Free iOS App – HudsonAlpha iCell (Biology)

Written by Nathan Smith on . Posted in iOS Apps, Mobile Apps, STEM and STEAM


We kept the name and the icon, but have rebuilt almost everything else based on suggestions we received from you, the users. iCell 3.0 includes all new 3D models of cellular organelles that are more accurate and realistic than those previously released on the iPhone/iPad. We have included additional organelles previously not found in the iPhone/iPad app. The iPad version also supports the ability to choose among three levels of detail in the descriptions of the cellular structures. Finally, we have redesigned the user interface with new menus and quicker load times between cell types. As always, iCell allows users a 3D view inside of a typical plant, animal and bacterial cell. Easily navigable and simple to use, iCell gives users an intuitive tool to compare animal, plant and bacterial cell structure.

iCell gives students, teachers, and anyone interested in biology a 3D view inside a cell. Included are examples of three types of cells: animal, plant, and bacteria. Learn about the various parts of the cell, which biologists, biochemists, and DNA researchers at the HudsonAlpha Institute study and use to advance the limits of biotechnology.

You can use your finger to tap on parts of the cell to select and zoom in on that particular organelle. Each organelle comes with a name and a short description of its function in the cell.

For a better view of each cell, hold down one finger on the screen, and drag to rotate around the cell or selected organelle. You can zoom in and out by pinching or flaring with two fingers at once.

We hope you enjoy!


Free iOS App – SPARKvue (data collection app for PASCO sensors)

Written by Nathan Smith on . Posted in iOS Apps, Mobile Apps, STEM and STEAM


New! SPARKvue 2.1 now brings live data sharing to our popular sensor-based data collection, visualization and analysis application for STEM learning. In addition to collecting data on your own iPad, SPARKvue now supports live sharing of sensor data with anyone else–on any other iPad, tablet, Mac or Windows computer.

Capture data from the world around you:
● Connect any of 70+ PASCO sensors via our Bluetooth interfaces–see pH, temperature, force, carbon dioxide level and much more–all in real time!
● Capture images with the integrated cameras and use SPARKvue’s image analysis capabilities
● Collect and display live data using the iPad onboard accelerometer and sound sensors

Key features:
● Measure and display sensor data in real time
● Display data in a graph, bar graph, analog meter, digits or table
● Build custom displays–mix display types, images, videos, text and assessments
● Analyze data with built-in statistical tools (min, max, mean, standard deviation, count and area)
● Select from 6 different curve fits including linear and quadratic
● Pinch and zoom manipulation of graphs
● Capture and annotate images
● Add videos, photos and GIFs
● Open and perform any of the 60+ SPARKlab interactive lab activities available free online
● Create and export electronic student lab journals
● Integrated with cloud-based file sharing services such as Dropbox and more
● Add assessments including multiple choice, drop down lists, and free text response
● Live data sharing and session sharing across devices–with each student capturing the shared data on their own device for further analysis

Designed for science learning:
● Convenient annotation, snapshot and electronic journaling are among the features supporting peer dialogue, classroom presentations, and assessment.
● With SPARKlab interactive lab activities, teachers can blend instructional content, live data collection & analysis, refl

Common user experience across platforms:
SPARKvue is a member of PASCO’s SPARKscience family, providing the same user experience across all technology environments:
● tablets
● computers
● interactive whiteboards
No matter what the mix of technology is in the classroom or the school, teachers and students all share the same user experience–placing the learning experience in the forefront and simplifying classroom management.

● 2010 CODiE award, Best Education solution for mobile devices
● 2010 Worlddidac Award for excellence
● 2011 EdNet’s Best for 2011; a “game changer”

Where do I get sensors?
PASCO offers over 70 PASPORT Sensors, including MultiMeasure Sensors such as the Chemistry or Water Quality Sensors, measuring multiple phenomena with just one convenient sensor box. For purchasing information, see

SPARKvue supports 25 languages. See for details.

SPARKvue has an integrated help system, just a touch away with the help icon. Further assistance with SPARKvue or any PASCO product is available free from PASCO Teacher Support.

About PASCO:
PASCO scientific brings a rich history of innovation and support for science education, with 50 years of service to educators around the world.


Free iOS App – Lab Timer

Written by Nathan Smith on . Posted in iOS Apps, Mobile Apps


LabTimer is a count-up and alarming count-down multi-timer.

LabTimerPhD is now available. It has all the same functionality as LabTimer. If you like LabTimer, please consider picking up LabTimerPhD! I'll use the suggestions on LabTimerPhD for future changes. All updates will be applied to both applications.

The look and feel of LabTimer is designed to emulate that of standard lab timers, providing quick access to count-down timers and repeat runs. LabTimer is not just good for the lab, though – it is also convenient for cooking, medication timing, working out, and child timeouts.

LabTimer has the following features:
– Four timers, individually configurable as count-up or alarming count-down
– Large display and buttons
– Display in Hours : Minutes : Seconds (limit above 1000 hours)
– Customizable text labels for each timer
– Small icons describing the state of all timers
– Disables iPod sleep, keeping your timer running and visible
– Designed to satisfy the lab needs of my molecular biologist wife

Count-down timers each:
– Display the projected finish time
– Alarm for one minute
– After the alarm, display the time elapsed since finish in red
– Repeat the last count-down by:
— pressing clear while the timer is paused
— pressing start/stop twice after the timer has finished

The iPhone currently prevents background processes, so LabTimer cannot alarm if the application is not running. However, the screen can be locked while the timers are running. The alarm also plays over and does not interrupt any playing music. While this will finally let you keep your noise-isolating headphones on during long incubations, please remember to experiment responsibly.

There are many timers and stopwatches on the App Store, but they did not fulfill my (or my wife's) needs. We're now using LabTimer, and we hope you will too.

LabTimer is free and will remain free. I've created LabTimerPhD, a pay app with identical features, if you'd like to contribute to future development. I haven't seen anyone else doing this and it seems like an interesting way of handling donations. 🙂

Free iOS App – Laboratory Timer

Written by Nathan Smith on . Posted in iOS Apps, Mobile Apps


Laboratory Timer is an easy to use countdown timer designed to run multiple alarm timers for laboratory at once.
With Laboratory Timer’s gorgeous interface and user friendly navigation, it has never been easier to manage scientific experiments.

To use the Laboratory Timer app just pull down to add a new timer, set the duration and press “Play”.

Key Features:

• Add and run as many timers as you need
• Save preset timers with name and duration
• Pause and resume timers
• Receive notification when the alarms go off


Free iOS App: Kaymbu (iPad-based teacher documentation system)

Written by Nathan Smith on . Posted in iOS Apps, Mobile Apps


Kaymbu is the iPad-based teacher documentation system to capture the essence of student development and strengthen relationships between home and school. Simplify classroom documentation and eliminate tedious, time- consuming administrative work. Teachers can also share observations with parents with just a few taps, and easily generate student portfolios for parent- teacher conferences or other reporting needs.