Starry Night Middle School - Astronomy

Price: Android - Paid iPhone/iPad - Paid

Teacher Overview

The Starry Night Middle school App is a stunning app to teach the concepts of Astronomy and Solar learning. The app has vast content and matches all aspects of the curriculum at many levels. The app includes thousands of astronomical images, and contains encyclopaedic descriptions of the constellations, stars and planets. 28 lessons are built in to the application and correlated to 5th through 8th grade standards and Key stage 2 to Key stage 3 in the UK. Integrated exercises are joined to hundreds of simulations, images and interactions!

Supported by easy to use menu systems and stunning 3D interactive solar simulations this app will enable students to be inspired and grasp the concepts of Astronomy.

Teacher Review

We have reviewed many Solar Astronomy apps at the EAS and this is by far one of the best.

Upon opening the app the user is presented with a striking platform of visual graphics and a control centre that may seem overwhelming at first. The app requires your location at this point for the main features to work and track the solar sky. The interactive lesson guide on the left is an excellent feature and we opted straight for the tutorial icon which took us nicely through the operations of the app in detail.

Once you have discovered and mastered how the operational platform works you will see very quickly that this application has a vast amount of content. The app gives you access to some valuable learning units that will tick the boxes for most curriculum science and astronomy topics. The units are labelled from A to I and cover Earth, moon and sun to star finding through to space exploration and much more. The apps units have been matched against a US curriculum for 5th to 8th graders but could be easily transferred for UK lessons, something that we would like to see. All units expand to present further complex lessons in detail supported by exercises and questions. These questions will stretch the learner’s capabilities and challenge the most gifted of students, however we would have liked to have some answers here to help with student feedback or some level of differentiation.

The interactive time lapse controls are where this app really excels and we really enjoyed how smooth and informative this is. The app developers could consider using augmented star gazing where the student could make use of the camera to pin point stars in their own environment rather than a simulated one.

The app is supported with other features such as a help section, the ability to obtain further information from the skies and orbiting tools. The Glossary is comprehensive and great for revising keywords. The platform also offers a night view mode, compass positioning, solar orbiting and the ability to measure angles and distance between objects.

Although you may be concerned about the initial price of this app it is worth every penny and will inspire young students to become scientists of the future. If anything this app has undersold itself by using the terms Middle school app as we feel that the apps content could be suited to all ages from Middle school to Upper school to further education. Its curriculum versatility is endless.

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Inside the app

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From the Developer

The Starry Night Middle School App for Android is the most comprehensive educational astronomy app - period. Use it with your introductory astronomy textbook or on its own. It's a powerful, portable planetarium that fits in your backpack. It puts thousands of stars and planets at your fingertips. It lets you find objects in the sky using your Android device’s built-in compass and accelerometer.

The Starry Night Middle School App includes thousands of astronomical images, and contains encyclopedic descriptions of the constellations, stars and planets. 28 lessons are built in to the application and correlated to 5th through 8th grade standards. Integrated exercises are joined to hundreds of simulations, images and interactions! The exercises are even mapped to popular astronomy textbooks. A massive object database and the ability to leave Earth and fly into orbit around any Solar System object or nearby star is a most popular feature. It shows you 2.6 million stars, and 31,000 deep sky objects - including the entire NGC/IC catalog and it includes nearly 18,000 asteroids, comets, and satellites with updateable orbits.

The Starry Night Middle School App for Android is guaranteed to make it easier for astronomy students to visually grasp the concepts of astronomy. You’ll be amazed at what you learn and what a great time you'll have with your course and this program.

Exercise Topics Include:
• Earth, Moon and Sun
• Solar System
• The Planets
• Small Solar System Bodies
• Star Finding and Constellations
• The Sun as a Star
• The Stars
• Galaxies and the Universe
• Space Exploration and Technology

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