A Body of Knowledge
Explore the human body with the latest app from Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science, DIY Human Body. The free app contains videos on the body’s systems and 13 hands-on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) explorations, including engineering an artificial lung from a soda bottle and creating a one-way heart valve. Kids will love the gross-out appeal of experiments on flatulence, spit and snot. Available for iPad or iPhone; requires iOs 7 or later. FREE. www.lawrencehallofscience.org.
Introduce your child to computer programming with Tynker. The Mountain View company provides self-paced, online courses that teach kids basic programming concepts through fun puzzles, games and guided activities such as animating characters, generating music or creating small games. You can try it out for FREE with Tynker’s Hour of Code activities. The company also provides web-based school curricula. At-home courses are $50 each. www.tynker.com.
Saving the World
Photo credit for Green Ninja: Photo by Lina Prada
Kids can learn to live green by following the adventures of an environmental superhero. The Green Ninja Show features short, pun-filled webisodes combining live action, puppets and animation to tackle serious topics – from limiting your carbon footprint to choosing sustainable seafood. The series – created by Eugene Cordero, Ph.D., a climate scientist at San Jose State University – was given the STEM Innovation Award by the Silicon Valley Education Foundation last year. FREE. greenninja.org.
A Hand in Learning
Know Yourself, a new Oakland-based company, is dedicated to teaching kids about their bodies and how they work. The first book in its “self-literacy” series – Dr. Bonyfide: Bones of the Hand, Arm and Shoulder – is a workbook filled with illustrations, games, puzzles and even “X-ray glasses” that teach kids about those bones. The company also offers a line of “anatomy-based” clothing. $18.45. knowyourself.com.
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Fun with STEM
A Body of Knowledge