Today, a cold, rainy Friday, is a perfect day to test out your government’s application treasure trove. Instead of going to apps.usa.gov and wading through the plethora of federal apps available, FedScoop decided to create a list of some of the most innovative – and well, to be honest, fun – government apps out there.
Solve the Outbreak
Lives are at stake in this app created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Solve the Outbreak is a great tool for teenagers, adults and epidemiologists alike. Disease outbreaks occur all the time, and this app allows users to act as disease detectives. Gamers must decide what to do – quarantine the village, get lab results, talk to the sick – all while racing against the clock to prevent the spread of disease. Download the app here.
If you’re a hypochondriac like many others, you often worry about food safety at the grocery store, at the farmers market and while grilling with your neighbors. For these situations, the Agriculture Department developed Ask Karen. Users can chat live with a food safety expert on weekdays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. EST, answer and discuss food safety questions, share best practices and gain direct access to the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline. Start your food secure lifestyle by downloading the app here.
NASA’s Satellite Insight was originally created for the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite R series mission under development at Goddard Space Flight Center. Gamers must keep up with the stream of data from GOES-R’s six main instruments – colored blocks falling into columns on a grid represent small pieces of data. Users group data types by selecting three or more contiguous same-colored blocks, then tapping on the GOES-R satellite to store the data before the grid overflows. Instructions included in the app provide real-life insight into important NASA technical resources that would otherwise go unrecognized. Download the app here.
This Zen app, created by the Defense Department, is a portable stress management tool. The app provides health information on the effects of stress on the body and provides users with practice exercises for learning diaphragmatic breathing, a stress management tool. According to the app’s website, breathing exercises have been documented to decrease the body’s “fight-or-flight” response and help with mood stabilization, anger control and anxiety management. Start breathing in the relaxation here.
Space Place Prime
This app, also developed by NASA, aggregates daily space news, photos and more, so users can stay up-to-date with the cosmos. The app pulls NASA articles from the Space Place website, gathers NASA videos and daily images such as the Astronomy Picture of the Day and the NASA Earth Observatory Image of the Day. A great tool for students of all ages, you can learn more about the app here.
DocsTeach, an amazing educational resource for students and teachers across the country, was developed by the National Archives. Users can choose a historical topic and find activities to help make sense of these past events. Using an online code, gamers can find activities on a variety of topics organized in a personalized classroom. Teachers can borrow from an expansive collection of activities, creating their own activities as well using the online tools. Let the historical gaming begin!
First Aid by American Red Cross
Though the American Red Cross is a charitable organization and not a government agency, you can still find it on our federal app website. Because of the app’s enormous popularity and, let’s face it, the practicality of having a portable first aid counselor, it has made the list. The First Aid app gives expert advice for everyday emergencies, providing videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step guides. Another great feature – the app is fully integrated with 911, so you can call EMS from the app at any time. Download the first aid tool kit here.