Zachy the Robot: Quest for the Museum Treasures is an app produced by GenevaMars in collaboration with the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. It is designed for children aged 3-6 years to teach them about Fossils, Dinosaurs and Minerals in a fun and engaging way. The app contains no in-app purchases, adverts or social media links. The app allows individual players to create their own player profiles.
The app opens with a video clip where the Mayor of Robocity is opening the new Museum of Natural History. During the opening the museum experts point out that the museum is missing one vital thing- exhibits ! He calls in the Robocity Repair Bots to help – they are 3 robots- a boy, girl and dog. They set out on a quest to fill the museum with exhibits, and the child gets to help them on their quest. The child first chooses which section to find exhibits for: Fossils, Minerals or Dinosaurs. Then the Robodog, Digit, shows a world map with a choice of sites to visit, they pick one and are off.
The child picks a site on the map and are told the location and what country it is in, When they arrive at the site they use a chisel to dig through the rock to uncover the fossils. Once they have uncovered the fossils they have to match one of the fossils to examples of index fossils, then they learn what the fossil is. Next they have to complete a maze (with moving objects), then the child learns more about the fossil and period it comes from, and the fossil is put on display in the museum.
In this section they learn about mineral mining, ores and what the minerals are used for. First they choose from a list of minerals, then use the world map to pick from the sites where the mineral is found. Once at the minral mining site the child has to choose minerals to complete patterns and turn a crank to get the mineral onto a conveyor belt. Next they get to sort the mineral into ore for processing, museum specimens and waste. Finally they learn about how the element extracted from that mineral is used in our daily lives then they see the mineral displayed in the museum.
In this section the child can dig for one of 29 different dinosaurs. They pick a location from the world map, then dig for the dinosaur until it is completely uncovered. Back at the museum the dinosaur bones have got jumbled up, so the child has to complete a puzzle of the skeleton to reassemble it. Once it is assembled they can see an animated model of what it might have looked like when alive. Then the skeleton is put on display at the museum. I like that as well as including well known dinosaurs it also includes more unusual ones.
Each field trip is accompanied by music from the geographic area they are in. After completing a task the child can look around that section of the museum and check out all the exhibits they have assembled, go to look for another exhibit for that section, or go back to the museum lobby to choose another section of the museum.
I tested this app out with my five-year-old twins and they really enjoyed it – my son played with it for over an hour in one sitting and asked to have it again later in the day – his opinion “it’s a really good app”. It is a very interesting mix -it is aimed at preschool and early elementary school children and works on some important skills for this age group- pattern matching, puzzle solving, matching and sorting but at the same time does a good job of introducing some quite advanced information about different fossils types, eras, minerals and a little about world geography. As the app is aimed at an age range where many children can’t read it does a good job of always giving information verbally as well as in written form.
Overall, a very well-done app – highly engaging and does a good job of working on basic skills such as pattern matching, puzzle solving, matching and sorting as well as providing an introduction to more advanced information about Fossils, Dinosaurs and Minerals.
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB
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NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.
Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).