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The PhET Blog
Physics Education Technology - University of Colorado, Boulder

PhET Downtime: Friday, March 20, 2015 10 PM to Saturday, March 21 8 AM

PhET ( will be unavailable from Friday, March 20 at 10:00 PM Mountain Daylight Time until Saturday, March 21 at 8:00 AM Mountain Daylight Time due to necessary maintenance performed by the University of Colorado Office of Information Technology.

We apologize in advance for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.


Mar 17


Come See PhET at NSTA 2015 in Chicago


Will you be attending the National Science Teachers Association National Conference in Chicago, March 12-15, 2015? Join PhET at the following events

Stop by our booth #554 and play with the latest HTML5 PhET sims, learn about our Teacher’s Tips, or just say “hi.”


Mar 10


2015 OER Week March 9-13, 2015

Open Education Week

PhET is one of many providers of “Open Educational Resources” (OER) and is a big supporter of the larger open education movement. This week brings many opportunities to learn more about OER projects and the opportunity for OER to impact teaching and learning worldwide. See their list of events here And, use the hashtag: #openeducationwk on Facebook and Twitter to spread the word of OER!



Mar 5


How Red, Green and Blue Make A Rainbow…or a Dress

Color Vision #TheDressWith the Internet all abuzz over the color of #TheDress, the time is perfect to introduce students to how red, green and blue make up the colors of our world. Learn about how red, green and blue make a rainbow in the Color Vision sim.


Feb 27


Free Encore Webinar on Using PhET for Teaching Chemistry with Trish and the AACT


Did you miss Conifer Chemistry Teacher and PhET K12 Specialist Trish Loeblein discuss her personal experiences on how and why she uses PhET in her chemistry classroom last fall?

This Wednesday, Trish will give an encore presentation, including addressing suggestions and questions from the over 190 attendees from last fall’s webinar. Listen to and chat with Trish as she shares her strategies, course planning documents, lessons, and student handouts for regular and advanced chemistry.

Date: Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Time: 5 PM, MST
Register at


Feb 19


Working with Fractions?

Fraction Matcher

Try the #HTML5 tablet/browser-compatible Fraction Matcher simulation. A great way to improve fraction skills for the younger student. Match shapes and numbers to earn stars in this fractions game. Students can challenge themselves at different levels, collecting stars as they improve their fraction skills. Choose between the “Fractions” and “Mixed Numbers” tabs for more learning fun.


Feb 17


See PhET at These Upcoming Conferences

Meet PhET team members, learn what’s coming to PhET Sims, or just stop by and say hello at these meetings in March and April. We look forward to seeing you.

NSTA 2015 National Conference
Chicago, IL
March 12-15, 2015
Booth #554

NCTM 2015 Research Conference
Boston, MA
April 13-15, 2015


Feb 11


Meet PhET Team Member Yuen-ying Carpenter

Yuen-ying Carpenter

Meet Yuen-ying Carpenter who came to the PhET team with a PhD in chemistry, and an avid interest in investigating how college students learn in both core chemistry classes and in applied disciplines such as the energy sciences.

She brings with her both inquiry-based college curriculum development expertise from her time at the University of Calgary and Dalhousie University, as well as a taste for in informal science inquiry and outreach for all ages from the Calgary science centre, TELUS Spark.

When she’s not at PhET, Yuen-ying can be found biking around Boulder, or hanging out on a trapeze somewhere 10 ft in the air.



Feb 4


New #HTML5 Reactants, Products and Leftovers Simulation


With the new #HTML5 Reactants, Products and Leftovers, you can create your own sandwich and then see how many sandwiches you can make with different amounts of ingredients. Do the same with chemical reactions, relating how making sandwiches is to chemical reactions. Then play a game to test your understanding of reactants, products and leftovers.




Jan 29


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