The apps are sorted by content area and how you might use them. I want to help as many students as possible get a high-quality three-dimensional science education. The apps will always be free. If you find them useful, consider donating to the Wild Haired Science Teacher on patreon. You’ll support development of more apps!
These replicate something like you would get with a hands on lab. Students can change things and see final velocities.
Bug In Meadow - Biology - Replicates the common Bead Bug activity. click/tap the bugs on a meadow to eat half of them. Click “count” to see how many of each color survived and then have them reproduce. After several generations you see strong selection pressure based on the colors in th meadow. This is one of the first I made so it looks janky but it works better than any actual beads and cloth version I’ve seen.
Bone, Cartilage, Tendon and Histology - Biology Shows slides of Students zoom in on four slides. Solid Bone, Tendon, Hyaline Cartilage, and Fibrocartilage. I could probably add elastic cartilage if there was demand but I am not talking about it with my students so I left it off. Start with a 10x slide and zoom in to 40x-200x micrographs. Pointers show clear examples of the cell types. Big thank you to Berkshire Community College Bioscience Image Library for releasing their microscopy photos in the public domain.
Connective Tissue Histology Slides - Biology - Shows different types of irregular connective tissue: Dense, reticular, areloar, and white adipose. Start with a 10x slide and zoom in to 40x-200x micrographs. Pointers show clear examples of the cell types. Big thank you to Berkshire Community College Bioscience Image Library for releasing their microscopy photos in the public domain. Please let me know if the labels are wrong. It’s been a long time since I took histology and I couldn’t find my textbook.
Epithelium Histology Slides - Biology - Shows different types of epithelial cells: simple cuboidal, simple columnar, and squamous. Start with a 10x slide and zoom in to 40x-200x micrographs. Pointers show clear examples of the cell types. Big thank you to Berkshire Community College Bioscience Image Library for releasing their microscopy photos in the public domain.
Fish Population - Biology - A population of fish live in a pool each with its own simulated genome. The fish’s appearance depends (in an unrealistic way) on the genome. If two fish overlap with similar enough DNA, they will reproduce. In one pool, mutation will cause the population to drift over time. THe user can separate the fish into two pools and watch them diverge over time and then recombine them to see if they are two distinct species.
Onion Root Tip Slides - Biology - Shows onion root tip slides. Start with a macro picture of green onions and zoom in on two roots at 40x and 100-400x. Slides are chosen to show stages of mitosis clearly. Big thank you to Berkshire Community College Bioscience Image Library for releasing their microscopy photos in the public domain.
Peppered Moths - Biology - Classic peppered moth experiment with a graph to show directional and stabilizing selection. User taps moths to eat them. After half are eaten the simulation automatically counts and reproduces them with a small amount of mutation. The simulation shows can show clean trees or sooty trees, or the user can change the darkness.
Saw Whet Owls Carrying Capacity - Biology - Tiny owls eat mice at night and then sleep during the day. During the day, hawks eat the owls unless they can find a safe place to hide. I made this to give my students a way to discover the idea of carrying capacity based on multiple factors, in this case food and shelter. Students can change the number of hollow trees and mice and see how the owl population changes over time. Not my prettiest but it did get the job done.
|Food Web - Biology - Students add organisms and then connect them through predator-prey relationships to create a model of an ecosystem. They can then highlight individual organisms to make the relationships within the model clear. The app can create links so they can share their food webs. This is an [example of the local Chicago ecosystem]( https://whscience.org/foodweb/#Raccoon,Rac,252,240;Bats,Bat,648,396;Plants,Pla,444,480;Mosquito,Mos,396,48;Coyote,Coy,240,588;Rabbits,Rab,456,600;Squirrels,Squ,636,564;Opposums,Opp,372,312;Robins,Rob,108,348;Pigeons,Pig,72,156;Sparrows,Spa,84,528;Hawks,Haw,264,108;Moths,Mot,576,96;Flies,Fli,648,228;Spiders,Spi,456,168;Frog,Fro,504,360;Trash,Tra,276,444||,;Pla,Squ;Pla,Rab;Pla,Spa;Pla,Pig;Pla,Mos;Pla,Mot;Pla,Rac;Tra,Rac;Tra,Pig;Spa,Haw;Pig,Haw;Pig,Rac;Rob,Rac;Rob,Haw;Rac,Coy;Rac,Fli;Rac,Mos;Rac,Opp;Tra,Opp;Coy,Opp;Mos,Spi;Mos,Bat;Mos,Fro;Opp,Coy;Spi,Bat;Spi,Opp;Tra,Spa;Rab,Coy;Rab,Fli;Fro,Rac;Fro,Coy;Fro,Opp;Mot,Bat;Mot,Rob;Squ,Coy;Squ,Haw;Fli,Fro;Fli,Spi;Mot,Spi;Fli,Bat;Fli,Opp;Fli,Rob;Bat,Haw) my students made.|
Think of these as virtual practice problems. Students make measurements and calculate or figure something out.
