Interactive lessons using PhET Sims and quizzes

  • #1
robertphy
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Hi, I want to write some interactive Physics lessons, where students can engage with Phet Simulations and then answer some quizzes to test their thinking along the way.
Any of you did that, or similar?

Please, let me know if anything is unclear.
I sincerely hope you can have a great time.

EDIT:
the same question is valid for Geogebra instead of PhET
 
Last edited:

Answers and Replies

  • #2
kuruman
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I did something similar but with Physlets. That was about 20 years ago when they were new. At that time the extensive library of interactive activities and problems not exist and I had to write my own with I used for supplementing my lectures and for online homework. IMO Physlet-based problems emphasize the "observe and deduce" principle and leave little room for the "if I only knew the right equation to use" idea that a lot of students have. They are also minimalist in approach without all the distracting bells and whistles and pictures that a lot of Phet simulations show. Just the bare necessities to what is salient.

To see what I mean, check out for example Chapter 5 under the title Newton's laws 2. You can, of course, write your own Physlets as I did. I hope this helps.
 
  • #3
robphy
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If you visit a PhET page, like
https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulations/geometric-optics-basics ,
one of the linked pages is for "Activities"
https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulations/geometric-optics-basics/activities

You could also look at the resources listed at https://www.aapt.org/ComPADRE/

Although I use PhET, GeoGebra, and Desmos...
for demonstrations and simulations (including simulated labs),
I haven't really used them for guided activities
... although I am beginning to do so.
 
  • #4
robertphy
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Thanks , they sounds great suggestions.
 
  • #5
ZapperZ
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Hi, I want to write some interactive Physics lessons, where students can engage with Phet Simulations and then answer some quizzes to test their thinking along the way.
Any of you did that, or similar?

Please, let me know if anything is unclear.
I sincerely hope you can have a great time.

EDIT:
the same question is valid for Geogebra instead of PhET
I'm sorry that I'm responding to this more than a month late.

I use a lot of online apps and simulation as part of my "in-class activities" and problem-solving exercises. One of the PhET simulations that I often use is the projectile motion simulation (the "Lab" option):

https://phet.colorado.edu/sims/html/projectile-motion/latest/projectile-motion_en.html

One of the concepts that many students have difficulty in grasping is that the time-of-flight and the maximum height of a projectile are governed only by the vertical component of its motion. Therefore, the initial vertical component of the velocity is what determines how high the projectile gets to and long the projectile is in the air.

I tried to drill this into the student by having them do this exercise in class:
  • First, set the canon to an angle of 30 degrees with an initial speed of 20 m/s.
  • Shoot the projectile and measure the time-of-flight and the maximum height using the tools provided in the app.
  • Then change the canon angle to 90 degrees and an initial speed of 10 m/s.
  • Shoot the projectile again and measure those two quantities once more.
They will find that those two quantities (time-of-flight and maximum height) are the same for both situations. I then ask them to discuss this with their partner or group members and come up with a reason why those values are the same. As a bonus, I then ask them to construct another situation (i.e. different angle and different initial velocity) where the projectile gets to the same height and same time-of-flight.

Of course, the reason here is that in both cases, the vertical component of the initial velocities are identical in value. This is why, regardless of how fast the projectile is moving in the horizontal direction, it doesn't change how long it is in the air and how high it gets. If the student understands this, then he/she/they will be able to do that last part rather quickly rather than doing it by trial-and-error.

Zz.
 

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