Apply ratios and proportions to find the weight of a person on the moon (or on another planet). Weigh an object on Earth and on the moon and weigh the person on Earth. Then set up and solve the proportion of the Earth weights to the moon weights.
Beam to Moon (Ratios and Proportions) - Metric
Investigate the properties of an ideal gas by performing experiments in which the temperature is held constant (Boyle's Law), and others in which the pressure remains fixed (Charles' Law). The pressure is controlled through the placement of masses on the lid of the container, and temperature is controlled with an adjustable heat source.
Boyle's Law and Charles' Law
Go sightseeing in fictional cities all over the world. Learn about coordinates on a graph by navigating around these cities on a grid-like city map. Some landmarks are shown on the map. For others, you are only given the coordinates. Can you find all of them?
City Tour (Coordinates)
Determine how the physical properties of a solvent are dependent on the number of solute particles present. Measure the vapor pressure, boiling point, freezing point, and osmotic pressure of pure water and a variety of solutions. Compare the effects of four solutes (sucrose, sodium chloride, calcium chloride, and potassium chloride) on these physical properties.
Choose the correct steps to divide exponential expressions. Use the feedback to diagnose incorrect steps.
Dividing Exponential Expressions
Using an earthquake recording station, learn how to determine the distance between the station and an earthquake based on the time difference between the arrival of the primary and secondary seismic waves. Use this data to find the epicenter in the Earthquakes 2 - Location of Epicenter Gizmo.
Earthquakes 1 - Recording Station
Locate the epicenter of an earthquake by analyzing seismic data from three recording stations. Measure difference in P- and S-wave arrival times, then use data from the Earthquakes 1 - Recording Station Gizmo to find the distance of the epicenter from each station.
Earthquakes 2 - Determination of Epicenter
Explore fractions using the Fractionator, the machine that makes fraction tiles. Compare fractions and find equivalent fractions by arranging the tiles on two horizontal rows. Explore simplifying fractions. Add fractions and express sums as improper fractions or mixed numbers.
Equivalent Fractions (Fraction Tiles)
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
Observe the steps of pollination and fertilization in flowering plants. Help with many parts of the process by dragging pollen grains to the stigma, dragging sperm to the ovules, and removing petals as the fruit begins to grow. Quiz yourself when you are done by dragging vocabulary words to the correct plant structure.
Use genetic engineering techniques to create corn plants resistant to insect pests or tolerant of herbicides. Identify useful genes from bacteria, insert the desired gene into a corn plant, and then compare the modified plant to a control plant in a lab setting.
In this follow-up to the Genetic Engineering Gizmo, explore how farmers can maximize yield while limiting ecosystem damage using genetically modified corn. Choose the corn type to plant and the amount of herbicide and insecticide to use, then measure corn yields and monitor wildlife populations and diversity. Observe the long-term effects of pollutants on a nearby stream ecosystem.
GMOs and the Environment
What does the graph of a derivative function look like? What can a derivative function tell you about the original function? What can't it tell you? Explore these questions for five different types of functions: linear, quadratic, cubic, absolute value, and sine.
Graphs of Derivative Functions
Represent a quantity given by a shaded region as an improper fraction and as a mixed number. Experiment with different shaded regions sliced differently.
Improper Fractions and Mixed Numbers
Use a lever to lift a pig, turkey, or sheep. A strongman provides up to 1000 newtons of effort. The fulcrum, strongman, and animals can be moved to any position to create first-, second-, or third-class levers.
A brand new school is opening and it is time to elect the school mascot! Students can choose the Eagle, Lion, Bear, or Wolf. Voting results can be displayed in a table, tally chart, pictograph, bar graph, circle graph, or dot plot. You can change student votes by selecting a group of students and clicking a mascot.
Mascot Election (Pictographs and Bar Graphs)
Live a frog's life as you hop along a number line in search of flies. Learn how addition and subtraction can be represented as movement along a number line. Fred the frog may even help you get better at adding and subtracting two-digit numbers in your head by decomposing them into tens and ones.
