Top Online Tools and Virtual Labs for Fun Experiments Teachers Must Know 

Top Online Tools and Virtual Labs for Fun

Often, science lab classes in most schools suffer from a lack of funding and space required to provide equipment for every student. Even in some colleges, students experience laboratories as a viewing experience only, which is crowded and does not allow student engagement.

Also, even if they have due to the sudden closure of institutions to contain the spread of the novel Corona Virus, learners cannot try the experiments sitting at home. Various academic institutions seek virtual science laboratories to help replace and improve this typical laboratory experience. After all, virtual science labs are the way forward as more and more technologies are being introduced in the classroom.

We have enlisted top virtual lab sites and apps that are highly engaging, informative and easy to use; students can benefit from these innovative and flexible online simulations.

And these can provide tremendous support to the current teaching methodology if combined with appropriate preparation and structure.

PhET Simulations

Developed by the experts at the University of Colorado Boulder, PhET Simulations aims at providing students with simulated experiments on various topics.

It has a vast library containing around 160 simulations on various subjects - physics, chemistry, mathematics, earth science, and biology- translated into 95 languages. PhET also provides teachers with several lesson plans to make the most out of the simulations.

Science experiments are based on extensive education research and designed to engage students in a fun and intuitive environment where students learn through exploration and discovery.

Compatible with:  Android | iOS

Price: $0.99

Physics Lab

Physics Lab is a virtual sandbox for you to build and test your experiences. It lets you play with various circuit components and build 3-D electrical circuits, seeing how they work in real-time. It is a perfect kit to build personalized experiences and allow students to play and experiment with different conditions without worrying about the lab pieces of equipment and safety. It contains more than 55 circuit components and allows you to change their properties to different figures and observe changes in behaviour and statistics. It also offers electromagnetic experiments with field line visualization and recently extended to astrophysics, enabling users to design their galaxies and observe planetary effects.

Compatible with: Android | iOS 

Price: Free 

Lab4Physics

Using the smartphone's integrated sensors, Lab4Physics transforms the device into a powerful scientific laboratory that can be used flexibly by faculty and students.

The application offers experiences that can be created from everyday objects found in your house. It comes with over 25 rigorous laboratory experiments that use the power of four different sensors, the accelerometer, sound level meter, camera and speedometer, to gather, visualize and analyze data.

The experiments to be conducted are entirely based on research, using the student's curiosity to explore concepts such as motion, gravity, acceleration, force, energy, rotation, torque and waves. Lab4physics is an excellent learning tool and enables students to see firsthand how physics works.

Compatible with: Android | iOS

Price: Free, in-app purchases available.

BEAKER

BEAKER is an excellent virtual lab where you can experiment with chemicals in a virtual environment. With more than 150 chemicals and 300 different reactions, you can create chemical reactions and test all the combinations you always wanted to try but could not.

Breaker is equipped with various practical laboratory tools to assist your experiments, including a match, lid, burner, mixer, cooler, separator, filter, and meter.

It uses lifelike physical simulations to let the user tilt or shake the mixture and perform various actions. 

The application has a feature called AirMix, which allows you to log in with friends and pour chemicals into each other's beakers. This is a helpful tool for visualizing the effects of chemical reactions that may be too difficult or unsafe to conduct in the laboratory.

Compatible with:  AndroidiOS

Price: iOS -$0.99, Android: Free and in-app purchases available.

LIFE

LIFE is a living body simulator that lets you experience drugs, procedures and physical activities and witness their effect on the human body. The app enables you to experiment with more than 200 medications, hormones, and different foods and beverages. The application has a virtual biological receptor to trigger and detect physiological effects. These include mood, sensation, regulating other hormones, and body temperature, and you can read the receiver data from each organ in a constant update diagram. You can explore several hundred different physiological and pathological diseases.

Developers have created a custom physiology engine combined with physical simulation of real-life to produce a human body that is fun to play with and intuitive to learn more about the human body. Moreover, the organ panel reveals medical data for each organ and allows you to read various details such as cardiac ECG, cerebral EEG etc.

The Body Engine evaluates and simulates everything in real-time to reflect the body's response to different conditions. You can visualize the entire excretion process and conduct emergency procedures such as CPR. This application is an excellent tool to demonstrate how our human body changes and reacts to diverse conditions.

Compatible with: Android | iOS

Price: $4.99

Labster

Recognized with the 2020 award for outstanding contribution to Quality Science Education, Labster is a fully equipped virtual laboratory for Android that lets you conduct chemistry, physics, and biology experiments.

Labster's virtual laboratories are interactive and let you take control of each aspect, from picking and organizing the device to executing every experiment stage. The application emphasizes visual simulations and immersive animations to create a feeling of realism during the execution of tasks.

Labster uses narrative approaches to engage students in course materials and creates a gaming environment where users control the same way they would in a video game. It comes with its virtual laboratory assistant, Dr One, to give you guidance and help.

The Labster project aims at creating an environment that allows students to experience and acquire knowledge based on a performance in a real laboratory.

Compatible with: Android

Price: Free

National Science Digital Library: ChemCollective Virtual Labs

ChemCollective Virtual Labs is an online chemistry lab simulation designed to help students link chemical computations with authentic laboratory chemistry. The lab lets learners choose from hundreds of standard reagents (aqueous) and manipulate them in a manner resembling a real lab.  

All essential components are covered in this application, from balance to stoichiometry to solubility. Each topic consists of several customizable experiments designed to replicate the chemistry lab experience as much as possible in person. Short videos serve as a guide for both teachers and students before beginning.

Compatible with: WEB ( WindowsMac)

Price: Free

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