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Shapes - 3D Geometry Learning

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This app is a great iOS app that will help students understand geometry for Key Stage 3.  Students can learn and explore different types of three dimensional solids including prisms, pyramids, Platonic solids and solids of revolution.  Users can pick and choose from up to 27 unique shapes and unfold them into different net combinations. Each shape works beautifully with the option to highlight the vertices and edges of a prism or colour selected elements of a pyramid.  Shapes – 3D Geometry Learning is easy to navigate and uses simple gesture control to zoom and rotate shapes in any direction. A stunning app!

Teacher Review

This slick looking geometry app allows the user to pick from a great number of three-dimensional shapes. The opening menu presents four categories - prisms, pyramids, Platonic solids and solids of revolutions. Selecting any category will then open up another list of roughly six shapes to be chosen. The three dimensional shape is then at your command to open up using a slider, zoom in or out and rotate by touch. It is very simple to navigate around the options, it is intuitive and therefore very little text is required for instructions. In all there are 27 different shapes to explore.

Each of the shapes is presented in a sharp and clear manner, which gives the feel of actually interacting with it. There are a number of ways to investigate the shapes, for example by highlighting the edges or the vertices. It is also possible to change the colour of individual sides or make the shape transparent. Seeing through the shape allows the user to get a full sense of its 3D nature. There are faded reference lines that also help to investigate symmetry. For most shapes there is more than one type of net that can be used to make the shape and there is an option to change the type of net used.

One of the best additions to the app is the ability to print the net for any shape (except for the solids of rotation). If the shape has been altered, by colouring an individual side, then this will be transferred to the print copy as well. This can be printed directly to any air printer, shared by email or saved to the tablet's photo app. In a classroom setting this adds an extra skill to be developed by constructing a shape that has been studied.

I can imagine most students between the ages of 10 and 14 will be intrigued by what 'Shapes' offers. The student is free to explore with no restrictions and teachers will find it an excellent visualization tool. It is simplistic and will require only a few minutes to get to grips with what it offers.

Many other apps benefit from assessment or quiz options and this is one thing that 'Shapes' does not provide. Unfortunately there is no inclusion of formula, for example for volume or surface area. This may be something the developers can consider to stretch its educational application. Combining an assessment and formula section will make this the complete app for geometry education.

Shapes 3D is available for iPad, iPhone and iPod for £2.99. This review is based on version 2.1 released on 31st October. For all that this app offers and the quality of presentation the cost seems very reasonable.


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From the Developer

Learn, teach and explore different types of 3D solids and help students understand geometry in a pleasant way.

SHAPES uses the power of mobile devices to enhance teacher capabilities and provide possibilities to show things that cannot be shown with physical tools. It can help to create interest and enthusiasm in school mathematics classes at all levels.

The app was verified and approved by the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science at Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznan. It was specifically prepared to support the teacher in the classroom, but can also be used as a tool for self-study. From now on there is a save and print option available for each net so that the kids can explore solids outside the app and improve their manual skills as well.

Discover a fascinating world of solids like prisms, pyramids, solids of revolution and Platonic solids. Start from the simplest and gradually explore the most complex ones. Engage your students with a new Nets Creator mode. Let them build solids from scratch and discover hundreds of unique net combinations.

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The app has been awarded Appaward 2014 in education category and 4-star Educational App Store certification. It also became a proud member of Moms With Apps program!

SHAPES features:

- Select 27 unique shapes
- Choose from a variety of: prisms, pyramids, Platonic solids and solids of revolution
- Unfold shapes into different net combinations
- Learn about number of faces, edges and vertices for each solid
- Build solids from scratch in Nets Creator mode
- Save and print chosen net
- Explore transparent surfaces mode
- Highlight the vertices and edges
- Color selected elements
- Use simple gesture control
- Rotate the shapes in any direction
- Zoom in and out by pinch and spread gestures
- Align to basic position by double tap

Note: SHAPES does not contain advertising, in-app purchases or any other downloadable content.

The app is available in the following languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Russian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Turkish, Danish, Norwegian.

Geometry is perhaps the most elementary of the sciences that enable man, by purely intellectual processes, to make predictions (based on observation) about physical world. - H. M. S. Coxeter

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Learning Outcomes

Key Features

In-App Purchases - No

In-App Advertising - No

Curriculum Aligned

Yes (Find out more)