Number Line Frog Hop (Addition and Subtraction)
Learn Kepler's three laws of planetary motion by examining the orbit of a planet around a star. The initial position, velocity, and mass of the planet can be varied as well as the mass of the star. The foci and centers of orbits can be displayed and compared to the location of the star. The area swept out by the planet in a given time period can be measured, and data on orbital radii and periods can be plotted in several ways.
Orbital Motion - Kepler's Laws
Practice measuring the period of a pendulum. Perform experiments to determine how mass, length, gravitational acceleration, and angle affect the period of a pendulum.
Period of a Pendulum
Understand the phases of the Moon by observing the positions of the Moon, Earth and Sun. A view of the Moon from Earth is shown on the right as the Moon orbits Earth. Learn the names of Moon phases and in what order they occur. Click Play to watch the Moon go around, or click Pause and drag the Moon yourself.
Phases of the Moon
Shoot a beam of light at a metal plate in a virtual lab and observe the effect on surface electrons. The type of metal as well as the wavelength and intensity of the light can be adjusted. An electric field can be created to resist the electrons and measure their initial energies.
Study the production and use of gases by plants and animals. Measure the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in a test tube containing snails and elodea (a type of plant) in both light and dark conditions. Learn about the interdependence of plants and animals.
Plants and Snails
Investigate the factors of a quadratic through its graph and through its equation. Vary the roots of the quadratic and examine how the graph and the equation change in response.
Quadratics in Factored Form
Compare the graph of a rational function to its equation. Vary the terms of the equation and explore how the graph is translated and stretched as a result. Examine the domain on a number line and compare it to the graph of the equation.
Study wave motion, diffraction, interference, and refraction in a simulated ripple tank. A wide variety of scenarios can be chosen, including barriers with one or two gaps, multiple wave sources, reflecting barriers, or submerged rocks. The wavelength and strength of waves can be adjusted, as well as the amount of damping in the tank.
Everything we know about the world comes through our senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. In the Senses Gizmo, explore how stimuli are detected by specialized cells, transmitted through nerves, and processed in the brain.
Are there times when you wish you could escape from everyone and just be alone? Meet our variable friend, a real loner who doesn't like coefficients and neighboring terms. Learn how to use inverses to isolate a variable – a foundational skill for solving algebraic equations.
Solving Algebraic Equations I
Examine the scatter plots for data related to weather at different latitudes. The Gizmo includes three different data sets, one with negative correlation, one positive, and one with no correlation. Compare the least squares best-fit line.
Solving Using Trend Lines
Step right up! Spin the big wheel! Each spin can result in no prize, a small prize, or a big prize. The wheel can be spun by 1, 10, or 100 players. Results are recorded on a frequency table or a circle graph. You can also design your own wheel and a sign that describes the probabilities for your wheel.
Spin the Big Wheel! (Probability)
Solve problems in chemistry using dimensional analysis. Select appropriate tiles so that units in the question are converted into units of the answer. Tiles can be flipped, and answers can be calculated once the appropriate unit conversions have been applied.
Vary the dimensions of a pyramid or cone and investigate how the surface area changes. Use the dynamic net of the solid to compute the lateral area and the surface area of the solid.
Surface and Lateral Areas of Pyramids and Cones
Compare a system of linear inequalities to its graph. Vary the coefficients and inequality symbols in the system and explore how the boundary lines, shaded regions, and the intersection of the shaded regions change in response.
Systems of Linear Inequalities (Slope-intercept form)
Use unit conversion tiles to convert from one unit to another. Tiles can be flipped to cancel units. Convert between metric units or between metric and U.S. customary units. Solve distance, time, speed, mass, volume, and density problems.
Use the Chocomatic to design candy bars made out of chocolate squares. Use multiplication to find the number of squares in each chocolate bar. Build collections of chocolate bars that all have the same number of squares. Solve multiplication problems by joining two smaller chocolate bars into a large bar.
