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15 Years of PhET Interactive Simulations: Cycles of Innovation, Learning, and Impact

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - 4:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • Duane Physics Room G1B20

Speaker Name(s): 

Kathy Perkins

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

University of Colorado, Boulder
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • Physics Department Colloquium

Event Details & Abstract: 

With a collection of 134 interactive simulations for teaching science and math, and over 100 million simulation uses per year worldwide, the PhET Interactive Simulations project has come a long way since its beginning in 2002. Founded by our colleague Carl Wieman as the “Physics Education Technology” project, his vision was to make physics engaging and accessible for all learners by tapping into a natural curiosity about real world phenomena. The journey from 2002 to today has included many cycles of innovation and learning as PhET expanded from physics to chemistry to math, from college to middle school, and from a local resource to an international mainstay. We will reflect on these past cycles – the challenges and the solutions – and how physics and the physicist’s perspective has shaped and advanced our work throughout. We will also look ahead to what’s on the horizon for PhET – bringing science inquiry to students with disabilities, advancing assessment of science practices, transforming middle school math, and building a sustainable business model.