Elementary science classrooms should be a place for students to learn about scientific phenomena in an engaging way that helps them understand the world around them. Hands-on, 3D models (aka manipulatives or teaching aids) and experiments have long proven to be invaluable in helping students understand science concepts. Students have a sense of “ownership” when something is in their hand, they are more likely to actively inspect it. With access to the right resources, learning becomes multi-sensory and students are engaged and excited to learn.
However, many elementary science programs face serious barriers to providing engaging, hands-on resources to students, such as:
- Physical resources are expensive, so most science classrooms have very few, given the breadth of science curriculum to cover
- Physical resources can break, go missing and are at risk of becoming outdated
- Given those challenges, it is rare that every student has access to the resources for a long enough time, if at all. And even more rare that they’ll be available for take-home learning
Merge EDU is a hands-on digital learning platform that helps students learn science and STEM effectively with 3D models and simulations they can touch, hold and interact with.
Here’s how it works - there is curriculum-aligned digital content contained in a few apps installed on your compatible devices. As you hold a physical Merge Cube, you select one of the digital simulations or teaching aids from one of the apps, then scan the physical cube with your device's camera. The Merge Cube then transforms on your device’s screen, and now you are holding that content, with the cube creating a tactile element. And the content is interactive. Watch a demo by visiting mergeedu.com/demo
Using Merge EDU and the Merge Cube in your elementary science classroom enables an engaging, standards-aligned, multisensory learning experience unlike any other. Students instantly engage with science simulations and digital teaching aids naturally and intuitively using visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile senses, for more memorable and impactful learning. The digital teaching aids provide thousands of dollars in supplies for every student at a fraction of the cost, and studies show they are just as effective as physical models for learning both in classrooms and at home.
Since students are actually holding and interacting with science simulations and 3D models, they are able to make connections and understand abstract concepts in a concrete way.
How to use Merge EDU in Science Classrooms:
Merge EDU consists of over 1000 pieces of digital content in apps that are perfect for use in elementary science classrooms - science simulations, digital teaching aids, and globe activities. Supported by easy-to-follow activity plans and built-in quizzes, students gain key knowledge while engaged and immersed in learning.
The Merge Explorer app contains over 100 interactive science simulations that bring elementary sciences topics to life. The simulations instantly engage students in the topic, and give students the ability to understand and visualize complex concepts in the palm of their hands. They can separate layers of Earth, hold the water cycle, dissect a frog, and more. Students will understand complex topics more easily and remember what they learned longer.
Digital Teaching Aids
The Merge Object Viewer app has over 1,000 hands-on digital manipulatives that give students the ability to inspect and explore objects like animal skulls and rocks and minerals, very large objects like planets, and even microscopic objects like plant and animal cells. It’s like having an infinite shelf of hands-on supplies for every student for learning and understanding, that won’t break or get lost.
The Merge HoloGlobe app brings real-time and historical NOAA and NASA satellite and sensor data and simulations to your students, providing stunning views of the Earth and its many processes and systems. Students can use this real-time and historical satellite data projected onto a virtual globe in order to Investigate real time Earth data, observe real simulations & forecasts, identify areas around the globe, and analyze global trends over time.
The science simulations, digital teaching aids and globe activities can be used in a science classroom at any time during a lesson - before, to introduce the concept; during, to give them experience and practice with the concept; then after, to sum up, and review the concept. When students use Merge EDU, it makes them accountable for their learning since they are actually holding and interacting with the content. And, the activity plans and sharing options make it easy to use and share with students, for impactful learning that keeps students engaged.
“Why should teachers integrate Merge? First and foremost, it’s the engagement factor! Students are drawn to immersive experiences and the ability to practically dive into a world or object to learn about it better. Second, it’s learning by exploration. It’s not just reading, it’s not just pictures. Merge brings us the ability to look at the rings of Saturn in 3D while we ROTATE THE PLANET IN OUR HAND! They let us dissect a frog without that formaldehyde smell!” - Kathi Kersznowski Technology Integration Specialist, Washington Township Public Schools
“My students can interact with objects and materials that would otherwise be impossible to fully comprehend just by explaining it or looking at a simple 2D picture.” - Madison Mikalauski Teacher, Peotone Schools
“Students are really engaged when they use Merge!” - Sarah Darnall Technology Integration Specialist, Lewis County School
“Students find the Merge Cube engaging, and it is directly related to our learning goals!” - Sherri Levitt, Birmingham Public Schools
Get Started Today!
Contact us to learn more about using Merge EDU in your Elementary Science program.