App That Lets Students Meet Female Space and Science Heroes—Virtually
Reach Across the Stars: A Universe of Explorersis an XR journey that lets users virtually “meet” female STEM heroes on their iOS or Android device. In the app’s journeys, a current scientist takes viewers into her work environment, recalling her favorite career moments, as well as challenges and obstacles. Some of the featured stories combine audio interviews, video, 3D environments, and 360-degree virtual-reality content to let viewers peek into the worlds of these scientific heroes. Students can explore NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory with astronaut Cady Coleman, tour the Crab Nebula pulsar with astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell, and get a behind-the-scenes look at the Mars 2020 rover with Christina Hernandez, an instrument engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Other women in the app’s stories include computer scientist Grace Hopper, astronomer Nancy Roman, mathematician Katherine Johnson, physicist and chemist Marie Curie, and astronauts Mae Jemison and Sally Ride. The project received support from the Smithsonian American Women’s History InitiativeBecause of Her Story, an ambitious undertaking to research, collect, document, display, and share the compelling stories of women. Cost: Free
Now with Apple ARKit, Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar can be brought to life in the real world. Through an augmented reality experience, children can watch their own Very Hungry Caterpillar appear in their classroom, on a kitchen table, in a garden, on their playground, or anywhere else they want to play with it.
Movers & Shakers NYC has created the free mobile app Kinfolk that transports students to an augmented reality (AR) space where they can walk up to virtual “monuments” of 10 famous Black historical figures and learn their stories.
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum provides unique fieldtrip opportunities for teachers and students to engage with the museum’s content online. Among the museum’s offerings are “Earth and Its Place in the Universe” (grades 5–12); “Finding Our Way: Geography and GIS” (grades 6–8)); “Living Through History” (grades 1–8); and “Paper Airplane Design” (grades 3–8).