The Physics Education Technology Project (Phet)
Science Simulations for the Classroom
The Physics Education Technology Project (PhET) is a library of 75 free online educational simulations created for teachers and students that demonstrate principles in physics, chemistry, biology, earth science and mathematics.
Based at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and sponsored in part by The Kavli Foundation, these engaging interactive simulations can be used in a classroom or at home, in place of traditional hands-on experiments. In addition, the PhET website is a repository of classroom materials created by teachers for use with selected simulations, including suggested exercises and assignments for students. PhET also provides workshops for science teachers to demonstrate how to make the best use of the simulations. PhET simulations allow students to simulate phenomena that would otherwise be invisible to the eye, such as simulations involving atoms, electrons, photons and electric fields.
Ranging from the simple to complex, different simulations provide instruction assistance for students who are college undergraduates, high school and middle school. For example, students learning the properties of electricity can use a simulator to experiment with the properties of electrical circuit, just as biology students can test the properties of a DNA strand. For students interested in quantum phenomena, one simulation allows the user to adjust the settings for simplified Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), while another simulates quantum detectors to see when photons, electrons, and atoms behave either as particles or waves. For middle school science students, simpler simulations allow younger researchers to experiment with the nature of energy and motion, whether adjusting the physics behind a skateboard park or attempting to land a lunar module on the moon without crashing into the walls of a crater. Four simulations are provided below.