Top iPad Apps to Teach Kids About the Periodic Table

elements-1Do you remember the first time you came face-to-face with the Periodic Table of the Elements? Was it exciting? Daunting? Maybe a little boring?

We’ve selected a range of iPad apps that teach the periodic table to a number of age ranges. Whether a student is learning about the periodic table for the first time or is on her way to becoming a dedicated student of chemistry, these apps will help her learn about the difference between Hydrogen and Ununoctium, and every element in between.


elem1Touch Press’ The Elements, which is a digital version of Wolfram Research founder Theodore Gray’s print book by the same name, is the Cadillac of periodic table apps. This coffee table book app has beautiful photos, and includes a rendition of Tom Lehrer‘s unforgettably funny ditty “The Elements.” The Elements is a bit pricey ($13.99), and as with most Touch Press Apps, it’s a space-hogging 1.72 GB. The app’s lucid approach and fluid interface make it worth every penny and kilobyte it requires. Recommended for all ages.

elem2Nova Elements, may be free to download, but it doesn’t short change the user. NYT columnist David Pogue “hosts” the app, and brings the same open-minded, almost goofy, curiosity to the periodic table that fans of his work on Nova Science Now will recognize and appreciate. Playing Pogue’s “Essential Elements” game entertains as it educates. Nova Elements includes an atomic/molecular sandbox where the user has a chance to build an any atom herself, or tap autobuild and watch the subatomic particles come together. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

elem3There are also a number of apps that present the periodic table in a clear, accessible way. Parents or teachers who are looking for a child’s first introduction to the periodic table will find Tap to Learn’s Elements App — Chemistry Periodic Table offers kids as young as 5 a way to learn about the elements, while older children will benefit from the app’s quizzes. Aimed at middle and high school students, Oresome Elements is a free game that teaches kids about the periodic table while they play. Alternatively, Jumper Mobile’s iLearn: Periodic Table includes reference, game, and test modes, so kids can learn, study, and check their knowledge within the same app.

Have you used the iPad to introduce the periodic table of elements to your child or students? Please share your favorite periodic table apps in the comments.

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About Emily: Emily is a freelance writer who loves discovering new apps whenever she can pry the iPad away from her children or husband. You can contact her via Twitter: @whatwentwrite