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Skyscrapers

Lower Age: 6
Upper Age: 8
Website: https://tinybop.com/apps/skyscrapers
Price: $2.99
Year Added: 2016
Skyscraper 1
Skyscraper 2
Skyscraper 3
Skyscraper 4

Skyscrapers is an engaging app for iOS that explores the construction of different skyscrapers in a unique cityscape. Using the app, children have the opportunity to build their own skyscrapers while considering the wants and needs of the people who live and work in them. Children can install elevators, test the building’s structural integrity against natural disasters, and learn about ways to increase energy efficiency. This app promotes engineering thinking and design as children create designs that they must then test to determine their effectiveness. Users can also download the Skyscrapers Handbook from the Tinybop website for free, which offers design ideas, building suggestions, and thought-provoking questions. The handbook is beneficial because it makes the user consider the real life applications of the concepts found in the app, extending the content beyond simply designing colorful city skylines. The supplemental information provided in the handbook includes how skyscrapers are built and how utilities such as water and electricity are included and maintained in designs. Questions at the end of each section connect the app’s STEM concepts to broader ideas of people’s needs, provoking interesting discussions about the important human aspects of engineering. In working to build their ideal skyscraper, children are forced to work around various constraints to manage their clients' needs, learning about some of the most important elements of engineering in the process.

 

 

Engineering thinking and design practices the gift encourages children to do or learn about:

Generate ideas, refine ideas, apply science, define a problem, create the prototype or process, test the solution, analyze the solution, redesign the solution


Engineering text or context explicitly provided by the gift: A client, a problem


Additional practices and skills needed by engineers that were addressed by the gift:

Creative thinking, design

 

 

Overall ratings:

  • Children Reviews

    • Rating:  4.3 out of 5.0

    • Feedback:

      • “This app was fun. I liked building the skyscrapers.”
  • Parents Reviews

    • Rating:  4.0 out of 5.0

    • Feedback:

      • “I like that the app has a handbook to help my kids get even more out of the app and think about what they were learning beyond the game.”
  • Engineering & STEM Experts Reviews

    • Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0

    • Feedback:

      • “Although the app is vague on what it wants you to do, the user is expected to use his/her creative imagination to build skyscrapers for a city.”