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A STEM App for Girls that Encourages Discovery

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by Lori Cunningham

 SMART Adventures STEM App for Girls (6) R

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and a new STEM App for girls, called S.M.A.R.T. Adventures, shows young girls, ages 9+, how these subjects can empower them to be more than they imagined.

 

My fifth grade daughter is good in math, and she has been for awhile.  But lately, when I ask her to figure out about a discount at a store or quiz her on her multiplication (9’s – 12’s), she pushes back and tells me she’s on Summer vacation and she’s not going to answer such questions.  She’s becoming unsure of herself, mathematically, and finds an excuse to get the pressure off of her.  She’s beginning to lose her confidence in math.  That happened to me once.  I was in advanced math in 4th grade.  But somewhere down the line, I began to think I wasn’t good in this subject.  I began a downward spiral that caused strife in my life because I didn’t believe I was good in math.  I remember all the extra help I needed to get me through my homework in high school and college.  I was mostly an A student…but not in math.  My parents expected all A’s.  To this day, I’m hesitant in using my math skills, I have never been able to shake it.  I don’t want this fate for my daughter.

 

Math Made Fun with the STEM App for Girls

S.M.A.R.T Adventures is an app designed for girls in particular with a focus on STEM learning and interactive STEM problems to open girls’ eyes on how Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) can be used to solve problems in a fun way.  S.M.A.R.T Adventures is a single person game (though you can have up to three profiles so other people can play) where you find yourself in a space shuttle headed for the Shuttle Space Station in outer space.  Once you arrive you find that they are having some  major issues with their equipment due to sabotage.
SMART Adventures STEM App for Girls (6) R Jr. Agent
As a Junior Agent, you conduct certain tasks to help fix things in the space station.  Before beginning a task, you are taught a brief lesson like the difference between perpendicular and parallel to identify wires you need to use to begin to fix a robot.  Another task is identifying wires that correspond to a particular 20, 40, 60, 90, or 180 degree angle to fix a portion of the robot.
SMART Adventures STEM App for Girls (6) R Jr. Agent Labs
As a Junior Agent, you go to the different “Labs” on the spaceship to see how you can work on robots, repair wires, translate Mandarin to discover codes, make formulas in the chemistry lab, and much more.  And best yet?  You need to use your math skills to figure out the answer.   Does my daughter hesitate sometimes before a problem set?  Yes.  But she completes it because she’s anxious to see what happens next.
SMART Adventures STEM App for Girls (6) R  Labs
As you solve more projects in the Labs, you begin to receive clues as to who may have sabotaged the equipment.  S.M.A.R.T. Adventures is well thought out with great graphics, and intriguing story line, thought-provoking games involving STEM, and touch interactivity which makes solving the projects more fun.
THe S.M.A.R.T Adventures app sells for $7.99 and is available on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch through iTunes.
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A Mom’s Perspective

What I love about S.M.A.R.T Adventures is that the tasks (or learning exercises) are a part of the storyline so it makes the story and the exercises more engaging.  You actually do feel like an employee of the space program as you fix things and learn things along the way.   S.M.A.R.T Adventures makes learning fun and it is definitely a STEM app for girls with a focus is on the task at hand, not the fact that they are using their math skills.  And that is where the opportunity lies… take the focus off the pressure to respond, and instead focus on the project to be solved.
My daughter and I have enjoyed playing this app together and it gives me an opportunity to tell her that she will be studying interesting subjects like science, technology, engineering, and mathematics as she progresses further in school.  Seeing the bigger picture of how these subjects can be applied, can help get her past the “solve the math problem,” and focus on possible career options in her future.  With apps like these and future developments in technology, I have great hope that my daughter will gain confidence in math once again.
Our daughters are smarter than they believe, and it’s up to us as parents to remind them.  Is your daughter starting to doubt her math abilities?
*  I was given the S.M.A.R.T Adventures app in exchange for my honest opinion.  All opinions are my own.



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1 comments
Naomi
Naomi

Super cool! I'll have to check it out with Roo.

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