PhET Logo
Physics Education Technology - University of Colorado, Boulder
PhET Blog

Archive for November, 2012

Think of PhET on “Giving Tuesday”!

It’s “Giving Tuesday”. Please consider including PhET in your annual donations, and help increase science and math literacy in your school and around the world. Support PhET: Donate today. 

Here’s a photo of PhET reaching students in Burundi.

PhET in Burundi




Nov 27


Welcome Karina to the PhET Team!

Karina PhotoWith her background in math, Karina will be focusing on building our math simulation suite. For her Ph.D. thesis at the University of Florida, she studied “the instructional practices of math teachers who were successful with traditionally underperforming students.” She has a particular interest in culture, issues of equity, and the education of marginalized students.

Karina was attracted to PhET because, as a project, it puts out quality, research-based products for teachers – for free. In her free time, Karina likes to cook healthy vegetarian foods that even carnivores can enjoy.

Help support PhET Donate to PhET’s Annual Campaign today.


Nov 26


Problems Running PhET Sims with Mac OS X 10.7 or 10.8?

If you’ve recently updated to Mac OS X 10.7 or 10.8, you may have received the message:

“To open this Web Start application, you need to download
the Java Runtime Environment.”

That’s because Apple Java was removed during the latest update. So when you receive this message, click “More Info“, and you will be taken to the website for Version 7 at
Note: Once you’ve installed Java, you may need to reload or quit your browser in order to enable Java in your browser.

If you’re running Mountain Lion OS X 10.8, Gatekeeper (the new program introduced in OS X 10.8 designed to prevent potentially malicious apps from launching) may block the launch of the PhET sim. To override this, either modify Gatekeeper’s default settings or explicitly right/control-click the application and choose Open.

If you have additional questions, please e-mail

Help support PhET Donate to PhET’s Annual Campaign today.


Nov 16


Help PhET by Participating in Our Survey…

Dear Fellow Educators, Administrators, Education Resource Providers,

We need your help!

To help us secure future funding to advance our work and keep PhET free, and to make the site as useful as possible for you, we need to know more about how, where, and why you use PhET in your teaching, and how you see the simulations influencing your students’ learning. We also want your input on future directions for the PhET project.

We are seeking very broad representation, so please forward this invitation to any educators you know.

If you are …

K12 Teacher who teaches with PhET:

College Faculty who teaches with PhET:

Use PhET in your education work or product (but not in teaching K12 or college):

Familiar with PhET, but do NOT USE PhET in your work:

If any of these links don’t work, go here:
Or copy and paste one of the URLs above into your internet browser.

Your participation is entirely voluntary, and your individual responses to this survey will be confidential. If you would like your institution to appear on a list or map of PhET users, you will have an opportunity to provide permission.

The survey results will be compiled to help improve PhET. Only aggregated results or anonymous statements will be used in any publications or reports, be disseminated on our website, or used in presentations to funders, educators, or researchers.

Thank you for your time and feedback!

Your PhET Team,
Kathy Perkins, Kathy Dessau, Noah Podolefsky, Mike Dubson, Robert Parson, Trish Loeblein, Noah Finkelstein, Emily Moore, Ariel Paul, Julia Chamberlain, Karina Hensberry, John Blanco, Jon Olson, Chris Malley, Sam Reid, Sam McKagan, Danny Rehn, Jesse Garrison, Linda Wellmann, and Oliver Nix


Nov 9


Free PhET Webinar: Tuesday, Nov. 13th at 7 PM PST

Teachers, join us for a free webinar on how to make the most of PhET simulations. Sponsored by Oregon Virtual School District, the webinar is free and open to everyone.

Date: Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Time: 7 pm, Pacific Standard Time
Meeting Number: 926 149 315

For more information or to join the online meeting, go to

Help keep new webinars coming: Donate to PhET’s Annual Campaign today.


Nov 6


New Forces and Motion: Basics Simulation

Forces and Motion: Basics

We’re excited to add another simulation to our Basics series, designed specifically with middle-school students in mind.

With the new Forces and Motion: Basics simulation, explore the forces at work in a tug of war or by pushing a refrigerator, crate, or person. Create an applied force and see how it makes objects move. Change friction and see how it affects the motion of objects.

Help keep new sims coming: Donate to PhET’s Annual Campaign today.


Nov 2