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Nova Elements

By Sally Finley - Posted Sep 1, 2014
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Company: Public Broadcasting Service, 2100 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA, 22202

Price: Nova Elements is free. A DVD of Hunting the Elements can be purchased for $2.99 through the iTunes Store.

Audience: Secondary, College, Adult

Format: Works in conjunction with iTunes.

System Requirements: iTunes can be used on a PC or Mac computer and requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Requires an Apple ID set up for use on the iTunes Store.

Description: Nova Elements presents a movie and interactive activity on the elements in the Periodic Table.


Overall Rating:5 Stars
Ease of Use:A
Product Support:A


Reviewer Comments:

Installation/Access: Nova Elements can be accessed from a computer or an Apple iPad. All it takes is a free download of the Apple iTunes program on the computer. It requires an Apple ID setup. Users must choose their local PBS television station to access the program. Installation: A

Content/Features: Hunting the Elements is a two-hour program from the Making Stuff PBS program. Content focuses on how everything in the world comes from fewer than 100 elements. The film features extreme and unusual chemistry. On the iPad, a content page divides the content into 12 chapters.

Explore the Elements gives the atomic number of an element, its scientific abbreviation, and information about the element. The user can build the element by clicking on a button and adding protons, neutrons, and electrons. A tweet button connects to the user’s Twitter account to share experiences and information with others.

A Play section gives the user access to building each element from component atoms and molecules. Guidance is provided in the building process. Everyday elements are featured, and the user has the opportunity to construct the elements and molecules that make up these everyday items. A main menu bar on the top of each page provides access to go back one screen or to go home. Content/Features Rating: A

Ease of Use: Nova Elements is a PBS program that works on iTunes. Ease of Use Rating: A

Product Support: Support is provided by PBS using an FAQ page. Users can write to PBS or contact their local PBS station for assistance. A Support Page offers several options. Product Support Rating: A

Recommendation: Nova Elements can be accessed on the computer or on the iPad. This makes it easy for the user to access the information anytime and anywhere. The video provides an extraordinary program on the elements in the periodic table. It would be a wonderful addition to any science program. Material is presented in a simple, easy-to-understand manner. Interactive activities engage the learner in a fun and informative way. The site is easy to navigate using a menu bar on each page.

Nova Elements is available as an app from the iTunes Store. Teachers and students will find the program easy to use. The program helps students understand why the periodic table is shaped in its current form, the unique set of properties of each element, and how elements combine to make everyday objects such as bananas, a watch, a shirt, and a cup of coffee. I liked the instructions feature of the game, which offered advice on playing the game and suggested the cup of coffee as a good place
to start.

The Nova Elements video is excellent and contains excellent images and film footage of the chemistry of elements. I highly recommend this app for educators and learners of all ages. It would definitely help students acquire an understanding of the elements in the periodic table. Highly Recommended

Reviewer: Sally Finley, Educational Consultant, Coral Springs, Fla.

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