Autodesk has a stunning — and I’m not using the word lightly here — catalog of free design-focused iOS apps that do everything from applying filters to photos, to drawing on your iPad — or even turning the subject of an iPhone photo into a 3D model. Now, they’re taking their deep knowledge of modeling, physics and mechanics and using it to make iPad apps that’ll teach your kids cool stuff. For free.
The first in their STEAM — science, technology, engineering, art and math — series is Applied Mechanics, an app that presents fundamental concepts about how things work in the form of fun, slick, wacky-steampunk games with artwork that feels vaguely reminiscent of The Electric Company’s animation from the ’70s.
For instance, lessons that teach kinetic energy take the form of games like trying to navigate a balloon through a canyon (kinetic energy) and lobbing balls at floating cats heads (torque, and yes, weird). The games feel very familiar — probably because so many iOS games are physics-based.
The apps are aimed at older kids, from 11-18. For the adults, there’s a curriculum portal to help support the lessons in the apps.