Virtual Chemistry and Simulations
Chemistry moves from in-person lab and the classroom to the computer, as working in a virtual chemistry laboratory and viewing simulations provide additional ways of learning chemistry.
- AACT: Simulations
This page is a collection of all the simulations created by the American Association of Chemistry Teachers. Several new simulations are added each year. Every simulation is open for teachers and students to access.
- ACS Middle School Chemistry: Remote Learning Assignments
Each assignment contains videos, images, and questions keyed to the ACS Middle School curriculum. Users can copy any of the Google Forms to their Google Drive to edit and use.
- PhET Interactive Simulations
PhET, based at the University of Colorado at Boulder, offers over four dozen chemistry-based simulations, many translated into different languages. Search by subject and grade level.
- MERLOT Materials: Chemistry Simulations
The Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) at the California State University has collected descriptions and links to a huge number of chemistry simulations, with peer review ratings and comments, and information on appropriate grade levels.
The ChemCollective, organized by a group from Carnegie Mellon, shares virtual labs, simulations, and molecular level visualizations for chemistry (See “Resources by type” in site’s sidebar.)
- Mixed Reception
This ChemCollective activity could be described as a murder mystery for chemistry students. “Interview” suspects by viewing videos, investigate the crime scene using images, and analyze evidence from the crime lab.
- Aspirin Screen Experiment
Explore the chemistry of aspirin virtually with four levels of experiments, including synthesis, thin layer chromatography, and reaction conditions.
- CK–12 Chemistry Simulations
Nearly two dozen simulations cover topics like average atomic mass, solubility with rock candy, and freezing point depression with road salt.
- Titration Screen Experiment
Give students titration practice virtually.
This drag-and-drop periodic table environment from Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry lets you experiment with different element combinations.
- Molecular Workbench
Browse “showcase” chemistry simulations, with many more available in the library. It also has tools for teachers and students to create their own.
Users can model and simulate chemical reactions, focusing on thermodynamics, equilibrium, kinetics, and acid–base titrations, with accompanying virtual lab exercises. It is designed for high school (AP/IB) and undergraduate students and teachers.
- General/Introductory Chemistry: Simulations
This page, maintained by chemistry professor William Vining, has simulations that cover a wide range of chemistry concepts.
- Virtual Chemistry Experiments
Professor David N. Blauch of Davidson College presents several interactive experiment simulations on topics such as equilibrium, kinetics, crystal structure, phase changes, gases, and more.
- Simulations for Chemistry
Professor Gary L. Bertrand’s (University of Missouri–Rolla) page offers many simulated experiments, such as “The Case of the Five Droppers,” a virtual presentation of five reagents being combined in different ways.
- A Virtual Lab Format for Online Teaching During COVID-19
Teacher Josh Kenney describes his plan for combining videos of him performing lab experiments with simulations.
- Filling the Void: Options for Authentic Investigations Online
Teacher Ben Meacham describes two commercially available options to consider for lab in a digital environment.
- Planning for an Uncertain Future
Teacher Chad Husting makes suggestions for how to proceed in the uncertain Covid environment. He provides links for digital and video resources he created.
- Online Labs for Online Learning
The author describes the work of Professor David Yaron to create and to share resources for chemistry educators during Covid.
- Resources for Teaching Your Chemistry Class Online
ACS Publications and the ACS Division of Chemical Education share a free collection of resources during Covid.
- Whether and How Authentic Contexts Using a Virtual Chemistry Lab Support Learning
Authors report on a study with high school chemistry students using virtual lab investigations, in a 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education.
- Examining VSEPR through the Cross Cutting Concept of Patterns
Teacher Stephanie O’Brien describes her use of the PhET simulation Molecule Shapes as part of a VSEPR activity.
- Building Atoms: One App at a Time
Teacher Doug Ragan describes several apps that he uses in a unit on atomic structure.
- The Atomic Dashboard
Teacher Doug Ragan describes The Atomic Dashboard, a commercially available software product that helps students to visualize atoms and molecules and their structures.
- A Replacement Maxwell-Boltzmann Distribution Simulation
Teacher Lowell Thomson describes an updated simulation to introduce Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution curves.
- Using an Argument-Driven Inquiry Framework for Student Exploration of Gas Laws
Teacher Lowell Thomson describes his use of Atomsmith Classroom Online, a commercially available product that he uses in a gas laws unit.
- Using PhET in High School Chemistry
Teacher Trish Loeblein describes how she uses PhET in her high school course, with hyperlinks to the activities.
(all sites accessed August 2020)