Place weights into a boat and see how far the boat sinks into a tank of liquid. The depth of the boat can be measured, as well as the amount of liquid displaced. The dimensions of the boat and the density of the liquid can be adjusted. See how much weight the boat can hold before it sinks to the bottom!
This Gizmo provides you with two challenges. First, use blocks to build a figure with a given volume. Then, try to balance the blocks on a platform that sits on the tip of a cone. The dimensions of the platform can be adjusted, and blocks can be added or deleted by clicking on the model.
Balancing Blocks (Volume)
Build a topographic map by flooding a three dimensional landscape with water and drawing contour lines. Draw a profile of a landscape based on the topographic map.
Building Topographic Maps
Investigate how calorimetry can be used to find relative specific heat values when different substances are mixed with water. Modify initial mass and temperature values to see effects on the system. One or any combination of the substances can be mixed with water. A dynamic graph (temperature vs. time) shows temperatures of the individual substances after mixing.
Create circuits using batteries, light bulbs, switches, fuses, and a variety of materials. Examine series and parallel circuits, conductors and insulators, and the effects of battery voltage. Thousands of different circuits can be built with this Gizmo.
Based on the similarities and differences between different organisms, create branching diagrams called cladograms to show how they are related. Use both morphological data (physical traits) and molecular data to create the simplest and most likely cladograms. Five different sets of organisms are available.
Design a car to protect a test dummy in a collision. Adjust the length and stiffness of the crumple zone and the rigidity of the safety cell to determine how the car will deform during the crash. Add seat belts and/or airbags to prevent the dummy from hitting the steering wheel. Three different body types (sedan, SUV, and subcompact) are available and a wide range of crash speeds can be used.
Observe the spread of disease through a group of people. The methods of transmission can be chosen and include person-to-person, airborne, and foodborne as well as any combination thereof. The probability of each form of transmission and number of people in the group can also be adjusted.
Learn how DNA is compared to identify individuals. Identify the sections of DNA that tend to differ and use PCR to amplify these segments. Then use gel electrophoresis to create DNA profiles. Based on what you have learned, create your own DNA profiling test and use this test to analyze crime scene evidence.
Perform experiments with a pendulum to gain an understanding of energy conservation in simple harmonic motion. The mass, length, and gravitational acceleration of the pendulum can be adjusted, as well as the initial angle. The potential energy, kinetic energy, and total energy of the oscillating pendulum can be displayed on a table, bar chart or graph.
Energy of a Pendulum
Grumpy’s Restaurant is now hiring! As a new chef at this underwater bistro, you’ll learn the basics of manipulating algebraic expressions. Learn how to make equivalent expressions using the Commutative and Associative properties, how to handle pesky subtraction and division, and how to identify equivalent and non-equivalent expressions.
Equivalent Algebraic Expressions I
Explore the graph of an exponential function. Vary the coefficient and base of the function and investigate the changes to the graph of the function.
The Factor Trees Gizmo has two modes. In Factor mode, you can create factor trees to factor composite numbers into primes. In Build mode, you can build numbers by multiplying primes together. Can you build all composite numbers up to 50? Any whole composite number up to 999 can be factored or built with the Gizmo.
Factor Trees (Factoring Numbers)
Grow Wisconsin Fast Plants® in a simulated lab environment. Explore the life cycles of these plants and how their growth is influenced by light, water, and crowding. Practice pollinating the plants using bee sticks, then observe the traits of the offspring plants. Use Punnett squares to model the inheritance of genes for stem color and leaf color for these plants.
Fast Plants® 1 - Growth and Genetics
In this follow-up to Fast Plants® 1 - Growth and Genetics, continue to explore inheritance of traits in Wisconsin Fast Plants. Infer the genotype of a "mystery P2 parent" of a set of Fast Plants based on the traits of the P1, F1, and F2 plants. Then create designer Fast Plants by selectively breeding plants with desired traits.
Fast Plants® 2 - Mystery Parent
Have you ever used a glove warmer to keep your hands warm? How about an instant cold pack to treat an injury? In the Feel the Heat Gizmo, create your own hot and cold packs using various salts dissolved in water and different bag materials. Learn about exothermic and endothermic processes and how energy is absorbed or released when bonds are broken and new bonds form.
