App Review
Bill Nye The Science Guy

Cool app lets kids blast off, bubble, and dig into science concepts

  • Experiments designed for the real world are easy and fun.

  • The excavation dig game challenges kids to explore what's underground.

  • Bill's love of science shines in these videos, available for free preview or to buy.

  • Check out the cool Periodic Table, with Bill's verbal explanations of the elements.

Quick Take
Pros: Bill Nye knows how to bring science topics to life for kids.
Cons: Some of the text-heavy sections require adult help if kids aren't fluent readers.
Bottom Line: Absorbing, info-rich app uses videos, DIY experiments, and so much more to get kids interested in science.
Learning Scores
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Whether they're exploring cool game-style space adventures or trying some DIY experiments at home, kids will find this app well-designed and engaging. It hits the sweet spot between kids' everyday interests and interesting science education.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

In-app activities, DIY experiments, videos, and other science information all approach science from different, kid-friendly angles, yet with a surprising amount of depth (even more so if you purchase the full-length videos).

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

The six DIY science experiments that require nothing more than everyday household items are an excellent example of how apps can provide real-world extension activities to complement digital learning.

Our Review
What's It Like?

Bill Nye the Science Guy is an interactive, multifaceted science app that will most certainly get students excited about science. This app covers a wide range of science topics -- engineering, astronomy, chemistry, biology, electricity, energy, substance properties, and more -- through facts, in-app games and activities, videos, and instructions for classroom-friendly science experiments.

From cool optical illusions woven into a storyline about alien invasion to a video game-like planetary adventure and the DIY science experiments or science videos (full videos must be purchased), students will find something to love about science with Bill Nye the Science Guy. To begin, kids press their thumb on the opening screen to gain top-level clearance to the desk of Bill Nye, research engineer. Once at the desk, kids can tap on a rocket ship for a planetary adventure or a television to watch Bill Nye peform experiments in his science videos, learn some science facts from a Bill Nye bobblehead doll, read about science experiments you can do in the classroom, and more. There's even an explainer for tying a bow tie and a Bill Nye business card with the periodic table of elements on the back. Disney bills the app as a 20th-anniversary celebration of Bill Nye's distinguished career as a science educator. It certainly lives up to his reputation as a one-of-a-kind science powerhouse.

Is It Good For Learning?

Kids can learn a lot about science and science experimentation on Bill Nye The Science Guy. It encourages kids to test science concepts through conducting real-world experiments, and to think critically about some of the facts presented by interacting with related objects on the in-app activities. As kids follow directions on those activities or experiments and watch Nye conduct experiments on the videos, they're learning science vocabulary, exploration, and the scientific method. Bill Nye The Science Guy is an app that even quite young kids can use to dig into science concepts without much adult help.

That said, some sections like the more detailed information about science facts and experiments require quite a bit of reading, so students need to be fluent readers or have someone read those sections to them. But for other games -- like the optical illusion or space adventures -- as well as a few of the DIY experiments, kids just need to view the pictures and gather some very basic items (one requires just tape, a piece of paper, and a comb). What really makes Bill Nye The Science Guy great for learning is the energy and enthusiasm Nye brings to the explanations, the visually engaging videos and activities, and the well-designed interactive elements.

How Can Teachers Use It?

Teachers can search the videos on Bill Nye The Science Guy by topic and share the brief, free snippets as an introduction or supplement to a class lesson on that topic. The full-length videos for purchase are lengthy (about 23 minutes), so the free, shorter versions may sometimes suit your class time needs better than the paid versions. The games are best played as one-player games. So much of the information provided here pops up randomly or in related segments of games, or just through the process of exploring the app, that this is a good app for kids to explore solo during extended free or quiet time. It's definitely a sticky app that can be recommended for use over multiple play sessions to support learning many science topics.

This review of Bill Nye The Science Guy was written by

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