Since I reviewed Stack the States and Stack the Countries, I became a big fan of Dan Russell-Pinson, the developer of the two wonderful educational apps. Once I found out he just released another app Monster Physics, I knew I have to get one! Monster Physics is a unique building app that lets kids play with physics! Kids can build and operate their own machines, moving devices with wheels, joins, ropes, propellers. After they invent and build their own machine, they can test out see if it works or not. It is like a prototype facility on screen.
When kids first start using the app, they can create their own ‘avatar’, choosing different body parts and facial features. Of course, they are all monster-like. There is a “Learn” section, introducing basic physics concepts, such as gravity, friction, etc. The fun sections are “Missions” and “Build”.
In Missions, kids are faced with 50 challenges. At each mission, they are asked to build a device to achieve certain goal. It can be moving the monster from point A to point B, or moving a barrier away from a path so the monster can go through. The section starts with Tutorial. As the players become better at it, they move from Tutorial to Beginner, Advanced, and Challenge.
Once the kids finish all the missions, they are ready to invent their own machines and to test them out at the next section “Build”. They can choose building blocks from 68 different parts, then connect the building blocks into one device. After they build the device, they can test it out and see how it works right away.
What kids can learn:
In addition to physics concepts, kids will improve their problem solving skills and creativities. While fine-tuning their device, they need be patient and persistent. It was interesting to watch my son being so absorbed while he was trying to make his invention to work.
Both my son and I like the app a lot. The flow of the activities is so well designed that kids won’t feel intimated by the physics concepts. Kids learn physics from hands-on activities. It might be helpful if a parent can be there pointing out some design flaws and whys, but kids will learn from their own mistakes if their invention fails. At App store, the recommended age is 10 and up. I think kids as young as 6 can enjoy the app. They won’t understand as much physics as older kids, but they can still have fun playing the games.
Monster physics is available for both iPhone and iPAD. It is $1.99 at App Store.
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