The iPad has found its way into hospitals, retail stores and homes across the nation, but it’s also making a big splash in the classroom. With a great selection of apps focused on everything from word processing to keeping in touch with classmates, the tablet computer can be an invaluable tool for learning — no matter your age. Science students haven’t been left out, of course, and there are a wide range of applications offering help with chemistry, biology, astronomy and even the math that comes along with certain fields. If you’re a college student looking to supplement your science studies, these apps are some of the best for learning, sharing, researching and just plain having fun.
Get beautiful photographs of the elements or explore what happens when you design your own molecules using these great iPad apps.
- The Elements: A Visual Exploration: One of the most celebrated apps on the iPad, this periodic table is much more than a list. Science students will find themselves inspired by the beauty of the elements and may just learn a thing or two to boot.
- Periodic Table of the Elements: Those looking for a less fancy periodic table will be well served by this app, laying it all out in a way that’s easy to interact with and reference.
- Molecules: Visualize all kinds of molecules using this app. You can zoom in, out and look at molecular structure from every possible angle.
- Buffers: Students working in the lab will appreciate this tool, which makes it easy to design buffer solutions for pH control. Doing double duty, it acts as both a reference guide and a calculator.
- Ball & Stick: Like to create your own molecular compounds? This app will let you visualize them or any other type of molecule, which is great for research into structural biology, pharmaceuticals and more.
- NIOSH Chemical Hazards: The chemistry lab can be a highly educational place, but it can also be a dangerous one. Learn from this application which chemicals pose a danger so you can stay safe.
- Self Assembly: Check out this app to embrace your creative chemist side. With it, you can design your own molecules and watch them self-assemble into more complex structures.
The iPad has been a hit with many in the medical profession, so it’s no surprise that there are loads of apps like these that can help students learn more about the biology behind it all.
- OnScreen DNA Model: You don’t have to be a biology major to appreciate the awesomeness of this application, which allows students to see the structure and composition of DNA up close and personal.
- 3D Brain: There’s still a lot we don’t understand about the brain, but this application makes it easier for students to start learning what we do know and exploring its structure.
- 3D Cell: Similar to the 3D Brain app, this tool will let learners slip in and out of the structures of a cell, with information on what each part does and helpful videos.
- Monster Anatomy HD: If you’re going into a medical field, you’re going to have to know your anatomy. This award-winning app can be a big help, visualizing and identifying every structure on the human body.
- Skeletal HD: From the smallest bones to the largest ones, this program will help you study for any anatomy exam like a pro.
- Pocket Heart: Get up close and personal with the human heart using this app that provides modeling, videos, vocabulary and much more.
- GeneIndexHD: Mapping the human genome was a huge feat, but now students have access to a huge amount of information on every known gene out there through an application. Look up genes, find info on websites, get access to media and even follow genetic research journals using RSS through this great learning tool.
Many of the apps that have best showcased the power of the iPad are astronomy apps. These are some of the best to help you explore the solar system and beyond.
- Star Walk for iPad: Consistently ranked as one of the best iPad apps out there, any space-loving student should add this app to their collection. Packed with features, it lets users explore the night sky in real time, finding out more about what stars, constellations and planets are in the sky above.
- SkySafari: If you want to learn more about our own solar system, this app is the way to do it, with tools to explore planets, constellations, and just about anything else you could imagine.
- Solar Walk: Use this 3D solar system application to move through space and time and observe all of our neighboring planets in great detail, including in-depth articles on their history and makeup.
- Moon Atlas: The moon has fascinated humankind for centuries, and even with having been there, our modern times are no exception. Through this application, students can learn about the natural satellite’s topography and explore it further.
- Supernova: Ever wanted to see a supernova in action? This application lets you do just that, modeling exploding stars and nebulae.
- NASA: Here you’ll find one of the best applications on the iPad for studying space. NASA provides the basics – like information on the planets – as well as up-to-the-minute video, news and much more.
- 3D Sun: The sun, while so close to our own planet, is still a bit of a mystery to scientists. Explore what we know and still need to learn about the star and see some amazing 3D images through this application.
- Mars Globe HD: Our closest neighbor, the red planet of Mars, has sparked human imagination for years – primarily because of the possibilities for life the planet holds. Students can study this amazing planet and the features that cover its surface using this mapping application.
- Buzz Aldrin Portal to Science: Find news, multimedia content, videos and tons of other resources all about space exploration on this handy iPad app.
Your iPad can also be a valuable research tool. Pull up these apps to do a little scientific reading for your next project.
- Science Glossary: With this tool, students can look up just about any relevant term they don’t know and find biographies of some of the most famous scientists of all time.
- Wolfram Alpha: Get a search engine geared towards science and math with this application. Students can easily find facts, figures, maps, graphs and more.
- Papers: Need to keep your research handy when you’re on the go? This app has you covered, storing, organizing and archiving all the important information you need.
- PLoS Reader: Through this application, you can read new articles published by seven different journals using interface designed just for the iPad.
- PubMed on Tap: Start your research right on your iPad by using this PubMed app. Students can search for, store, email and organize references – and may even be able to read some full-text articles.
- Kindle: There aren’t many books you can’t read when you have this app. Simply install and buy or download whatever science-related reading material strikes your fancy.
- Math Ref: Look up formulas and other important mathematical information though this great reference tool.
From timing your experiments to converting units in the lab, these tools can help you save time and learn more.
- iLab: Timer HD: With iLab Timer, students can keep lab notes about their experiments and get access to reliable and easy-to-use timers.
- Seismograph: Measure any kind of vibration or shaking using this app, from how much you generate jumping up and down to a real life earthquake.
- TempConvert Universal: It can sometimes be confusing to go back and forth between different temperature scales, but this tool makes calculations a breeze.
- Unit Conversion Pro: No matter where you are in the world or what you’re trying to measure, you can easily convert units using this handy iPad tool.
- National Geographic World Atlas: Look up maps, facts about the world and much more through this great atlas provided by National Geographic.
- SpaceTime for iPad: This application is much more than just a simple calculator. It lets students solve and graph a huge range of problems, add color, manipulate forms and so much more.
Look up science myths, do some popular reading or debunk your science-phobic friend’s arguments with these helpful apps.
- Mythbusters HD: If you enjoy the Discovery Channel show, why not get access to it on your iPad as well? You’ll get to see how this mythbusting team uses science to debunk some of the most persistent urban myths.
- Science Illustrated: Carry this science publication with you where ever you go with this application that lets you read it right on your iPad.
- Popular Science: Follow the latest news in science and engineering with this iPad magazine.
- Skeptical Science: Have a friend that simply won’t believe something you know to be scientifically true? Use this application to find the myriad of real-world studies that support your position.
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