points

Awesome resource Dorothy! Great example of technology to support and enhance education, rather than technology for the sake of technology.

Melissa Ibrahim Melissa Merizalde 1220 Points

I highly recommend the follwing FREE apps for teaching science and Earth Science: NASA Viz A2Z on Global Warming (highly recommend) Science 360 Google Earth Hubble Top 100 Exoplanet Planets NOVA

Mitchell Miho Mitchell Miho 3090 Points

Dorothy, Although I haven't been able to get the app as of yet, the preview for it looks like a great resource to teach students about the earth's layers, plate tectonics, and maybe even hotspots if it's on there. I am teaching in Hawaii and if this app does have the capability to show hotspots or the temperature ranges in the mantle (asthenosphere), my students would have a much easier time visualizing the hotspot under the Hawaiian islands and how that along with plate movement has led to the creation of our island chain, which spans far more than just our 8 major islands. The students also had a project on hotspots and they had to draw or create a model that suggests what the believe the island chain looked like three million years in the past and three million years in the future. If this app could zoom in and simulate this hypothetical situation, that would be an amazing "aha" moment for my students. I will definitely try to see if i can get my tech coordinator to allow me access to this app. Thanks again for what seems like a great find!

Christine Medaglia Christine 770 Points

I am incredibly happy to stumble across this post! Just yesterday my department head pleaded with me to find apps to buy as we have money to spend by March, or we'll lose the money. (I know what you're work in a department who has money to burn?!?) And, as my luck would have it, earlier this year my department received 15 ipads as part of a program for at risk students. So, it seems that the stars are in my favor; 15 ipads and money to spend on apps! What I need help on is narrowing down the wealth of apps available to the few that will really be useful and level-appropriate for my students. I currently teach Science to a split line of 7th and 8th graders in Hawaii, age 13-15, at risk, but very tech savvy. My curriculum for a typical year starts at the center of the Earth in August and extends to the solar system by May, with the goal of hitting everything in between along the way. (We are currently studying the moon, sun and earth.) As I said, these are high-risk students with very active imaginations and (luckily for me) an interest in science. Admittedly, I don't know much about what apps are available, but I do know that a HUGE weakness shared by my students are their problem solving and critical thinking skills. So, if there are any apps that connect science and problem solving, that would be perfect! Anything to get these guys thinking on their own, rather than repeat what I've already told them, or copying answers from text. My hope is that using technology as a medium, I can improve their critical thinking skills. Thanks again for the helpful advice so far, and I look forward to hearing more. As well, I'll post what I find as I continue my own research! Mahalo :) Christine Medaglia

Nora Kelly Nora 395 Points

Thank you Dorothy and Melissa, I really enjoyed the Apps you shared. I just got a teacher iPad for my classroom, and I am so excited to use it with my students!

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28250 Points

Hi Everyone - Melissa, thanks for the terrific app list. Mitchell, let us know if any of the apps help your students with hot spot visualization for their projects. I wonder if there is a "hot spot" app? Christine, have fun with your classroom set of iPads and your funds to purchase some apps. Dorothy

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28250 Points

Hi Everyone - Melissa, thanks for the terrific app list. Mitchell, let us know if any of the apps help your students with hot spot visualization for their projects. I wonder if there is a "hot spot" app? Christine, have fun with your classroom set of iPads and your funds to purchase some apps. Dorothy

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28250 Points

Hello All -

Found these Android Apps (Kindle Fire) for Geology with a search on Amazon

GeoTimeScale - Enhanced (Tasa Graphic Arts, $0.99), Released Feb. 1, 2013 - so hot off the press!

Folds & Faults (Tasa Graphic Arts, $0.99), Released Feb. 1, 2013 - also hot off the press.

These look good for teaching and are available for those of us with Kindles.


