Interactive Science Simulations
PhET stands for the Physics Education Technology and is a project of the University of Colorado. They have generated a collection of interactive simulations that demonstrate science principles on the computer.
Interactive Simulations is an ongoing effort to provide an extensive suite of simulations to improve the way that physics, chemistry, biology, earth science and math are taught and learned. The simulations are interactive tools that enable students to make connections between real life phenomena and the underlying science which explains such phenomena. Our team of scientists, software engineers and science educators use a research-based approach – incorporating findings from prior research and our own testing – to create simulations that support student engagement with and understanding of scientific concepts.
In order to help students visually comprehend these concepts, PhET simulations animate what is invisible to the eye through the use of graphics and intuitive controls such as click-and-drag manipulation, sliders and radio buttons. In order to further encourage quantitative exploration, the simulations also offer measurement instruments including rulers, stop-watches, voltmeters and thermometers. As the user manipulates these interactive tools, responses are immediately animated thus effectively illustrating cause-and-effects relationships as well as multiple linked representations (motion of the objects, graphs, number readouts, etc…).
To ensure educational effectiveness and usability, all of the simulations are extensively tested and evaluated. These tests include student interviews in addition to actual utilization of the simulations in a variety of settings, including lectures, group work, homework and lab work.
All PhET simulations are freely available from the PhET website and are easy to use and incorporate into the classroom. They are written in Java and Flash , and can be run using a standard web browser as long as Flash and Java are installed.
Alpha Decay, Arithmetic, Atomic Interactions, Balloons & Buoyancy, Balloons and Static Electricity, Band Structure, Battery Voltage, Battery-Resistor Circuit, Beta Decay, Blackbody Spectrum, Calculus Grapher, Charges and Fields, Circuit Construction Kit (AC+DC), Circuit Construction Kit (DC Only), Color Vision, Conductivity, Curve Fitting, Davisson-Germer: Electron Diffraction, Double Wells and Covalent Bonds, Eating & Exercise, Electric Field Hockey, Electric Field of Dreams, Energy Skate Park, Equation Grapher, Estimation, Faraday's Electromagnetic Lab, Faraday's Law, Forces in 1 Dimension, Fourier: Making Waves, Friction, Gas Properties, Generator, Geometric Optics, Glaciers, Gravity Force Lab, The Greenhouse Effect, John Travoltage, Ladybug Motion 2D, Ladybug Revolution, Lasers, Lunar Lander, Magnet and Compass, Magnets and Electromagnets, Masses & Springs, Maze Game, Microwaves, Models of the Hydrogen Atom, Molecular Motors, Motion in 2D, The Moving Man, My Solar System, Natural Selection, Neon Lights and Other Discharge Lamps, Nuclear Fission, Ohm's Law, Optical Quantum Control, Optical Tweezers and Applications, Pendulum Lab, pH Scale, Photoelectric Effect, Plinko Probability, Projectile Motion, Quantum Bound States, Quantum Tunneling and Wave Packets, Quantum Wave Interference, Radio Waves & Electromagnetic Fields, Radioactive Dating Game, The Ramp, Reactions & Rates, Resistance in a Wire, Reversible Reactions, Rutherford Scattering, Salts & Solubility, Self-Driven Particle Model, Semiconductors, Signal Circuit, Simplified MRI, Sound, States of Matter, Stern-Gerlach Experiment, Stretching DNA, Torque, Vector Addition, Wave Interference, Wave on a String.
Install the full package from the Starwaders CD by navigating to Free Stuff | Educational | Interactive Science Simulations on the CD startup menu. A few of the simulations can be run without installing the full package - click on the Sample Simulations menu button.
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Interesting Internet Resources
http://www.planetariumgold.com See demo program in the Astronomy Programs section
http://www.oneminuteastronomer.com - astronomy news
http://www.skyandtelescope.com - The web presence of the famous magazine
http://www.absoluteastronomy.com - a free online information portal which provides reference information and interactive features for over 900,000 topics. The content provided on AbsoluteAstronomy.com is aggregated from a variety of content providers.
http://www.cloudynights.com - for those nights when viewing is clouded out, browse this site to hear what others are doing and seeing.
http://www.fourmilab.ch/your sky - an online planetarium
http://www.earthandspace.info - a personal astronomy website
http://starchart.polaris.net - quick online star charts of areas of the sky that you specify
http://www.heavens-above.com - what's up - satellites and planets and comets
http://www.worldwidetelescope.org/Home.aspx - The WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is a Web 2.0 visualization software environment that enables your computer to function as a virtual telescope—bringing together imagery from the best ground and space-based telescopes in the world for a seamless exploration of the universe.
http://www.global-rent-a-scope.com - Global Telescope Network
http://www.space.com - What is happening in space?
http://wikisky.org - An online ramble through the universe
http://www.globeatnight.org - How Dark is your Sky?
http://nasascience.nasa.gov - Science from NASA
http://www.nasa.gov - What is NASA doing?
South African Websites
http://www.telescopeshop.co.za - The Telescope Shop
http://www.technopro.co.za - Technopro for telescopes
http://www.telescopesa.za.org - Telescope SA for telescopes
http://www.seismoquake.com - Educational scientific kits
http://www.hartrao.ac.za - Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory
http://www.scopex.co.za - telescope and Astronomy Expo
http://www.saao.ac.za - The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO)
http://www.saao.ac.za/assa - The Astronomical Society of Southern Africa
http://www.pretoria-astronomy.co.za - The Pretoria Centre of the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa
http://www.assabfn.co.za - The Bloemfontein Centre of the The Astronomical Society of Southern Africa
http://assa.saao.ac.za/capecentre - The Cape Centre of the The Astronomical Society of Southern Africa
http://www.assadurban.co.za - The Durban Centre of the The Astronomical Society of Southern Africa
http://www.geocities.com/zimastro - The Harare Centre of the The Astronomical Society of Southern Africa
http://www.hermanusastronomy.co.za - The Hermanus Centre of the The Astronomical Society of Southern Africa
http://www.assajhb.co.za - The Johannesburg Centre of the The Astronomical Society of Southern Africa
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