If you have a
gives you a science
lab at home!
Virtual Science Lab
Math instruction and science instruction are important parts of any school curric- ulum. Some science topics
cannot be taught easily without a laboratory, but there are some terrific resources
online to help homeschooled families
build their own surprisingly complete
virtual science lab—entirely for free.
The University of Colorado at Boulder houses an incredible free resource of
laboratory simulators that can enhance
your curriculum tremendously. These
tools can help make science come alive
and equip you and your kids to perform
science experiments safely without the
expense of investing in a full laboratory. This month, we explore some of the
many wonderful applications available
on that site.
The PhET project (PhET once stood
for “Physics Education Technology,” but
they’ve branched into many other areas
of science, so now the name is no lon-
ger an acronym for anything) is a series
of powerful and interesting applications
that let you experiment with various as-
pects of science. These applications were
written from a university perspective, so
These tools can
help make science
come alive . . . .
they tend to be geared toward older age
groups, but they are quite open-ended,
and a number of these applications can
be used by younger ages.
These are not really self-contained les-
sons but rather are laboratory environ-
ments. They were designed so that teach-
ers and parents could write lab exercises
and complete them by using these tools.
Each of the applications has a number of
user-created lab exercises associated with
it. You can use these assignments or cre-
ate your own. If open-ended exploration
is more your style, you’ll have plenty to