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Examples

Guidelines for developing new activities using PhET

Resources for using PhET simulations in class – PhET Activities Database
The PhET Activities Database is a collection of resources for using PhET simulations. It includes hundreds of lesson plans, homework assignments, labs, clicker questions, and more. Some activities have been created by the PhET team and some have been created by teachers. Anyone can contribute to the database, and you are encouraged to submit your own activities if you use PhET sims in your teaching.

Writing your own activities – PhET Activity Guidelines
You can create your own lectures, homework, and labs around any PhET simulation by using the PhET Activity Guidelines. These guidelines will help you create "guided inquiry activities which encourage students to construct their own understanding," which are the most effective way to use PhET simulations. Many of the activities in the PhET Activities Database can also serve as examples to help give you ideas.

Examples of activities that use PhET simulations


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Resources for using PhET simulations in class PhET Activities Database part of Examples
Sam McKagan
The PhET Activities Database is a collection of resources for using PhET sims. It includes hundreds of lesson plans, homework assignments, labs, clicker questions, and more. Some activities have been created by the PhET team and some have been created by teachers.

Using PhET simulations to replace real equipment in lab Circuit Construction Kit part of Examples
Sam McKagan
Labs and tutorials that use equipment such as circuits can be modified to use PhET simulations instead. Research shows that substituting the PhET Circuit Construction Kit simulation for real equipment in a variety ...

Writing your own activities - PhET Activity Guidelines part of Examples
Sam McKagan
You can create your own lectures, homework, and labs around any PhET simulation by using the PhET Activity Guidelines . These guidelines will help you create "guided inquiry activities which encourage students to construct their own understanding," which are the most effective way to use PhET simulations.

Using PhET simulations in high school Open-ended Pendulum Labs part of Examples
Sam McKagan
These labs provide examples of using very open-ended questions to guide students in exploring a simulation and designing their own experiments. These labs can lead to a high level of quantitative thinking about data analysis.

Using PhET simulations in a large lecture class The Photoelectric Effect part of Examples
Sam McKagan
This activity provides a complete curriculum for teaching the photoelectric effect using the PhET Photoelectric Effect simulation in a large-lecture modern physics course. It includes links to powerpoint slides for two to three 50-minute lectures using Peer Instruction with clickers, and one homework assignment suitable for an online homework system. Research has demonstrated that students in classes using this curriculum have a better understanding of the photoelectric effect than students in classes using traditional instruction supplemented by a computerized tutor.

Rutherford's Model of the Atom part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Interactive Lectures:Examples
Steven Maier
Students are asked think-pair-share questions to predict the interaction of alpha particles fired toward the nucleus of an atom. An online applet is used to illustrate the interaction and test students' ideas ...

Models of the Hydrogen Atom part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Interactive Lectures:Examples
Steven Maier
In this interactive lecture, models of the hydrogen atom are explored using an online Java applet. The exploration leads to qualitative and quantitative analysis of energy transitions. -

Modeling emf, Potential Difference, and Internal Resistance part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Interactive Lectures:Examples
Steven Maier
Through class discussion and think-pair-share questions, this activity helps students come to understand the difference between emf and potential difference in electrical circuits. These concepts are broached ...

Combined Series and Parallel Circuits: Interactive Lecture Demonstrations part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Interactive Lectures:Examples
Bruce Mason, University of Oklahoma
Three in-class lecture demonstration questions to test and build understanding of DC circuits are presented. These questions cover simple series and parallel circuits, and a more complicated circuit that is ...

Motion Concepts: Displacement, velocity, & acceleration graphs part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Interactive Lectures:Examples
Susan Ramlo

Measuring voltage and current in a DC circuit part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Interactive Lectures:Examples
Susan Ramlo
These exercises target student misconceptions about how to properly measure voltage and current in simple DC circuits by letting them investigate different meter arrangements without fear of damaging equipment. ...





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