Review: Star Walk for iPad (iPad)

Grades:
 
   Educational—A+
   Fun—A
   Overall—A+
 
Price: $4.99
 
Developer: NASA
 
Compatible: iPad
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Review

What it is:
 
“Star Walk-5 Stars Astronomly Guide” is an iPad app that provides an augmented reality experience to spark and reinforce kids interest in astronomy. An augmented reality experience is how the app uses the current location of the user in order to show the sky in the iPad’s screen in real time.
 
How it Works:
 
The app asks if it can use the current location of the user.  When this is allowed, the app uses the iPad’s built in location detection capability in order to display on the screen what heavenly bodies are overhead.
 
By moving the iPad and pointing it in another direction, the screen adjusts to show what is now ovehead in that direction.
 
As you move the iPad, kids can slect a planet, star, satellite, or constellation and learn more with pictures and information.
 
In addition, the app has the following:
-Time Machine: allows kids to see what the sky looks like at any moment in time
-Calendar of Celestial Events: to plan stargazing
-Picture of the Day: stunning pictures from space
-Search: to find where any heavenly object is located at that exact moment in time
-Bid Screen: add a second display to view the sky on a big screen
And more!
 
What it Teaches/Develops:
 
This app encourages kids to learn more about astronomy and the stars.

The Good:
 
This app is like having an in-house Planetarium where exploration for kids will take place in real-time.  The graphics are excellent and the ambiance of the sound effects adds to its distinctive look.