What are Gizmos?

ExploreLearning.com offers the world's largest library of interactive online simulations for math and science education in grades 3-12. We call these simulations Gizmos. Gizmos are:

  • fun, easy to use, and help students develop a deep understanding of challenging concepts through inquiry and exploration.
  • research-based, flexible tools used by teachers across all 50 states in a wide variety of ways. Gizmos are ideal for small group work, individual exploration, and whole class instruction using an LCD projector or interactive whiteboard.
  • designed to supplement your existing curriculum. Gizmos are correlated to state curriculum standards, the Common Core standards, and over 300 textbooks, making them easy to integrate into your instructional program.
  • backed by first-rate training and professional development services that help maximize the value of your investment.

The “Ah-Hah!” Moment

ExploreLearning Gizmos are all about the “Ah-Hah!” moment, that miraculous instant when something inside your brain clicks and suddenly whatever was puzzling you now makes perfect sense.

Screenshot of Determining Density via Water Displacement GizmoDetermining Density via Water Displacement

You may recall the story of Archimedes, who discovered the principles of water displacement and buoyancy in the bathtub. The “Ah-Hah!” moment sent Archimedes leaping from the tub to run down the street shouting “Eureka!” -- which is Greek for “I found it!”

That's the “Ah-Hah!” we're talking about. But we're also talking about a broad and growing course coverage, a great investment, and a powerful enhancement to the way teachers teach and students learn.

ExploreLearning currently has over 450 Gizmos with accompanying curricular materials, all with the aim of sharing the “Ah-Hah!” moment with teachers and students.

We even have a Gizmo that demonstrates the water displacement principles that led Archimedes to shout “Eureka!” Check it out for yourself by signing up for a Free 30-day Gizmo Trial, and get the complete ExploreLearning experience.

The Gizmo Experience

The best way to get a feel for the ExploreLearning Gizmo experience is to start using them. To help you along this path, our “Introduction to ExploreLearning.com” movie is perfect for the first-time visitor to ExploreLearning.com. (It runs about 8 minutes but covers everything.)

In addition, we have several “Teaching with Gizmos” demo movies, each focusing on one Gizmo and highlighting what that Gizmo can do to enhance student learning.

If you're looking for additional help and support on using Gizmos, or specific “how to …” answers, please visit our Learning Center.

Why Do We Call Them Gizmos?

We call them Gizmos because virtual manipulatives is too difficult to say! All kidding aside, the use of the word Gizmo to describe our simulations goes back to the origins of ExploreLearning.

Dr. Raman Pfaff first coined the term “Gizmos” to describe the new learning tools he created while he was a graduate student in nuclear physics. When Dr. Pfaff joined ExploreLearning (employee number 2), the name Gizmos came with him and it stuck.

We like the name Gizmo because not only does it sound fun, which the Gizmos are, but also because it implies that the Gizmo is a piece in a larger machine, if you will, the machine being the whole of the teaching and learning process of which a Gizmo is one part.

Still Have Questions?

If you've watched the demonstration movies, tested out Gizmos first hand with a Free Gizmo Trial, visited our Learning Center, and you still have questions about ExploreLearning or Gizmos, by all means contact us so we can provide you with answers.

Critical Acclaim

  • Winner: Best Science Instruction Solution

    2013, 2010, 2007, 2006 SIIA CODiE Awards

  • Winner: Readers' Choice Award

    2013 eSchool News

  • BESSIE Award Winner: Multi-level

    2014, 2013 ComputEd Gazette

  • Cool Tool Award: STEM Solution

    2013 Ed Tech Digest

  • Winner: Distinguished Achievement Award

    2012, 2011, 2008, 2007, 2005 AEP

  • EDDIE Award Winner: Multi-level

    2013, 2012 ComputEd Gazette

  • Winner: Golden Lamp Award

    2010 AEP

  • Winner: Best K-12 Instructional Solution

    2009 SIIA CODiE Awards

  • Winner: Award of Excellence

    2009, 2008 Tech and Learning Magazine

  • Finalist: Best Math Instructional Solution

    2014, 2013, 2012, 2009, 2008, 2006 SIIA CODiE Awards

  • Finalist: Distinguished Achievement Award

    2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2006 AEP

  • Finalist: Best K-12 Instructional Solution

    2010 SIIA CODiE Awards

  • Finalist: Golden Lamp Award

    2009, 2008, 2006 AEP

  • Diamond Award in Mathematics

    District Administration Magazine

  • E-Learning Innovation Award

    Macromedia Corp.

  • Best Education Website

    Webby Awards

  • Three time Digital Dozen Honoree

    Eisenhower National Clearinghouse

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