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Physics Education Technology - University of Colorado, Boulder

PhET Simulations for Learning the Physics of Music


University of Colorado Boulder Prof. Ed Kinney uses PhET’s Wave on a String to teach principles of sound in his popular physics course, Sound and Waves. In the course, students learn what happens to the waves as they move through the air from a speaker or musical instrument into the ear and vibrate the parts of the inner ear. Kinney says that PhET sims such as Wave on a String show changes and movement of sound through time better than a still image: “There’s not a still picture in a book that you can get across what is happening in real time when sound waves come into your ear.  Still pictures don’t convey the understanding.”

Read more here:


Jun 18


Please Send Us Your PhET Stories


Have an inspirational PhET story? Has PhET changed how you teach? How your students learn? Inspired a student’s interest in STEM?

We are looking for a few personal stories to share with people around the world to capture how PhET simulations impact you or your students. Help us by filling out this short questionnaire. If your story is selected, we’ll contact you for more information, and feature you in our newsletters and blogs.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Share your story here:


Jun 9


Thanks for Choosing PhET as the Public Choice in the NSF Video Showcase

NSF Video Showcase

Thanks to all who voted!

PhET received all 3 awards in the NSF 2015 Teaching and Learning Video Showcase: Presenters’ choice, Facilitators’ choice, and Public choice.

We couldn’t have won without you!



Jun 2


See the New HTML5 Simulation Pages Now LIVE!

New HTML5 Page

We are excited to now have individual HTML5 sim pages where you can easily access sample learning goals (under About), Teacher Tips and Activities (under For Teachers), Related Simulations, and Software Requirements. With the new pulldown menus, everything about the simulation is on a single screen. There’s also a link to conveniently access the corresponding original JAVA/Flash sims and their translations.

And don’t forget to help bring more improvements and HTML5 sims by donating at:


All donations are tax deductible.
Thanks for your support!


May 27


Have You Seen the Spring Newsletter?

Spring2015 Newsletter

Have you seen our Spring 2015 newsletter? We’re looking for inspirational stories on how PhET has affected you, or your students. Share them with us here. And, learn about new websites improvements that we’ll be rolling out over the summer.


May 22


Watch the Learning Sciences and Online Learning Symposium May 21-22 LIVE!

LSOLSJoin Director, Kathy Perkins, and 90 other participants of the Learning Sciences and Online Learning Symposium on May 21-22, 2015. The symposium will be livestreamed at: Sessions begin at 9am EDT on Thursday, May 21 and run through 12:30pm EDT on Friday, May 22. Ask questions via the web or from Twitter using the hashtag #LSOL2015.


May 20


Don’t Forget to Join Us to Learn About Using PhET Sims for Teaching Balancing Chemical Equations

The ability to balance chemical equations is a foundational skill in chemistry. This week Yuen-ying Carpenter, Emily Moore, and Director, Kathy Perkins will be available to discuss employing guided-inquiry activities along with PhET simulations to teach students skills in balancing chemical equations. Please join the discussion at

Using an Interactive Simulation to Support Development of Expert Practices for Balancing Chemical Equations


May 18


Will PhET Get Your Vote in NSF’s Video Showcase?

NSF Showcase

We’re presenting PhET’s work May 11-15 in the NSF 2015 Teaching and Learning Video Showcase. View our video and browse the more than 100 other great videos about STEM teaching and learning. You can even join the conversation by posing questions to presenters. Vote for your favorites with the “Public Choice”. Winners will be announced on Monday May 18th.


May 11


Join the Virtual Conference: “Interactive Visualizations for Chemistry Teaching and Learning”

Want to learn more about how to use visualizations—animations and simulations— in chemistry education? This conference will discuss a range of topics in the study of chemistry visualizations, providing insights into: problem solving practices; student ownership; multi-model learning; and inclusive chemistry learning. Each week there are two “assigned” papers for reading, and then an open discussion period where participants can post questions and engage in a public discussion with the authors. Join us for some or all of the conference:

Time: Friday, May 8th 9 PM through Friday, June 4th 9 PM

PhET will be featured during:

May 15-21
Using an Interactive Simulation to Support Development of Expert Practices for Balancing Chemical Equations
Yuen-ying Carpenter, Emily B. Moore, and Katherine K. Perkins

May 29-June 4
Designing Accessible Interactive Chemistry Simulations
Emily B. Moore


May 8


Thank You Teachers!


The PhET team would like offer our sincerest gratitude to all the dedicated educators of the world. Thanks for inspiring your students to reach their peak! #ThankATeacher


May 7