December 1, 2014 (Vol. 34, No. 21)
Strong Points: Sleek design, good synthesis of information in build mode
Weak Points: Some exercises get a bit redundant
You might say that the Trendy Chem app is doubly trendy. First, its sleek, high-tech-looking design is sure to earn "cool" points from chemistry students; second, this app emphasizes teaching students about chemical trends of the periodic table. Through a number of exercises, the app quizzes students on subatomic particles (finding the number of electrons, protons, or neutrons of an element, given the atomic and mass numbers), periodic families (alkali metals, halogens, etc.), and periodic trends (atomic radius, electronegativity, electron affinity, and ionization energy). There is also a neat build mode that has students synthesize information and build elements according to particular requirements (e.g. build a transition metal that has an atomic radius larger than lithium).