Chocomatic (Multiplication, Arrays, and Area)
Compare average temperatures, precipitation, humidity, and wind speed for a variety of locations across the globe. Explore the influence of latitude, proximity to oceans, elevation, and other factors on climate. Observe how animals and plants are adapted to climate and their environment. This lesson uses U.S. customary units.
Comparing Climates (Customary)
Explore compound interest in-depth, from compounded annually to compounded continuously. In addition, compare the END POINTS graph, with dots that fit an exponential curve, to the ALL TIME graph, which has a more step-like appearance.
Explore the motion of particles as they bounce around from one side of a room to the other through an adjustable gap or partition. The mass of the particles can be adjusted, as well as the temperature of the room and the initial number of particles. In a real-world context, this can be used to learn about how odors travel, fluids move through gaps, the thermodynamics of gases, and statistical probability.
Digestion is a complex process, involving a wide variety of organs and chemicals that work together to break down food, absorb nutrients, and eliminate wastes. But have you ever wondered what would happen if some of those organs were eliminated, or if the sequence was changed? Can the digestive system be improved? Find out by designing your own digestive system with the Digestive System Gizmo.
A drug prescription must be carefully planned to maximize benefit while avoiding an overdose. In this Gizmo, you can give a patient one or more pills and monitor the levels of medication in the body through time. Based on the reaction of the patient, determine the ideal levels of medication. Create a dosage schedule so these levels are maintained through time. Four types of pills, each with a different release pattern and target organ, are available for use.
When a foreign substance such as a drug is ingested, it often remains in the bloodstream for a long time. This Gizmo models the elimination of substances from the bloodstream using water and dye. Add dye to a container of water, and then add beakers of pure water while removing beakers of dyed water. The amount of dye remaining is recorded after each cycle. The volumes of all containers can be adjusted, as well as the amount of dye used. This provides a good example of exponential decay.
Create the electron configuration of any element by filling electron orbitals. Determine the relationship between electron configuration and atomic radius. Discover trends in atomic radii across periods and down families/groups of the periodic table.
A falling cylinder is attached to a rotating propeller that stirs and heats the water in a beaker. The mass and height of the cylinder, as well as the quantity and initial temperature of water can be adjusted. The temperature of the water is measured as energy is converted from one form to another.
Energy Conversion in a System
Working as a CDC researcher, students investigate an outbreak of multi-drug resistant bacterial infections and determine how evolution was involved by tracing the source and cause of the outbreak.
STEM Case Evolution
Observe and manipulate the populations of four creatures (trees, deer, bears, and mushrooms) in a forest. Investigate the feeding relationships (food web) in the forest. Determine which creatures are producers, consumers, and decomposers. Pictographs and line graphs show changes in populations over time.
Develop understanding of fractions by making modern paintings. Find different ways to divide a canvas into equal-sized sections. Make paintings to represent simple fractions and to find fractions that are equivalent to one-half.
Fraction Artist 1 (Area Models of Fractions)
Model and compare fractions, decimals, and percents using area models. Each area model can have 10 or 100 sections and can be set to display a fraction, decimal, or percent. Click inside the area models to shade them. Compare the numbers visually or on a number line.
Fraction, Decimal, Percent (Area and Grid Models)
Try to get a hole in one by adjusting the velocity and launch angle of a golf ball. Explore the physics of projectile motion in a frictional or ideal setting. Horizontal and vertical velocity vectors can be displayed, as well as the path of the ball. The height of the golfer and the force of gravity are also adjustable.
Investigate the growth of three common garden plants: tomatoes, beans, and turnips. You can change the amount of light each plant gets, the amount of water added each day, and the type of soil the seed is planted in. Observe the effect of each variable on plant height, plant mass, leaf color and leaf size. Determine what conditions produce the tallest and healthiest plants. Height and mass data are displayed on tables and graphs.
Change the values in a data set and examine how the dynamic histogram changes in response. Adjust the interval size of the histogram and see how the shape of the histogram is affected.
Explore life in the hive by meeting workers, drones, and the queen bee herself! Visit flower patches to determine the best sources of food, and then perform a waggle dance to let the other bees know where to go. Can you help the bees find enough food to save the hive?
