If I have seen farther, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.
-- Sir Isaac Newton

Catalog of Best Web-Based Science & Math Simulation/Visualization Activities

Ready-to-Use Simulations for Any Science or Math Classroom

  • PhET Simulations
    Ready-to-Use Simulations for Any Science or Math Classroom. The University of Colorado at Boulder has developed a broad selection of simulation activities suitable for any grade 6-12 science or math classroom. Each activity is designed to develop insight into on one science or math concept in a highly-interactive and engaging way. If you have not used much science or math software, this is the best place to start.
  • Molecular Workbench
    In-Depth Science Simulations With Teacher & Student Materials. The Concord Consortium has developed a powerful suite of simulation systems for science classrooms from elementary through high school. The simulations have considerable depth, so some activities may take a full class period or more. Complete teacher and student tutorials and lesson plans have been developed for many of the activities. Molecular Workbench comprises a series of lessons to help students understand complex molecular behavior through a series of scaffolded interactive activities. Students can print out or electronically submit progress reports to aid in accountability and assessment.
  • NetLogo Agent-Based Simulations
    Agent-Based Simulation System. NetLogo is an outstanding simulation system to study models with many interacting entities and variables. Originally developed at MIT and now at Northwestern, Net Logo has the richest array of simulations for science, mathematics, social science, computer science, and more. Among the hundreds of ready-to-run simulations are activities suitable for a wide range of learners from 4th to 12th grade. After learning the system, students and teachers can build their own simulations or enhance existing ones.
  • Wikibook: Transformative Applications in Education
    Some of the above simulation systems and others are highlighted in this Wikibook. The Wikibook was the result of a semester of investigation of transformative software applications by a Lehigh University graduate class.

About the Science Simulation Module

This module presents several web-based science and math simulation and visualization activities to help science teachers increase student engagement and deepen student understanding. The activities run on Windows, Macintosh and Linux computers, and they are all free to use by classes at school and by students at home. Some, like the PhET activities, address core science and math concepts that are part of all school curricula and that smoothly integrate into traditional classrooms. Others, like Molecular Workbench and NetLogo, offer the opportunity for deeper and more thoughtful student engagement in activities that address difficult topics like complexity, emergent behavior, and cutting-edge science.

Most of the activities have been designed by leading scientific and educational institutions supported by long-term grant funding from NSF and other government and private supporters of best-practice science and math education. This compilation of the best web-based science and math activities was made possible through the generous support of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).

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Other High-Quality Science Simulations

» PHUN! Mechanics, Physics, Geometry

Other High-Quality Mathematics Simulations

» GeoGebra Geometry, Algebra, Calculus