THE MIRACLE OF LIFE
CONCEPT: Learn about the human life cycle from fertilisation to old age with this thorough, interactive app.
DELIVERY: Any aspect of sex ed can be a tricky subject to tackle. Depending on your age and geographical location, your own experience of it may well be different but in the UK it used to usually center on an embarassingly ancient VHS (showing my age here) that was so outdated you couldn't help but find it amusing. This can help to lighten the tone of a subject that some find hard to deal with but it also affects the quality of understanding,
This great app from Spanish developer Imaxina takes a lot of the content that is crucial for pre-teens understanding of the "Miracle of Life" and presents it in a way which is relevant to them and engages through interactive features. With great graphics and a warm, unthreatening yet comprehensive style, this could be a revelation for those looking to redefine how this content is delivered.
The app begins with the sperm's journey to fertilise the egg before moving through gestation and then the growth and development of the child right through to old age.
At every step of the way, users control the flow of information by literally guiding the sperm (and later the egg and then the foetus) through the relevant areas. Along the way you have the chance to engage with a wide array of interactives that provide additional information on various topics.
So during the fertilisation section you can learn about the route, density and even the actual parts of the sperm or interact with a digital diagfram of conception split into four stages. During Gestation, you can control the growth of the foetus and also activate interactive like using a sonogram and learning about how the mother's body changes.
The Growth section starts with birthrate map that logs the number of worldwide births taking place whilst you look at the screen. as you scroll through the child's life, information about teeth, speech and puberty are available. The app then "fast-forwards" using a clever little photo album idea before reaching adulthood, middle age and even old age.
To add a little gamification to the proceedings, the app even includes a stand-alone game called "The Race of Life" which as you may have guessed, sees you guiding a sperm towards the egg. This is accomplished by tilting the iPad to avaoid various pitfalls like high pH acid blobs and white blood cells. It makes for a fun addition to a worthy package and may serve as a tension reliever for those aforementioned kids who find this subject matter difficult to discuss.
LIMITATIONS: The music is a little twee and at times jars with the content, though it can be turned off! Perhaps more focus on puberty could have been included too as this is generally covered in parallel with this type of content. The price is also quite high and may put some off.
CONCLUSION: A modern, relevant approach to an important topic, covered in detail and with a host of innovative interactive features. 4/5
Develop understanding of the human life cycle
Learning anout ferilisation and gestation in more detail
Sex ed. for the 21st century!