When students delve into anatomical and molecular concepts in biology, they learn about complex processes that impact our everyday lives. Touchscreen devices bring more vitality to this process, as apps can help students better visualize and experiment with concepts first learned in the classroom. These five apps help educate middle and high school students on human biology, from the individual cell to separate systems of the body.
Cells by KIDS DISCOVER (iPad $3.99)
In this app, students will learn about “cells as building blocks, what’s in a cell, DNA, what cells do, the discovery and study of cells, heredity and genetic engineering.” Much of the content matches national science standards and has information pertinent to STEM education. This app teaches with an organized and pedagogically-sound progression, covering the topic of cells in the comprehensive content. There are interactive 3-D models, videos, photos, animations and fun activities such as quizzes and puzzles.
Curated by Julene Reed
Human Body Anatomy by WAGmob (Android Tablet $0.99)
This app has an abundance of information on the human body. The easy-to-navigate interface of this Human Body Anatomy makes it a terrific interactive textbook, which includes highlighted vocabulary words and sections within each chapter. Within each chapter, sections include labeled diagrams of different parts of the body, charts of key points and bulleted information as opposed to meaty paragraphs. The app includes flashcards to review key points and multiple-choice questions.
Curated by Monica Burns
Gene Screen (iPhone Free)
Cold Spring Harbor & the DNA Learning Center, the producers of this app, are world famous in Genetics Research and Education. This app effectively uses animated graphics and illustrations to make the basics of inheritance clear, and gives us an overview of human genetics using simple dominance to explain what the probability is for a single trait cross.
Curated by Gordon Shupe
Anatomy 3D Pro – Anatronica (Android Handheld $6.99)
Upon launching the app, you come face-to-face with a model of the human skeletal system. Tap, swipe and pinch your way around this interactive model. Tapping on a particular bone or structure reveals a huge amount of information, written in an advanced (albeit accessible) manner. You can easily add and remove “layers” from the body, exploring all the major systems including the reproductive system, digestive system, circulatory system, respiratory system and more. All of the layers are fully interactive and can be selected for more information.
Curated by Michael Sammartano
3D Cell Simulation and Stain Tool (iPad Free)
The app provides a real as well as modeled view of the small factories that make up animal tissues. Cellular form and function is explored with expert videography and microscopy. This app was designed more as a sales tool for a science supply company to help a cellular biologist determine which stain or dye will best identify organelles. But, for a beginning biology student, it also provides an opportunity for the exploration of microcosms that would require very expensive equipment and highly developed skills to experience.
Curated by Gordon Shupe