PhET Interactive Simulations

Program Contact

Kathy Perkins



Founded in 2002, the PhET Interactive Simulations project has created over 150 simulations of physical phenomena and mathematics that are engaging millions of learners of all levels, from grade school to grad school. PhET’s research-based approach results in a design that is intuitive and engaging for all users, while enabling students to make connections between real-life phenomena and the underlying math and science. 

To help students access and deepen their understanding of core STEM concepts and practices, PhET simulations use innovative approaches, such as making the invisible visible through dynamic interaction, graphics, and feedback. To further encourage quantitative exploration, many simulations offer measurement instruments such as rulers, stop-watches, voltmeters and thermometers. As the user manipulates these interactive tools, dynamic responses effectively illustrate cause-and-effect relationships as well as link multiple representations.

To ensure educational effectiveness and usability, all of the simulations are extensively tested and evaluated. The PhET project is also working diligently to increase the accessibility of simulations. In addition to a visual display, many simulations include auditory display features such as interactive description and enhanced sound, as well as increased input methods.

All PhET simulations are available for free from the PhET website and easily incorporate into the classroom!

  • Program Activity


    Online Resource



    Public or Private

    Public Program (open to the public)

    Program Fee

    No charge to attend/participate in activity or program

Sponsoring Units

  • College of Arts & Sciences

  • Department of Physics

Program Partners

  • National Science Foundation
  • The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Audiences Served

  • Adult Learners
  • At-Risk Youth
  • Children & Youth (outside school)
  • Families
  • General Public
  • Students - Elementary School
  • Students - ESL
  • Students - Middle School
  • Students - Homeschooled
  • Students - High School
  • Teachers - Elementary School
  • Teachers - Middle School
  • Teachers - High School
  • International