16 Replies Latest reply on Aug 28, 2014 7:59 PM by glen_w

    STEM Snacks: Science Simulations

    glen_w

      One of the big topics in our 7th grade science core is density. I find the twelve year old often struggles to understand the concept of density. While classroom experiments help in learning differences in density, they do not always allow students to recognize the relationship of mass and volume to density.


      This year we were informed our state science testing would include interactives. As I understand it, students would be asked to do virtual labs as they attempted to solve problems and do experiments. The teachers at my school began looking for possible tools to help students prepare for such tests. Our search led to the PhET simulations. One simulations we found was Density. http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/density This simulation requires students to identify differences in densities and then solve challenges with unknown materials.

      PhET_Density.jpg

       

      My students enjoyed this use of technology to help them learn about density. Students were very excited to participate and learn this way. After the state test was over, several students commented about how the virtual experiments helped them with testing questions.

       

      I wondered about how simulations have helped your students learn. Please share your thoughts on the following:

      • What other subject areas have simulations improved student learning?
      • What other simulation sites have teachers found engaging and helping students learn?