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

Balloons and Static Electricity

Balloons and Static Electricity

Do you remember dragging your feet across the carpet to make your hair stand up (or to shock your friends)? With it being so cold and dry here in Colorado and much of the US, have some fun with static electricity. Then show your students what is really happening with the HTML5 version of Balloons and Static Electricity.

Support PhET in your annual end-of-year donations. Every donation helps! Together we can improve the way science and math are learned. Choose:


Dec 10


HTML5 Forces and Motion: Basics

Forces and Motion Basic

Try the new HTML5 iPad-compatible Forces and Motion: Basics simulation. Explore the forces at work in a tug of war or pushing a refrigerator, crate, or person. Create an applied force and see how it makes objects move. Change friction and see how it affects the motion of objects.

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

Or support building the “Teach with PhET” website:

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


Dec 6


Help Support PhET on #GivingTuesday and This Holiday Season

PhET Image
Please join us this #GivingTuesday and give the gift of science and math to millions of children around the world.

It takes a village to build quality open (that is, free) education resources. And, that’s what PhET Interactive Simulations at University of Colorado Boulder has been doing since 2002. We work hard to make science and math fun and exciting — and accessible for everyone.

But we need your help! If you’re an educator, parent, student, STEM supporter or a company, please consider giving to one of our new crowdfunding campaigns. Any amount helps — minimum donation is $10. Choose one or support both!

Build the “Teach with PhET” website:
Help us build the “Teach with PhET” website that will support teachers in your neighborhood and around the world…making it easier to use PhET sims.
Goal: $500,000 (or ~20,000 people giving ~$25 each)

Bring Circuit Construction Kit to the iPad:
Help us publish the next-generation of one of our most popular simulations (used over 1 million times a year!), the Circuit Construction Kit DC. Your support will move this simulation to iPad and tablet compatibility using the latest HTML5 software technology.
Goal: $50,000 (or ~2,000 people giving ~$25 each).

Consider not only donating yourself, but also spreading the word.

  • Post on Facebook and Twitter
  • Forward this email to your listservs, schools, colleagues, and friends
  • Post on your website
  • Share with others this effort of making learning science and math more fun and accessible to children at home and around the world.

Thanks for being part of our STEM village this holiday season!

Your PhET Team,
Ariel, Bryce, Carl, Chris, Emily, Jesse, John, Jonathan, Julia, Karina, Kathy D, Kathy P, Linda, Mike, Noah, Oliver N, Oliver O, Robert, Sam M, Sam R, Steele, Stephanie, Trish, and Yuen-Ying


Dec 2


HTML5 John Travoltage Simulation

JohnTravoltage Sim

Try the newly published tablet-compatible John Travoltage simulation.

Make sparks fly with John Travoltage. Wiggle Johnnie’s foot and he picks up charges from the carpet. Bring his hand close to the door knob and get rid of the excess charge.


Nov 26


We’re Working on Improving PhET’s Accessibility

Has PhET been slow or simply not working?

We’re actively working on the problem and hope to have it resolved soon. In the interim, if you’re planning on using PhET in your classroom, please consider downloading the simulations in advance to ensure that you and your students can work on PhET sims.

Please e-mail, or post a Facebook or blog message, to let us know when you are having a problem.


Nov 19


PhET Featured in the SPIE Newsroom



Thank you SPIE for featuring PhET in the SPIE Newsroom. In the video, see Director, Kathy Perkins, speak about how PhET’s science simulations facilitate STEM education and develop problem-solving skills.


Nov 18


HTML5 Build an Atom Simulation Now Live!

Build an Atom


We’re excited to present the HTML5 version of Build an Atom. Now with your fingers, you can build an atom out of protons, neutrons, and electrons, and see how the element, charge, and mass change. Then play a game to test your ideas!


Nov 12


New HTML5 Concentration Sim—Now Online!

Concentration HTML5

Watch your solution change color as you mix chemicals with water. Then check molarity with the concentration meter. What are all the ways you can change the concentration of your solution? Switch solutes to compare different chemicals and find out how concentrated you can go before you hit saturation!


Nov 6


Want to Join the PhET Team?

We are searching for qualified candidates who are interested in joining the PhET team as a full- or part-time Professional Research Assistant.

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, and advancing the use of simulations in undergraduate chemistry, responsibilities will include (but are not limited to):

1) Redesigning existing 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 simulations
3) 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.

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.



Oct 31


Thank you Royal Society of Chemistry!


Thank you Royal Society of Chemistry for your generous support of PhET!

Support from our community is invaluable for keeping the simulations up to date (including the HTML5 work) and free for all.

If you want to help support PhET, donate at

If you’d like to become a corporate sponsor, please e-mail Depending upon the level of sponsorship, your logo can appear on our website which has had over 70 million sims served!


Oct 29