Compare the theoretical and experimental probabilities of drawing colored marbles from a bag. Record results of successive draws to find the experimental probability. Perform the drawings with replacement of the marbles to study independent events, or without replacement to explore dependent events.
Independent and Dependent Events
Determine if a relation is a function from the mapping diagram, ordered pairs, or graph. Use the graph to determine if it is linear.
Build a data set and find the mean, median, and mode. Explore the mean, median, and mode illustrated as frogs on a seesaw, frogs on a scale, and as frogs stacked under a bar of variable height.
Mean, Median, and Mode
Measure the height, diameter, and circumference of trees in a forest. Count growth rings to determine the age of each tree. Grow the trees for several years and investigate how growth is affected by precipitation.
Explore how sex cells are produced by the process of meiosis. Compare meiosis in male and female germ cells, and use crossovers to increase the number of possible gamete genotypes. Using meiosis and crossovers, create "designer" fruit fly offspring with desired trait combinations.
Solve a two-step equation using a cup-and-counter model. Use step-by-step feedback to diagnose and correct incorrect steps.
Modeling and Solving Two-Step Equations
Explore examples of nuclear fusion and fission reactions. Follow the steps of the proton-proton chain, CNO cycle, and fission of uranium-235. Write balanced nuclear equations for each step, and compare the energy produced in each process.
Find the effect of length, mass, and angle on the period of a pendulum. The pendulum is attached to a clock that can be adjusted to tell time accurately. The clock can be located on Earth or Jupiter to determine the effect of gravity.
Find a part from the percent and whole, a percent from the part and whole, or a whole from the part and percent using a graphic model.
Percents and Proportions
Measure the temperature on wet and dry bulb thermometers to determine relative humidity. Measure the dew point by cooling a bucket of water until condensation forms on the surface. See how the relative humidity and dew point change over the course of a day.
Approximate the area under a curve in an interval using rectangles. Compare the results of left-hand summation to the results of right-hand summation. Vary the interval and the number of rectangles and explore how the graph of the rectangles and curve change in response.
Try to classify a dozen different rock samples based on their appearance. Common characteristics of each major rock type are described. Rocks also can be classified by where they formed.
Find the root of a quadratic using its graph or the quadratic formula. Explore the graph of the roots and the point of symmetry in the complex plane. Compare the axis of symmetry and graph of the quadratic in the real plane.
Roots of a Quadratic
Rotate, reflect, and translate a figure in the plane. Compare the translated figure to the original figure.
Rotations, Reflections, and Translations
Will you adopt Spidro, Centeon, or Ping Bee? They're three very different critters with one thing in common: a hunger for simplified algebraic expressions! Learn how the distributive property can be used to combine variable terms, producing expressions that will help your pet grow up healthy and strong. You'll become a pro at identifying terms that can be combined – even terms with exponents and multiple variables. With enough practice, you and your pet will be ready for the competitive expression eating circuit. Good luck!
Simplifying Algebraic Expressions II
Explore our solar system and learn the characteristics of each planet. Compare the sizes of planets and their distances from the Sun. Observe the speeds of planetary orbits and measure how long each planet takes to go around the Sun.
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.
Observe the movement of particles of an ideal gas at a variety of temperatures. A histogram showing the Maxwell-Boltzmann velocity distribution is shown, and the most probable velocity, mean velocity, and root mean square velocity can be calculated. Molecules of different gases can be compared.
Temperature and Particle Motion
Drive a desert highway searching for buried treasure. Learn to use the car's tens, ones, tenths, and hundredths gears, along with a GPS system (number line), to find the right place to dig. Plot your find on a zoomable number line map. Can you become a master Treasure Hunter?
Treasure Hunter (Decimals on the Number Line)
Release a lytic virus in a group of cells and observe how cells are infected over time and eventually destroyed. Data related to the number of healthy cells, infected cells, and viruses can be recorded over time to determine the time required for the virus to mature within a cell.
Virus Lytic Cycle