This page is a directory of games, simulations, and virtual labs for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) education. I plan to transfer these listings into some sort of searchable, sortable database format; to allow you to post comments about items you've used; and to allow you to rate the items (1 to 5 stars or some such)... sometime soon.

Alien Earths - Planet Families: Build a Solar System

SSI - Alien Earths - Planet Families

Asteroid and Comet orbits visualizer/simulator

NASA/JPL Asteroid and Comet orbit visualization

Astronomy Applets

Astronomy Applets
  • Description: includes applets Planet Finder, Planetary Transits, Radiative Transfer, and more.
  • URL: scatter.colorado.edu/STEM-TPSoft
  • Creators: Richard "Dick" McCray at the University of Colorado (Boulder).
  • Cost: free

Bill Nye's Climate Lab

Bill Nye's Climate Lab
  • Description: climate science games and simulations from Bill Nye the Science Guy and Chabot Space & Science Center.
  • URL: www.billsclimatelab.org
  • Creators: Bill Nye and the Chabot Space & Science Center
  • Cost: free

BioLogica (The Concord Consortium)

Concord Consortium - Biologica - Dragon Genetics

The COMET Program (UCAR) and MetEd

The COMET Program - Hurricane Strike

Crayon Physics

Crayon Physics
  • Description: Draw objects which respond to the laws of physics; boxes fall, circles roll downhill, etc. Solve a series of puzzles to move a ball to a target. Runs on Windows, Mac and Linux PCs.
  • URL: www.crayonphysics.com
  • Creators: Kloonigames (Petri Purho of Helsinki, Finland)
  • Cost: $19.95 - Free demo version available.

DimensionU Games

DimensionU Games - Meltdown
  • Description: four multiplayer games: TowerStorm, Swarm, Meltdown and Velocity. Two single player games: Evolver Pre-Algebra and Dimenxian Algebra.
  • URL: www.dimensionu.com/dimu/home/dimugames.aspx
  • Creators: DimensionU
  • Cost: not free, haven't checked pricing yet. Demo versions available.

Disaster Dynamics: Hurricane Landfall

Disaster Dynamics: Hurricane Landfall from NCAR

EdGCM

EdGCM
  • Description: a research-grade Global Climate Model (GCM) with a user-friendly interface that is suitable for use by students and can be run on a desktop computer.
  • URL: edgcm.columbia.edu
  • Creators: Columbia University (New York)
  • Cost: single user license $249, various prices for more copies (e.g. $49 each for 50+ copies); free demo and 30-day trial versions available.

EPA: Games, Videos and Quizzes

EPA Environmental Kids Club: Game Room

Federation of Galaxy Explorers (FoGE) - Space Games

Gizmos

Gizmos - Fan Cart Physics
  • Description: hundreds of simulations for math and science, primarily for students in grades 3-12 (also some college-level). Science simulations cover a range of subjects, with largest collections in physics.
  • URL: www.explorelearning.com
  • Creators: ExploreLearning
  • Cost: Commercial product; not free. Demo versions available. Pricing appears to depend on situation (# of students using, # of Gizmos used, etc.).

Global Carbon Budget app

Global Carbon Budget app - University of Wisconsin

Gravity and Tides interactives

Gravity and Tides

The Jason Project: Digital Labs and Games

The Jason Project

Killer Asteroids

Killer Asteroids

Kinetic Books

  • Description: electronic/digital "textbooks" covering algebra and physics, containing hundreds of simulations and animations. A set of virtual physics labs is also available separately from the textbooks.
  • URL: www.kineticbooks.com
  • Creators: Kinetic Books
  • Cost: Commercial product; not free. Trial versions available. Various pricing schemes starting at $30 for single copies.

Kinetic City

AAAS Kinetic City
  • Description: an assortment of games and simulations.
  • URL: www.kineticcity.org
  • Creators: American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • Cost: free

Math & Physics Applets (Paul Falstad)

Paul Falstad - 2D Electrostatics applet
  • Description: Java applets covering math and physics topics: oscillations and waves, acoustics, signal processing, electricity and magnetism (statics), electrodynamics, quantum mechanics, linear algebra, vector calculus, thermodynamics, and miscellaneous.
  • URL: www.falstad.com/mathphysics.html
  • Creators: Paul Falstad
  • Cost: free

MESSENGER Mission interactives

MESSENGER Mission

Molecular Workbench

Molecular Workbench
  • Description: Molecular Workbench is an open-source software tool for building simulations for science and engineering education. The web site includes links to numerous sample simulations covering topics from physics, biology, and chemistry.
  • URL: mw.concord.org/modeler/index.html
  • Creators: The Concord Consortium
  • Cost: free

