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Online Science for Middle School Receives $2.5 Million

PhET States of Matter Simulation

PhET States of Matter simulation

The PhET project (formerly called the Physics Education Technology Project), which creates online STEM-based simulations for free use, has received new grants totaling in $2.5 million from the National Science Foundation and the Dallas-based O’Donnell Foundation. These grants will allow the University of Colorado at Boulder project to expand to a key area of need: middle school science. The new effort begins this fall. The grant money will help the project develop a suite of 35 simulations specifically designed for middle school physical science students.

Across eight years, the project, which includes a total of 87 computer-based simulations, has built on its original focus on physics and expanded its suite of simulations into chemistry, math, biology, and earth science. The resources are designed to engage students and improve their learning of underlying concepts. The free simulations currently are run over 15 million times per year with usage nearly doubling each year. The simulations have been extensively tested and translated into 50 languages, with 34 percent of its users are from outside the United States.

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