Google puts a science lab in an app
Google has created an app to turn Android devices into mobile laboratories, in the hopes it will inspire young scientists to explore, measure and test ideas about the world around them. The Science Journal app taps into all the various sensors in a mobile device or connected Arduino tools to record data and test hypotheses about the physical environment.
In addition to taking in all that data, the app also acts as a notebook where students or generally curious people can set up experiments, run trials, record data and test their predictions. The app can create visualizations for data coming in from a device's accelerometer, light sensor and microphone to measure light, motion and sound, just for starters.
Google has been supporting science education for a few years now through initiatives like its Google Science Fairs, where we'd expect this app to see use in years to come.
Google also teamed up with Exploratorium, a San Francisco-based science museum and educational organization, to create companion Science Journal kits with inexpensive sensors, microcontrollers and craft supplies to encourage students to push the limits of what can be examined using the app.
Google also wants to see its own code pushed further as well. It's opted to release the firmware code for the microcontroller in the kit on Github and the Science Journal app itself will be open sourced later this summer.
You can see the kits and app in action in the classroom in the video below.