Feel the Heat
Drop a number into a function machine, and see what number comes out! You can use one of the six pre-set function machines, or program your own function rule into one of the blank machines. Stack up to three function machines together. Input and output can be recorded in a table and on a graph.
Function Machines 1 (Functions and Tables)
Randomly throw darts at a target and see what percent are "hits." Vary the size of the target and repeat the experiment. Study the relationship between the area of the target and the percent of darts that strike it
Plant seeds and watch how many sprout. Examine what factors affect germination. Vary the amount of heat, water, and light the seeds get. Practice designing controlled experiments and using the scientific method.
Explore the energy used by many household appliances, such as television sets, hair dryers, lights, computers, etc. Make estimates for how long each item is used on a daily basis to get an estimate for the total power consumed during a day, a week, a month, and a year, and how that relates to consumer costs and environmental impact.
Household Energy Usage
Measure the strength and direction of the magnetic field at different locations in a laboratory. Compare the strength of the induced magnetic field to Earth's magnetic field. The direction and magnitude of the inducting current can be adjusted.
See how muscles, bones, and connective tissue work together to allow movement. Observe how muscle contraction arises from the interactions of thin and thick filaments in muscle cells. Using what you have learned, construct an arm that can lift a weight or throw a ball. Connective tissue, muscle composition, bone length, and tendon insertion point can all be manipulated to create an arm to lift the heaviest weight or throw a ball the fastest.
Muscles and Bones
Apply markups and discounts using interactive "percent rulers." Improve number sense for percents with this dynamic, visual tool. Reinforce the original cost (or original price) as the baseline for percent calculations.
Percent of Change
Compare the graph of a linear function to its rule and to a table of its values. Change the function by dragging two points on the line. Examine how the rule and table change.
Points, Lines, and Equations
Combine various metal and nonmetal atoms to observe how the electronegativity difference determines the polarity of chemical bonds. Place molecules into an electric field to experimentally determine if they are polar or nonpolar. Create different mixtures of polar and nonpolar molecules to explore the intermolecular forces that arise between them.
Polarity and Intermolecular Forces
Poll residents in a large city to determine their response to a yes-or-no question. Estimate the actual percentage of yes votes in the whole city. Examine the results of many polls to help assess how reliable the results from a single poll are. See how the normal curve approximates a binomial distribution for large enough polls.
Create a polynomial as a product of linear factors. Vary the values in the linear factors to see how their connection to the roots of the function.
Polynomials and Linear Factors
Apply constraints to two triangles. Then drag the vertices of the triangles around and determine which constraints guarantee congruence.
Proving Triangles Congruent
As factory belt operator, your job is to move boxes just the right distance on the belt, so they can be stamped for delivery. Your only controls are the radius and rotation of the belt’s wheel. How do you set these to get the distance right? See how this relates to arc length, and discover how radians help make this task easier.
Use a number line to compare rational numbers. Change values by dragging points on the number line. Compare the opposites and absolute values of the numbers.
Rational Numbers, Opposites, and Absolute Values
Compare the slope-intercept form of a linear equation to its graph. Vary the coefficients and explore how the graph changes in response.
Slope-Intercept Form of a Line
Analyze the spectra of a variety of stars. Determine the elements that are represented in each spectrum, and use this information to infer the temperature and classification of the star. Look for unusual features such as redshifted stars, nebulae, and stars with large planets.
Learn about molecular polarity and how polarity gives rise to intermolecular forces. Measure four macroscopic properties of liquids (cohesion, adhesion, surface tension, and capillary rise). Compare these properties for different liquids and relate them to whether the substances are polar or nonpolar.
Play an addition card game! The goal is to create a sum that is as close as possible to the target sum. Students will deepen their understanding of place value as they get better at playing the game. Many game options allow students to vary the game for more practice. The game can be played with one or two players.
Target Sum Card Game (Multi-digit Addition)
Examine the scatter plot for a random data set with negative or positive correlation. Vary the correlation and explore how correlation is reflected in the scatter plot and the trend line.
Trends in Scatter Plots
Learn how to determine the mass of an object using a triple beam balance. The mass of a variety of objects can be determined using this simulated version of a common real-world laboratory tool for measurement.
Triple Beam Balance
Get to know the four main types of pollution present in the environment, and then look at a variety of real-world examples as you try to guess what type of pollution is represented by each situation. All of the real-world situations can be viewed every day in different parts of the world.