Google’s Science Journal app enables you to use the sensors in your mobile devices to perform science experiments. We believe anyone can be a scientist anywhere. Science doesn’t just happen in the classroom or lab—tools like Science Journal let you see how the world works with just your phone. From learning about sound and motion to discovering how atmospheric pressure works, Science Journal helps you understand and measure the world around you.
We’re extremely excited to announce that we’re open sourcing this powerful science tool. We know the heart of science is not just critical thinking, but also knowledge sharing, building on discoveries, and learning about the world. Have a student with a knack for building things? Do you want to learn how mobile applications are put together? Download our source code, make changes and discoveries, and then deploy the newly-modified app to your own iOS device.
Why open source?Inquiring minds are always asking, “How does this work?” With our open source app, there are many science and engineering topics to explore! For example, we use the Fast Fourier transform in our iOS code, but you may ask “how did you do that?” Because you can see our source code, you can discover-- not just that we used the Fast Fourier transform-- but how the algorithm works. We also make it possible to graph many sensor values in realtime and now you can see exactly how we’ve made that possible.
If you aren’t an iOS or Android engineer, don’t fret! You can even learn how apps are put together so you can build your own. Learning from, and making modifications to, open source code has helped countless Google engineers explore complicated topics and learn new skills.
Have you ever wished you could do something with Science Journal that it doesn’t currently do? Do you have an idea for building a new sensor and displaying its data in Science Journal? Maybe you’ve wanted to experiment with changing colors or fonts in the app, or even changing the Science Journal app icon to be a labrador with a lab coat? Now you can, by forking our repo, making changes, and committing them in your fork!
If you think your changes are amazing and should be included in Google’s Science Journal App, read our contribution guide. But if you want to keep your changes to yourself and your friends, well, that’s cool too! We’d love to see what you’ve built, so you can tweet at us @GScienceJournal, or just use the #myScienceJournal hashtag on Twitter.
By Joshua Liebowitz, iOS Tech Lead