See our article in the American Chemical Society Division of Chemical Education’s online newsletter from the Committee on Computers in Chemical Education. Our Paper #7, entitled PhET Interactive Simulations: New tools for teaching and learning chemistry, describes our growing efforts to create and research interactive simulations for the teaching and learning of chemistry.
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See our paper “Factors promoting engaged exploration with computer simulations” in Physical Review ST to learn more about how features of PhET sims enable students to pose questions and answer them in ways that may not be supported by more traditional educational materials.
If you are a member of the National Science Teachers Association, we have an article in the October Issue of The Science Teacher. Sims for Science: Powerful tools to support inquiry-based teaching on page 46 talks about how the design features of PhET sims support inquiry learning and gives some examples of inquiry-based activities.