Friday, June 10, 2011

Science 360 from National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation in the U.S.A. released on June 9, 2011 a new free iPad App called Science 360.  The news release explains "This application features spectacular images from NSF-funded institutions in high resolution for download to the iPad. The application also allows users to share images and video on Facebook and Twitter or via email.  In addition, breaking science news is always at a user's fingertips through the application news feed."

Essentially the app is a visually intuitive and engaging front end to content available on the internet.  The name comes from a 360 degree wall of thumbnail images (and in some cases videos).  One can drag to view the thumbnails, then click to select.  Some of the images are truly awesome.  Each image has a brief caption explaining the science or application.  Clicking will hide the caption and show the complete image.  A few of them are videos, including one on aspects of the physics of NFL football (mainly dealing with fluid loss).

"Science360 for iPad demonstrates the successful partnerships and platforms NSF has developed with NBC Learn and as well as Science Nation, to communicate science and technology discoveries to a broader audience." The app is intended for the iPad, and is available free from the iTunes store.  As it warns, the high resolution images and video are data intensive, so be cautious using this if you are on a wireless data plan and not Wifi.

For what it strives to do, it is intuitive and visually impressive.  It is more a good place to occasionally browse, rather than to go specifically to learn or research a topic.  I give it an overall rating of 8 (out of 10).


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  2. I downloaded Science 360 to my iPad successfully but am unable to get any sound from the videos.My iPad is supported by Wi-Fi.
    December 26,2011

  3. Hi Mia,
    Thanks for your email. While it goes dark, it is still dimly visible, so hopefully that will allow you to find it again. Another option though would be to use two finger tap to bring up more options, then to press a star to "save" the reference to it. Then when in the globe view another two finger tap will give you the option to view just your saved reference videos. This is an easy way to quickly reference those of interest to you.

  4. Hi Jesse,
    I am not sure the exact problem, as the sound works fine for me. Some of the videos (particularly the simulation ones) are silent, it isn't just that you have tried only a few that have no sound? Or that your have the sound turned completely down, or muted, on your iPad?