Sue Garcia Sue Garcia 42675 Points

If you teach Earth Science, you have to get this app, "EarthViewer"! "EarthViewer"...find in the AppStore>Education>Howard Hughes Medical Institute>EarthViewer (free) I just downloaded it and think it would be great for kids to explore with. Used as a visualization aid; View the continents over time (you control the era), watch the timeline as the atmosphere developed, see day length increase as you get closer to the present. It has charts; temperature over time and carbon dioxide over time. View: Geological & Biological events, mass extinctions, and impact events. And more.

Pamela Auburn Pamela Auburn 68625 Points

While not an app, I just love Google earth Here are some places to look for apps Top 7 Apps for Earth Science Teachers Earth Now Apple Earth Now Android This teach with your ipad wikki is awesome Earth Science Apps from Rosyln schools Science apps aggregated also

Google Earth Collection (9 items)
- User Uploaded Resource
- User Uploaded Resource
- User Uploaded Resource
Lauren Nishimoto Lauren Lee 1390 Points

Thanks for the lists of apps! I have yet to try using iPads in the classroom, so these will definitely give me a head start in doing so. We just got an iPad lab for students. :) Here are some apps that I have found useful for my personal use but can be used in the classroom as well: Living Earth Moon Starlight Space Place Earthquakes! - Earthquake iSeismometer The Rock Cycle Geology of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Elena Snow Elena Snow 595 Points

I love using apps in my classroom or at home! I am so happy to discover more great apps for my classroom. I personally love the Sky Map app. Isn't it amazing how we can integrate technology into our teaching? I wish I had these resources as a student. For the "hands on" learner, an ipad or itouch is a dream come true for keeping the students engaged. It's all so fasciniting. Great forum :)

Caryn Meirs Caryn Meirs 26235 Points

Lauren - Can you tell me more about the starlight and space place apps you listed?

Pamela Auburn Pamela Auburn 68625 Points

Here is a blog on ipad apps for teachers

There are is a lot of great stuff here.

Betty Paulsell Betty Paulsell 48560 Points

Pam, I just started collecting apps for the iPad. Thanks for the great blog posting. Betty

Hannah Lee Hannah Lee 1525 Points

Hello, I am currently a student at UMBC, studying Elementary Education. It's incredible how the usage of technology in the classroom has increased since I was in school. I was wondering how you balanced the amount of technology used so students do not become too dependent on it (for students and teachers alike)?

Pamela Auburn Pamela Auburn 68625 Points

The National Park Service has launched a new online service for teachers that brings America's national parks into neighborhood classrooms. The new "Teachers" section of the National Park Service website at provides a one-stop shop for curriculum-based lesson plans, traveling trunks, maps, activities, distance learning, and other resources. All of the materials draw from the spectacular natural landscapes and authentic places preserved in America's national parks.

Karen Silfa Karen Silfa 1160 Points

Thank you!!

Carol Ross-Baumann Carol Ross-Baumann 60 Points

These are all great suggestions! Thanks to everyone for posting. I'm working on a project now that requires me to think in terms of apps and I've used a few of these, but there are some other exciting possibilities here.

Stephanie Fox Stephanie Fox 2550 Points

Thanks to all of you, this was a great forum. I am a future elementary teacher and when it comes to technology I use it and understand it myself, however using it in the classroom can be a bit intimidating. I am excited to check out all these apps. Thanks again,

Beverly Owens Beverly Owens 1045 Points

There are several earth science apps that I have used, and seem to work pretty well with students. 1. Geo Clock: goes through the formation of Earth in a day showing a clock in the upper left-hand corner, and allows students to click on information about geology and biology during different time periods 2. The Fossilator: App goest through the process of classifying fossils. Would need to have access to select fossils to utilize this app, but it walks students through the classification process 3. Age of Fishes: has some good animations, pictures, and audio clips 4. QR Reader: I developed a "QR Quest" to review geology before our chapter test. I created the QR codes online, and then kids used the app to scan codes and view the questions

Kristin Miele Kristin Miele 50 Points

Dorothy Ginnett, thanks for that link! I'm a teacher in training and always looking for things to be useful for me to teach science!

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