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Physics Education Technology - University of Colorado, Boulder

Archive for the ‘HTML5 Sims ’ Category

What Goes Into an #HTML5 PhET Simulation?


To give you an idea of what it takes to repurpose an #HTML5 sim, a simple sim (only one tab, such as Balloons and Static Electricity) takes at least several months and a team of 3-4 people, from start to testing to launch. With each sim, we

  • modernize the look and feel
  • address any issues/suggestions
  • re-design the layout and interface for cross-platform (both mouse and touch) use–e.g., ensure a hand doesn’t block essential functions during touch usage, redesign all “right-click” functions, etc.


While we have over 50,000 lines of common code to build our JAVA simulations (things like rulers, sliders, buttons and control panels), we started with zero HTML5. Your generosity supports our building an ever-growing library and many more new #HTML5 sims to come.

Thank You for Your Support!


Jan 23


#HTML5 Energy Skate Park: Basics Sim Now Online!


We are so excited to have online #HTML5 Energy Skate Park: Basics! Help bring more #HTML5 sims with a donation to PhET’s Annual Campaign. Any amount helps!

Donate Today

Thank you.
And, Happy Holidays and New Year!

Your PhET Team,
Dr. Kathy Perkins, Director and Dr. Kathy Dessau, Assistant Director
along with Aaron, Amanda, Amy, Ariel, Arnab, Beth, Bryan, Carl, Chris, Emily M., Emily R., Jesse, John, Jonathan, Karina, Liam, Linda, Matthew, Mike, Noah, Oliver O., Oliver N., Robert, Yuen-ying, Sam M., Sam R., Steele, Stephanie, and Trish



Dec 15


See PhET’s Teaching Activity on Forces and Motion at Science Friday

SciFri Forces and Motion

We’ve joined with Science Friday to offer a great new Teaching Activity “Simulate Net Forces to Predict an Object’s Motion” with our Forces and Motion: Basics sim.

Thanks Science Friday!


Dec 10


A Quick Way to Find Device-Specific PhET Sims


Looking for device-specific simulations? With the this new page (, we’ve made it easier to find either iPad/Tablet or Chromebook PhET simulations.

  • ‘iPad/Tablet’ lists all HTML5 sims or those that have an HTML5 version.
  • ‘Chromebook’ lists all HTML5 sims or those that have an HTML5 version as well as all Flash sims. (Chromebooks support Flash.)

Note: once you’re in on the specific sim page, click on the Orange “Run in HTML5″ button.


Dec 8


New #HTML5 Faraday’s Law Now Online!

Faraday's Law

Try the new #HTML5 Faraday’s Law simulation to learn what happens when a magnet moves through a coil. What affects the brightness of the bulb? What’s the difference between moving through big versus small coils?

Don’t forget PhET in your year-end giving.
Help give the gift of learning and keep PhET free!
Donate Now


Nov 14


Want to Join the PhET Team as a K12 Simulation Designer/Specialist?

We are searching for qualified candidates who are interested in joining the PhET team as a full- or part-time “Professional Research Assistant.” We are seeking specifically educators with a background in teaching, preferably at the middle school or high school level.

With our current emphasis on building and studying simulations for middle school math and science, advancing our teacher professional development resources and support system, branching into tablet and touch-compatible simulation design, increasing the accessibility capabilities of our simulations, and advancing the use of simulations in undergraduate chemistry, responsibilities will include (but are not limited to):

1) Redesigning (as part of a 3-5 person team) existing PhET simulations, incorporating new findings on effective sim design and adapting designs for use on touch-devices. (Software programming is NOT required. PhET has a team of in-house software developers).
2) Designing new PhET simulations.
3) Conducting user-testing through interviews of students using simulations.
4) Supporting simulation design, development, and research efforts – e.g. analyzing data, supporting classroom research studies, searching for web resources, etc.
5) Helping to liaison to and support the K12 community.
6) Assisting with marketing and dissemination of PhET resources to teachers: develop and represent PhET in online teaching forums and resources; run exhibit booths at national and local conferences; assist with teacher workshops.
7) Responding to inquiries to PhET about science/math questions and new simulation ideas.

For more information and specific qualifications, see the online posting at:

Please consider applying! And, share this information with your colleagues who might be interested.



Nov 11


Come See Us at iNACOL: Booth #310


Going to iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium Nov. 4-7, 2014 in Palm Springs, CA? Stop by our booth #310 and see the latest #HTML5 simulations and the re-vamped “For Teacher” resource at




Nov 3


Studying Forces in Physics?


Try the  HTML5 Forces and Motion: Basics simulation. Explore the forces at work in a tug of war or pushing a refrigerator, crate, or person. Choose between the Tug of War, Motion, Friction, and Acceleration tabs. Ideal for elementary, middle and high school, students will learn how forces affect the motion of an object.

Like our tablet-compatible simulations? Support bringing Circuit Construction Kit to iPads:

Every donation helps! Together we can improve the way science and math are learned.


Oct 23


New Three-Day Activity for Graphing Lines


Try the latest teaching guides from PhET’s Amanda McGarry for #HTML5 Graphing Lines. These activities can be used as part of a three-day sequence or individually. The lessons are aligned with the CCSS in Mathematics and the Standards of Mathematical Practice and include complete outlines as well as annotated activity sheets.

  • Day 1: Slope allows students to make connections between the slope formula and a graphed line, and to discover how the slope formula works.
  • Day 2: Slope-Intercept has students exploring slope-intercept form of a line as they manipulate either equation or graph.
  • Day 3: Point-Slope has students exploring point-slope form of a line and testing their knowledge of graphing lines with the built-in game.

Want to see more simulations for iPads and tablets?
Please Donate Now!


Oct 17


New #HTML5 Area Builder Simulation


In the new #HTML5 Area Builder simulation, students can flexibly explore ideas related to area and perimeter. They can find the area of rectangular and irregular shapes, discover the relationship between area and perimeter, and apply fractional knowledge as they build shapes with a given area and perimeter.

Area Builder is appropriate for any grade level that is studying area and perimeter and is specifically aligned with Common Core State Standards in elementary and middle school mathematics. For some teacher tips written by PhET’s Amanda McGarry, see


Oct 9