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5 Awesome STEM Apps for Children

by S.Jeong

Currently, 75 percent of the fastest growing occupations require STEM skills and knowledge (Australian Government Chief Scientist, 2014). By 2020, the number of STEM related jobs are expected to increase, occupying over 33 percent of all available occupations (US Department of Education, n.d.). These facts and figures reflect our rapidly advancing society, and at the same time represent why STEM education holds such importance in leading countries around the world.

The Australian government allocated $1.1 billion as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda, where $64 million of that budget is dedicated to early learning initiatives and embracing digital age programs. As such, STEM subjects are no longer regarded as education for older high school students only. As we head further into the future that heavily centres around technology, kids now need to be equipped with not only appropriate skills and knowledge but also a mindset that vastly differ from previous generations. However, it must be noted that early STEM exposure is not about nurturing computer geniuses, growing little coding experts or fostering programming wizzes. Rather, the focus should be on giving children an opportunity to understand and appreciate the way modern world functions, so that they can be adequately prepared for challenges that are yet to exist.

STEM apps are the easiest but also the most effective way to engage young children and encourage them to develop critical competences in an entertaining way. They are not simply games or merely time-killers — when utilised well, they are powerful tools that can help your children have a future.


1. SIMPLE PHYSICS  — Engineering

Simple Physics App
Simple Physics

“SimplePhysics lets you design complex structures for everything from tree houses to ferris wheels and then simulates your design with a sophisticated physics engine. A wise person once said: An engineer is someone who can do for a dime what any fool can do for a dollar. In SimplePhysics, your design must not only be strong enough, it must be cheap enough to win. Create your design in seconds with the blueprints editor. While testing, you can see how the strain is distributed across your design. This allows you to find and fix problem areas.”

The practical application to real-life that centres around architecture and engineering allows children to easily make links between STEM and their surroundings. It also promotes resilience growth through trial and error when reaching their goals.

Available on Apple & Android

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2. LEO AUGMENTED REALITY (Free) — Technology

“Leo becomes a portal allowing anyone to augment their world around them. People can customise their surroundings and interact with the new world they create. Friends and families will enjoy creating and building in Leo AR. How about putting a shark in your pool? Or a dinosaur in your living room? There are no limits to what you can create.”

This app encourages creativity, an “artistic” aspect of STE(A)M that is often neglected but just as important. It is a great way for children to put their endless curiosity into practice by testing out all their ‘what-if?’s.

Available on Apple & Android

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3. HOPSKOTCH: CODING FOR KIDS(Free) — Technology

Whether games, art, stories, or more, you can code whatever you want with kid-friendly programming. Publish your creations to Hopscotch’s fully moderated community, where kids can play and learn from your games.

Explore and learn from millions of projects created by other kids. Open up any project to play, tweak, or remix it. Our play-along video tutorials teach you to make Crossy Road, PokemonGo, and more. Listen, watch, and code as you go! As you become a better programmer, Hopscotch will challenge you to create increasingly advanced games and apps. These skills will help you in high school, college, and beyond.”

We all know the growing importance for coding, but it can be quite daunting when deciding where to even start from. Hopskotch is an easy introduction to coding that allows children to test out their own creations. The unique element about this app is the collaborative aspect where users are encouraged to find improvements or inspired by others also on the platform.

Available on Apple Itunes

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4. HAPPY LITTLE FARMER (Paid) — Science

“Happy Little Farmer teach kids how things grow! Rake, dig, trim, water - there are endless things to do on your very own fruit and veggie farm. It is an educational game that addresses the kiddie question: where do fruits and vegetables come from? These games help children to appreciate and learn about the world of nature.”

This app allows children to learn about the science behind the life cycle of plants and instils a sense of responsibility through the virtual experience of having their own farm.

Available on Apple & Android

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5. MYSTERY MATHS TOWN (Paid) — Mathematics

“Your mission: Help a friendly and curious little ghost rescue the fireflies that are hidden in Mystery Math Town. Players use math skills to unlock rooms and passages on their journey. Encounter a quirky cast of entertaining characters along the way as you earn talking portraits for your Gallery.”

Not only does this game require players to perform mathematical calculations, but they are also challenged to play strategically and think critically as they can collected limited amount amount of numbers to use. The varying levels cater for different levels across a range of ages. Well-designed graphics capture children’s interest whilst the accompanied music and storytelling makes it a fun educational experience.

Available on Apple itunes 

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This is an independent review. STEAM Powered Kids have not been paid to list any of the Apps listed above

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