September 1, 2018 (Vol. 38, No. 15)
Strong Points: Nice animations, interactive
Weak Points: Can’t skip forward in the app
What’s a budding scientist to do when he/she can’t gain practice doing science in an actual lab? Why, take advantage of virtual labs, of course! The Virtual Labs: Using a Microscope app is one of a number of educational virtual lab apps created by the Learning Games Lab at New Mexico State University. Though of course it can’t perfectly mimic what it’s like to use a microscope in real life, the app does a nice job of creating an interactive microscope experience. App users read brief information blurbs as they progress through the app and learn about light microscopes. They can also swipe across the screen to change objectives on the virtual microscope, place their sample under the objective, and focus the microscope to view their sample. Given the brevity of the text blurbs, the app is quite informative and offers a nice introduction to basic microscopy.