Educational technology tips for teachers, librarians and schools.

10 Awesome Tech Tools That Teach Students to Love Science

10 Awesome Tech Tools That Teach Students to Love Science

By Megan Nichols

Getting young kids to love science isn’t hard—they’re naturally curious. But that doesn’t mean every student is retaining your lessons during class—especially if you’re lecturing, rather than being a mentor and guide. Keep your students learning needs in mind, and then engage each one with awesome tech tools that teach students to love science.

More: 11 Tech-Friendly Cross-Curricular Science Ideas

Be the Science Guide—Supported by Technology

Teaching children is as rewarding as it is difficult. It’s easy to fall into the habit of standing in front of the classroom and lecturing through lessons—dictating the information to students, rather than being a guide and exploring it with them.

While some students learn well this way, it leaves others hoping for more. Many students need a way to dig in to better understand the lesson. Acting as a mentor, instead of a lecturer, sets your students up to make their own discoveries while keeping them engaged.

For science and most of the STEM classes, tech is the perfect lesson companion. It encourages creativity and curiosity, while helping students learn in whatever way is most effective for them. Likely, their learning preferences fall into one of the following seven categories:

  • Spatial or Visual: These students learn better using pictures and images. If they can see it, they can learn it.
  • Auditory or Aural: These students learn better using sound and music. They learn through what they hear.
  • Linguistic or Verbal: These students learn best using words. They are the ones that benefit most from working with a lecturer.
  • Kinesthetic or Physical: These students learn best with things they can touch. Hands-on projects and experiments are the best choices for these little scientists, which is perfect for science class.
  • Mathematical or Logical: These students prefer to use logic and reasoning to reach conclusions. They thrive in STEM classes.
  • Interpersonal or Social: These are the students who work best with group projects. They learn best when working with other people.
  • Intrapersonal or Solitary: These students dislike group projects and thrive on solitary projects.

Each type of learning engages a different part of the brain, so a student that learns visually may not be able to learn as effectively with verbal or aural teaching techniques. That’s where the tech comes in.

Teach Students to Love Science

To get every student on board, and help them learn in the most effective way for them, break out the tech. These awesome tech tools are perfect for making each science lesson a hit with every single student.

1. Microscope Camera

Looking through a microscope is cool. Let students capture the cool things they’re seeing with this simple camera attachment. It uses USB to connect to your microscope and show image and real-time video stream on the connected laptop. Students can use those images and videos later to remember the lesson or study for an exam. Better yet, download the video and upload it to an editor for students to create their own explanation or how-to video.

More: 10 Tools for Students to Create How-To Videos

2. Robotic Arm Kits

What kid doesn’t love the idea of playing with robots? Robotic arm kits allow your students to build and control their own robotic arm, which may feel as much of a revolutionary idea to you as it will to them. This is best for older elementary school and middle school students. At just $40 from Amazon, this purchase will be worth the “WOW!” you’ll get from excited students.

3. Arduino Kits

These DIY computers let your students build their own machines from the board up. You can use them to create anything from LED light displays to 3-D printers, and the starter kits are affordable as well. This work is very technical, and may require that you have prior knowledge and experience before bringing it into the classroom.

4. DNA Play

Students will learn what DNA means for our bodies with this fun science app, perfect for the classroom. The idea is simple: they build monsters and transform them by tweaking their DNA. There are 200 billion unique options for them to explore with, giving this topic an entirely new meaning.

5. 3-D Printer

3-D printers are quickly becoming one of the most valuable tools a science classroom could have—and they’re a great way to bring STEM into the learning experience. Using them will allow students to explore topics in a hands-on, experiential manner that’s more effective for retaining knowledge. You can even get a grant to invest in this tool for your classroom. Check out this grant guide for getting funding for your 3-D printer.

More: 10 Things Teachers Need to Know About 3D Printing

6. HackPad (Dropbox Paper)

It’s hard to grasp concepts with traditional note taking. Not to mention, when notes are in a notepad and not online, they’re harder for students to transform into digital review assets. Use HackPad in your classroom instead, where students can take notes, collaborate, add videos and images, and more.

7. Game Salad

Computer science is an important topic in the modern science classroom, and Game Salad makes that accessible to you and your students—even if you don’t have a CS degree. “Our easy to use web-based curriculum provides educators with everything they need to teach their students computer science fundamentals with GameSalad.” Students will move through modules, where they play various games to learn computer science mechanics. Better yet, the curriculum is aligned with state standards.

8. eBeam Smartmarker

If you still have a whiteboard in your classroom, turn it into a smart board with the eBeam Smartmarker. This marker allows you to draw on the whiteboard while collecting all your marker strokes in digital format. This makes it easy to share real-time classroom collaboration notes directly with students.

9. Google Cardboard

This is one gadget you can use for next to nothing, as long as your students have their own smartphones. Simply fold it, place your smartphone inside and bring virtual reality into your classroom for a fraction of the cost of a VR headset.

More: 5 Ways to Bring Virtual Reality Into Your Classroom

10. The Lawrence Hall of Science

This website serves as a valuable learning tool for your science classroom. Students have access to a wide range of interactive learning games. They’re also encouraged to become a citizen scientist, using their hands, feet, brain and imagination to learn and hypothesize.

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