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Physics Education Technology - University of Colorado, Boulder

Archive for the ‘Teacher Activities ’ Category

Examples of PhET in HS Physics Courses

Fluid Pressure and Flow

Teaching HS physics?

Here’s a guide to PhET simulations and activities for high-school level courses. In the guide, you’ll find example simulations, activities and demos for Mechanics (e.g., Moving Man, Energy Skate Park, and Masses and Springs) and Electricity & Magnetism (e.g., Waves on a String, Electric Field Hockey, and Circuit Construction Kit).

Wishing everyone a great 2013-2014 year. And, look for new HTML5 next-gen sims coming out soon!


Aug 14


Teaching Chemistry this Fall? Don’t Forget Our Chemistry Sim Alignment Guide


To help you find the best simulation for teaching a specific topic in chemistry, don’t forget to use our preliminary guide that gives you a line up of specific simulations (and supplemental simulations) for topic areas in the general chemistry curriculum.


Aug 8


PhET in the Philippines

PhET Simulations are used not only in the United States, but also around the world. Rollan Inis from the Tagum City National High School in Tagum City, Philippines writes that Philippine teachers from remote “barangays” will be using the offline installation of PhET to “teach science in a very interesting manner.” In addition, PhET was used at a Grade 8 teacher training program held by the Department of Education.

Thanks Rollan for spreading the word on how PhET can enhance science and math learning in schools around the world.

Do you have a story on how PhET sims are being used? Please e-mail Kathy at


Jun 21


Teaching Chemistry? Try Our New Sim Alignment Guide


Teaching chemistry? To help you find the best simulation for teaching a specific topic in chemistry, we’ve put together this new preliminary guide that gives you a line up of specific simulations (and supplemental simulations) for topic areas in the general chemistry curriculum.

Want to share suggestions of other PhET sims you use for teaching chemistry topics? Let us know at the PhET Help Desk at


May 29


Snell’s Law and Bending Light Activities

Bending Light

With Spring finally here and rainbows soon to follow, explore PhET’s Bending Light simulation and learn why rainbows are ROYGBIV.


May 10


Teaching Modern Physics? Try PhET’s Photoelectric Effect

Photoelectric Effect

In the middle of modern physics? Try our “Intro to Photoelectric Effect Interactive Lecture.” These lecture notes include many concept questions and an interactive lecture demo, for a 2-3 day introduction to the Photoelectric Effect.


Apr 8


See Our Video on How to Use PhET Sims in Lectures

Using PhET in Lecture: Going Beyond Demos

Have you seen our latest video Using PhET in Lecture: Going Beyond Demos?

See how to use PhET simulations in powerful ways that engage a whole class in a large lecture setting. See examples of how you can incorporate clickers and other instructional techniques to deliver engaging interactive lecture demonstrations that will make maximum impact on student learning.


Jan 23


Help PhET by Participating in Our Survey…

Dear Fellow Educators, Administrators, Education Resource Providers,

We need your help!

To help us secure future funding to advance our work and keep PhET free, and to make the site as useful as possible for you, we need to know more about how, where, and why you use PhET in your teaching, and how you see the simulations influencing your students’ learning. We also want your input on future directions for the PhET project.

We are seeking very broad representation, so please forward this invitation to any educators you know.

If you are …

K12 Teacher who teaches with PhET:

College Faculty who teaches with PhET:

Use PhET in your education work or product (but not in teaching K12 or college):

Familiar with PhET, but do NOT USE PhET in your work:

If any of these links don’t work, go here:
Or copy and paste one of the URLs above into your internet browser.

Your participation is entirely voluntary, and your individual responses to this survey will be confidential. If you would like your institution to appear on a list or map of PhET users, you will have an opportunity to provide permission.

The survey results will be compiled to help improve PhET. Only aggregated results or anonymous statements will be used in any publications or reports, be disseminated on our website, or used in presentations to funders, educators, or researchers.

Thank you for your time and feedback!

Your PhET Team,
Kathy Perkins, Kathy Dessau, Noah Podolefsky, Mike Dubson, Robert Parson, Trish Loeblein, Noah Finkelstein, Emily Moore, Ariel Paul, Julia Chamberlain, Karina Hensberry, John Blanco, Jon Olson, Chris Malley, Sam Reid, Sam McKagan, Danny Rehn, Jesse Garrison, Linda Wellmann, and Oliver Nix


Nov 9


Projectile Motion Lesson from UTeach

Projectile Motion

Looking for a lesson on projectile motion for middle school? This lesson plan submitted by UTeach at UT-Austin has students investigate how air resistance affects different objects. Lesson objectives include:

  • Students will be able to describe projectile motion with no air resistance.
  • Students will be able to explain the effect of air resistance on a projectile.
  • Students will be able to explain the relationship between shape and air resistance.
  • Students will be able to contrast the motion of a projectile without air resistance to motion with air resistance.
  • Students will be able to predict the amount of air resistance an object would have relative to other objects.

Standards addressed: TEKS Science: 8.3C, 8.6C CCRS Science Standards: VIII-C1


Sep 17


Using PhET in High School Chemistry

PhET in High School Chemistry

Chemistry Teachers – Getting ready for the new year?

See how Trish Loeblein, PhET K-12 Specialist and Evergreen High School physics & chemistry teacher, uses PhET sims in her high school chemistry course. The lessons include how to use PhET for demos, in-class activities, homeworks, and concept questions.

(The activities were designed for Trish’s Honors Chemistry course but can be easily adapted for many levels and needs.)


Aug 16