Finding chemistry - Weekend

Finding chemistry

By Meg Rivera

ONCE upon a time, I had big dreams of being a Chemistry major. But then again I wanted to marry Hugh Jackman and be the next Joan Jett. I’ve always been fascinated by how things work, and moreso how they do on a molecular level. Trips to the Chem lab at school were always such a treat because we got to put our calculations to the test and to see cool stuff happen. Nothing ever exploded, though I remember someone tipping over a Bunsen burner and setting a classmate’s book ablaze.

Chemistry was such a pleasant experience for me, and it kills me to hear the younguns complain about how difficult it is. It doesn’t have to be, and neither does it have to be boring. Not with these apps at least.

This week, put down your textbook and pick up your smart phone. We look at three apps that are all about making Chem and easier to learn. Who knows, you might not have to pick your textbook up ever again!

ChemIQApp name: ChemIQ

App developer: Clef Software Inc

Available on: iTunes, Google Play

Easy to use: I’ll be honest, this is a little bit more complex than Candy Crush. The whole point of this game is to balance out chemical equations, given individual floating elements. You are given compounds, then you have to break them up and reassemble them into equal components.

Overall comment: Teachers will find that this is a great way to introduce the concept of balancing equations. Explaining theory can only go so far, but with this app, you can visualise how compounds can balance out each other when combined with other compounds. The app comes with 15 levels, and if you want more levels you will have to purchase them. Great for students and teachers alike. Three clicks out of five.

iElementsApp name: iElements – Periodic Table of the Chemical Elements

App developer: Max Soderstrom

Available on: iTunes, Google Play

Easy to use: It’s pretty simple to crack. It’s a complete periodic table of elements, and all you have to do is tap on an element and it displays its basic information. Tap on it again and it takes you to an expanded view with more information and a link to the official Wikipedia page.

Overall comment: Dmitri Mendeleev would do a triple somersault if he saw what his work has come to. This interactive version is much more informative than anything National Bookstore could ever come up with. You will need an internet connection to access the Wikipedia page, but that is something you may only need to access in your free time. This doesn’t win any awards for design or aesthetic value, but when has a periodic table ever needed to be pretty? Three clicks out of five.

App name: Chemical Reaction LiteChemical-Reaction-Lite

App developer: Blue Whale

Available on: iTunes, Google Play

Easy to use: This may need a disclaimer more than anything. This app doesn’t actually enhance any knowledge of Chemistry, but it provides a nice break from when you are studying. It’s a simple game, where you have to “stabilise” a liquid by tapping on dots.

Overall comment: This is fairly mindless, I will warn. This doesn’t take a lot of brain cells to use, but that’s not really a dealbreaker when you’re just wanting to relax. It still keeps your brain running on a low gear which is all you really need. Additional levels need to be purchased, but I reckon you’d be happy with just three. Two clicks out of five.

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