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Monday, October 16, 2017

Virtual and Interactive Resources for Science Teachers

Virtual labs have come a long way in recent years. While nothing compares to completing a hands-on lab in an actual science classroom, sometimes it isn't possible. Cost and access to equipment are possible obstacles. Other barriers include location. As more classes are being offered online, it necessary for students to complete activities in virtual environments.


  • PhET- This website, from the University of Colorado,  has been around for over 15 years. It offers free interactive math and science simulations in game-like environment. Students can learn concepts in biology, chemistry, earth science, math, and physics through exploration and discovery. Here are tips and resources for teaching with this website. There is a PhET app available for both iOS and Android devices.
  • MERLOT II- MERLOT is an acronym for Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching and it is a program out of the California State University System. Their database of peer-reviewed resources is searchable by keyword, level, and platform.
  • UCAR- The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research is based in Boulder, Colorado and is a consortium of universities and colleges offering degrees in the atmospheric sciences. Their mission is to develop state-of-the-art educational experiences that help create a scientifically literate society.
  • Human Origins- This resource is from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. This institute is committed to expanding the public understanding of human evolution. Be sure to check out their 3D collection of artifacts and fossils.
  • AACT- Each issue of Chemistry Solutions, the periodical from the American Association of Chemistry Teachers, features a simulation. This website houses over a dozen simulations.