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PhET™ Labs

PhET Lab experiments represent real interactive, and research-based simulations of physical phenomena from the PhET™ project at the University of Colorado. For teachers and students around the world, the PhET project provides interactive simulations that are based on extensive education research and support more effective science education. Going beyond traditional educational resources, PhET simulations offer an intuitive, game-like environment where students can learn through scientist-like exploration, where dynamic visual representations make the invisible visible, and where science ideas are connected to real-world phenomena. Unlike most educational software, PhET simulations are free, easily translated into multiple languages, and available either online or offline, especially important for areas with poor or no internet connectivity. With their flexible design, the simulations can be used in many ways - as demos, homework, or inexpensive yet accurate and realistic lab alternatives. Explore a few of the PhET Labs simulations on several Science disciplines:

Online Activity Labs: Topics:
Plinko Probability
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Play Plinko and develop your knowledge of statistics. Drops balls through a triangular grid of pegs and see the balls random walk through the lattice. Watch the histogram of final positions build up and approach the binomial distribution. Inspired by the Virtual Lab in Probability and Statistics at U. Alabama in Huntsville (

Details and get access to Plinko Probability

Check out Plinko Probability
Equation Grapher
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Learn about graphing polynomials. The shape of the curve changes as the constants are adjusted. View the curves for the individual terms (e.g. y=bx ) to see how they add to generate the polynomial curve.

Details and get access to Equation Grapher

Check out Equation Grapher
Calculus Grapher
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Draw a graph of any function and see graphs of its derivative and integral. Don't forget to use the magnify/demagnify controls on the y-axis to adjust the scale.

Details and get access to Calculus Grapher

Check out Calculus Grapher
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Explore size estimation in one, two and three dimensions! Multiple levels of difficulty allow for progressive skill improvement.

Details and get access to Estimation

Check out Estimation
Vector Addition
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Learn how to add vectors. Drag vectors onto a graph, change their length and angle, and sum them together. The magnitude, angle, and components of each vector can be displayed in several formats.

Details and get access to Vector Addition

Check out Vector Addition



As part of the CSU bottleneck initiative and course redesign with technology, faculty can explore the use of ALEKS (Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces).

ALEKS logoAssessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. ALEKS uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn't know in a course. ALEKS then instructs the student on the topics she is most ready to learn. As a student works through a course, ALEKS periodically reassesses the student to ensure that topics learned are also retained. ALEKS courses are very complete in their topic coverage and ALEKS avoids multiple-choice questions. A student who shows a high level of mastery of an ALEKS course will be successful in the actual course she is taking.

ALEKS is a web-based system used in determining the preparation, placement and assessment of in-coming students in Math for upper division courses. This online program can also be used in determining student's preparation for upper level courses in the science disciplines. The program is able to diagnose and adapt to a student's developing knowledge and skills, and provides precise feedback when mistakes are made. The student proceeds with learning a new topics when mastery is achieved from prior subject assessment. ALEKS is inexpensive - and no site-licensing is required - only an access code purchased by the student for a nominal fee. Explore the features of ALEKS.

Accessibility of ALEKS Course Products

Math Simulations in MERLOT sorted by sub-categories:

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ADD Free Virtual Labs You're Using or Authored Into MERLOT

Are you using free Virtual Lab materials you found on the web in your teaching or your learning? Have you posted free Virtual Labs online that are open for others to use? We invite you to catalog these Virtual Labs you use or authored in MERLOT. Your colleagues and students around the world will thank you!


First: Become a member of MERLOT (It will take about 2 minutes and it’s FREE).

Second: Fill out the online form to Contribute a Material. (It will take about 4 minutes the first time and step-by-step instructions for contributing materials to MERLOT are available).

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