Monday, March 5, 2012

Build an Atom!

Click on the simulation below to discover a fun way to reinforce the basics of atomic structure.

This program was created by a team at the University of Colorado at Boulder through a program called "PhET." You can find their website here. Each free simulation (like the one above) can be run online (through their website) or downloaded locally to your computer. Categories of simulations range from biology (membrane channels, molecular motors, etc) to physics (circuits, buoyancy, etc) to chemistry (balancing equations, molarity, etc) and more! The website also includes teacher lesson ideas and downloadable worksheets. This is a wonderful resource!

(Students: At the end of the lesson, click here to take the exit poll!)


  1. Leah,
    It was great to meet you today, and thanks for introducing me to another excellent middle school blog. Phets are incredible, and we use them a lot in physics. You might also be interested in a recent discussion we had with the one of the creators of the Phet project. The discussion took place at the global physics department, which is a weekly online gathering of physics teachers (9:30pm Wednesday EST) and professors to discuss topics in physics education. We'd love to have someone from Middle School education join us, and feel free to suggest some topics.

  2. Thanks, John! It was great to meet you as well. I am so enamored with Phet simulations, and excited to see how else I can use them in my classes! I listened in on that discussion with the Phet project creator, too. Great stuff! Thank you so much for sending along the link. I am definitely interested in checking out the goings-on at the global physics department.