Science students snap into reality with new ANSTO app

Tap and swipe: Kirrawee High School students try out a free periodic table app launched by ANSTO.
Tap and swipe: Kirrawee High School students try out a free periodic table app launched by ANSTO.

ANSTO is helping change the way science is taught in the classroom, by converting an old periodic table into an augmented reality app that brings the elements to life.

Launched this National Science Week, ANSTO periodic table posters in schools across Australia are now able to activate the ANSTO XR augmented reality app for free.

By scanning the periodic table with an IOS or Android device, key elements across the periodic table are brought to life.

2019 is the UESCO International Year of the Periodic table. For the past 10 years, ANSTO has been providing schools with periodic table posters.

The periodic table of elements is a key feature of the Australian science curriculum and is introduced to all students in year 9.

Modern science: Periodic tables transformed into digital resources.

Modern science: Periodic tables transformed into digital resources.

Adi Paterson, chief executive of ANSTO, says ANSTO is committed to engaging the next generation with STEM and by using virtual reality and now augmented reality apps, we can introduce science in new and ingenious ways.

"This app is set to change Australia's science classrooms as we know them. It has the potential to foster an early interest in science that could lead to more students choosing STEM subjects at university," Dr Paterson said.

"Every single ANSTO periodic table, in every science classroom in Australia can now be used to activate the augmented reality app, which is free to download."

Year 9 Kirrawee High School student, Elena Mbeya, who recently trialled the app, says it's a great and interesting way to learn science.

"When I grow up, I would love to be a material science engineer, so I really enjoyed using this app. It's a great way to make science more fun and engaging," she said.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, says it is essential that STEM subjects are appealing and interesting for our next generation.

"It's so important that we get as many children as possible studying these subjects, because so many of the jobs of the future will require the skills," Minister Andrews said.

ANSTO also launched a virtual reality experience of the OPAL multi-purpose reactor in 2018 which has been ranked within the top 100 education apps in 2018 by Apple.

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