Friday, January 6, 2017

Exploring Science & Math with PhET Interactive Simulations!

This week fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Wilson, asked if I would introduce PhET Interactive Simulations to her class. They were just finishing their study of cells and before they began their next topic, she wanted her students to have an opportunity to explore the many science and math simulations available on the PhET website. These simulations would be perfect for students doing independent research and for future units with the whole class! She wanted her students to "play" by choosing what interested them, explore and experiment.

PhET is a free website, with simulations built in Java, HTML 5 & Flash.  The simulations built in Java didn't work on our chromebooks because they have to be downloaded, though we were able to get them to work on our laptops by control clicking to get around the security warnings. Our students chose the simulations built in HTML 5 & Flash, which happily the PhET creators indicate on each simulation.

After a quick introduction, Mrs. Wilson's student took off exploring with great enthusiasm! The room erupted with chatter as students clustered together to share their discoveries. It was a fabulous day of learning and PhET is officially my favorite digital science and math tool for students!