Bacteria Plate Streaking - Biology - Students practice the procedure of streaking a plate to isolate a bacteria culture. Heavy inspired by this excellent simulation out of Michigan State University that unfortunately doesn’t work well for remote learning because it requires flash. A request of my wife’s.
Cat Genetics – DNA to Protein - Biology - Take two genes from four cats through the process of transcription to translation to protein folding. Students can find patterns in the genes that code for the protein that makes eumelanin and the protein that moves the melanin into the cat hairs. They can even identify how the DNA changed to give the different version and explain how that changed the cats’ appearance. Students also practice the mechanics of transcription and translation. Based on my original Hemoglobin DNA to Protein app. This app uses shortened versions of the real DNA sequences.
Codon Chart - Biology - Not really a measurement or problem but a tool. Quick interactive version of a circular codon chart. It helps students learn how to read the static version since it gives visual feedback about which amino acid you are selecting.
DNA Replication - Biology - Students act as the enzymes involved in DNA replication, they open the strand as helicase and then copy both sides as polymerase. Simple, but gives students practice quickly and independently. Works with touch or mouse and keyboard.
DNA to Protein - Biology - Students Transcribe and Translate a sequence of DNA and then see the amino acid chain fold into a protein. The app keeps track of how many they complete in case you want to use it for homework. You can either use randomly generated sequences or four built in segments taken from the four subparts of hemoglobin. Once students complete all four protein subparts, they can see the assembly of the whole protein. Sickle celled hemoglobin is also shown so they can compare how a point mutation changes the shape of the final protein and cell. There is also a version for practice without hemoglobin and a practice version with much shorter sequences.
Gel and Restriction Enzymes - Biology - An old request of my wife’s - Two simulations. The first is using restriction enzymes without sticky ends. The second is moving DNA segments a la gel electrophoresis. Keeps track of how many you have done.
Transcription and Translation - Biology - Move base pairs around to transcribe off an open DNA sequence and then act as tRNA and bring in the right amino acid using a chart. I’m going to be honest. This app is so old I don’t really remember making it but I tested it out and it seems to work fine. There is a new, cleaner version of this that also show protein folding. See Dna to Protein above
Sometimes it’s easier for me to make an app once rather than make 100 versions of a diagram.
Blood Pressure Diagram - Biology - A request of my wife’s - Shows the dial on an analog sphygmomanometer. Can show systolic and diastolic side by side or on the same dial. Use a screenshot to save the image. (Win-PrtScn or Fn-Win-Space on Windows, Shift-Cmd-4 on Mac)
Chromosome Diagram - Biology - A request of my wife’s - Make pictures of chromosomes showing bands. The bands can be labeled wtih alleles. You can change the color of the chromosomes and the length of its legs. Screenshot to save the diagrams.
Osmosis Diagram Maker - Biology - Quickly make infinite diagrams showing a cell membrane molecules inside and out so students can practice thinking about the flow of water across the membrane. Change the amounts by dragging the boxes on the right. Click to re-roll with the same numbers. Screenshot to save the diagram. (Sorry, no screenshot button on this one.)
Feedback Loop Diagram Maker - Biology - My wife was making diagrams for students to practice thinking about feedback systems in the body. I saved her some time (read procrastinated on my own work) by making her an app where she can quickly make the diagrams. Click on the boxes or arrows to edit the text. Click the screenshot button to save as images.
Pedigree Maker - Biology - A request of my wife’s - Make pedigree diagrams by dragging the pieces around. Double click to select a piece. Use a screenshot to save the image. (Win-PrtScn or Fn-Win-Space on Windows, Shift-Cmd-4 on Mac)
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