SHOUT SCIENCE! by Scott Dubois


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Age Range: 7 - 11
Available on the App Store
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This app focuses on the research of Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717), Anton van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) and James Hutton (1726-1797)—not exactly titans on par with Galileo and Newton but unquestionably critical Enlightenment figures.

The figures’ relative obscurity is actually an asset, as the storytelling focus gives the biographies an element of surprise and something for young readers to relate to: All three are depicted as precocious outsiders who persuaded the establishment of the value of their findings through hard work. For instance, Merian, a pioneer in the study of metamorphosis, is shown trying to communicate her research from girlhood through middle age, ultimately successfully. The cartoon artwork features a bright and pastel-heavy palette, with a simple swipe-up movement to page through the story. Users are encouraged to touch animated circles and word bubbles, though they’re only moderately engaging—a recited passage from Hutton’s research paper or a close-up of a bee’s face scrutinized through van Leeuwenhoek’s microscope. Additional informational pages for each scientist include a more thorough timeline, a fuller description of the era and scientific concepts, and brief bibliographies. It’s a pity the app is so relatively static, though: The lack of animation in the chapter on Hutton’s research into erosion and subterranean heat, for instance, seems like a missed opportunity.

Though it doesn’t take full advantage of its medium, a playful introduction to a trio of core scientific theories. (Requires iOS 6.1+) (iPad informational app. 7-11)



Pub Date: July 20th, 2013
Publisher: Scott Dubois
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2013


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