Simulation & Modeling Tools

For K12, in particular, these new visualization tools are a boon for understanding complex phenomena.

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Education Arcade

The MIT Scheller Teacher Education Program and The Education Arcade focus on creating playful, powerful learning experiences using the affordances of new educational technologies. We leverage design-based research to study and develop solutions to pervasive challenges in teaching and learning Education Arcade is all about transforming kids into creators and explorers. They provide fun and…  learn more

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Explore Learning

Explore Learning, originally a dissertation project, allows students to visualize and alter parameters in topics such as mechanics and life sciences. Specific labs include mouse genetics, golf range motion, orbit simulators, etc. Such labs will allow manipulations that are far more complex to implement in the real world. ExploreLearning has borrowed sound learning features from…  learn more

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How Do Sinkholes Form?

Here's an example of modeling a large, real world problem using a simple set up that can fit on a table. Erosion can occur in the subsurface as well as the the surface of the earth. If just the right factors come together in the subsurface, some very interesting things can occur, including sinkholes. What…  learn more

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Simulations

Free online physics, chemistry, biology, earth science and math simulations from the University of Colorado, Boulder. The college is working to convert everything over from Java to HTML5.  learn more

The Demise of Java

Originally, most on-line simulations were written using Java. Java is the programming language with the coffee cup logo. And Java programs were called applets. Unfortunately, serious security issues have cropped up, and most browsers and anti-virus programs now block Java programs no matter how hard you try. Flash was a good alternative. But it too had security issues and is no longer available.Browsers today are much smarter than they were when Java and Flash were created. All modern browsers and most tablets & smart phones will run HTML5 & JavaScript (no…  learn more

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the Physics Classroom

The Physics Classroom hosts Physics Interactives, a set of free, on-line simulations written in HTML5. We especially like the Roller Coaster sims. Each sim includes classroom activities and notes. Hint: to start a sim, click on "Launch Interactive".  learn more

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Tracker

The Tracker Video Analysis and Modeling Tool allows students to model and analyze the motion of objects in videos. By overlaying simple dynamical models directly onto videos, students may see how well a model matches the real world. Interference patterns and spectra can also be analyzed.  learn more

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Use Simulations To Help Students Learn

Simulations have the potential to engage students in "deep learning" that empowers understanding as opposed to "surface learning" that requires only memorization. Simulations can be paused, giving time for students to assess what's going on. It brings the "real world" into the classroom without expense or safety issues. And simulations invite students to become participants.…  learn more