My Own Biome

My Own Biome
  • Description: four-player PC game simulates ten different biomes.
  • URL: myownbiome.com
  • Creators: Brian Doyle and associates
  • Cost: $25-50 (also site licensing package deals)

NASA's Climate Kids web site, games section

NASA - Climate Kids - Missions to Planet Earth
  • URL: climate.nasa.gov/kids/games
  • Game Titles: Go Green!, Mission to Planet Earth, Whirlwind Disaster, Wild Weather Adventure, Migration Concentration, Earthy Word Games, Cloud Picture Scrambles, Weather Slyder

Nebraska Astronomy Applet Project

Nebraska Astronomy Applet Project
  • Description: online laboratories targeting the undergraduate introductory astronomy audience.
  • URL: astro.unl.edu/naap
  • Creators: software creators
  • Cost: free

NOAA Games "Planet Arcade"

NOAA - Whale Migration
  • Description: a large collection (24 items as of November 2010) of games and puzzles from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • URL: games.noaa.gov
  • Creators: NOAA Ocean Service Education
  • Cost: free

PhET (Physics Education Technology)

PhET - Radioactive Dating
  • Description: a large collection of Flash and Java-based simulations covering a range of scientific disciplines and mathematics. The main focus is physics for college students, but the project has expanded into chemistry, biology, and Earth science. Many of the sims are suitable for K-12 audiences.
  • URL: phet.colorado.edu
  • Creator: University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Cost: free

The Science of Atoms and Molecules (SAM) Project

Science of Atoms and Molecules (SAM) Project from the Concord Consortium
  • Description: 24 activities across the fields of physics, chemistry, and biology covering the science of atoms and molecules. Simulations are embedded in the activities.
  • URL: sam.concord.org/activities
  • Creators: The Concord Consortium
  • Cost: free

SciGames.org

SciGames.org

SimScientists

SimScientists by WestEd
  • Description: six simulations, developed for educational research, spanning three middle school science disciplines. Life Science - "Ecosystems" and "Cells and Human Body Systems". Physical Science - "Atoms & Molecules" and "Forces & Motion". Earth Science - "Climate" and "Plate Tectonics".
  • URL: simscientists.org
  • Creators: WestEd - a non-profit educational research organization
  • Cost: contact WestEd - I think they are only currently distributing to field testers.

Solar System Simulator

NASA JPL Solar System Simulator
  • Description: web-based tool to generate views of objects (planets, moons, orbital paths, Sun) within our solar system; user can select viewpoint relative to a planet or moon (e.g. "view from Mars" or "view from above Saturn") or from certain interplanetary spacecraft.
  • URL: space.jpl.nasa.gov
  • Creator: NASA/Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
  • Cost: free

Spark Games, Simulations and Virtual Labs

Games and Simulations by Spark - UCAR science education

STAR-LITE Lab Safety Training Simulation

  • Description: a game-like, immersive, 3-D virtual environment for teaching lab safety to high school and undergraduate college students in a humorous way.
  • URL: www.starlite.nih.gov
  • Creators: NIH (National Institutes of Health) & Janus Research Group
  • Cost: free

StarPower game (nuclear fusion reactor simulator)

StarPower Nuclear Fusion Simulator

STEMware - Partnership for Biotechnology and Genomics Education

Thrill of the Catch

Thrill of the Catch

Virtual Astronomy Laboratories

Virtual Astronomy Laboratories
  • Description: twenty virtual laboratories for an introductory astronomy course. A user guide (PDF) with screenshots of the labs is available from the University of Nebraska.
  • URL: val.brookscole.com
  • Creators: Brooks/Cole publishers
  • Cost: commercial product; available bundled with various texts or as a standalone product.

WeatherWise (WXWISE)

WeatherWise
  • Description: large collection of Java applets covering weather-related topics. Categories include: storms, temperature, humidity, precipitation, wind, clouds, radiation, climate, basic meteorology, and miscellaneous and non-meteorology.
  • URL: profhorn.meteor.wisc.edu/wxwise
  • Creators: Steve Ackerman and Tom Whittaker
  • Cost: free

Weather and Climate Applets from CIMSS

Weather applets from CIMSS

Web Adventures

Web Aventures
  • Description: CSI-style mystery games, primarily with medical or biology themes. Includes MedMyst, CSI: the Experience, Reconstructors, and Neuropolis N-Squad Forensic Scientists.
  • URL: webadventures.rice.edu
  • Creators: Rice University
  • Cost: free

WikiWatershed

WikiWatershed

WolfQuest

WolfQuest
  • role-play a wolf in Yellowstone National Park in this "first-person shooter" style of game; by Minnesota Zoo and eduweb, with NSF funding; free download for Mac & Windows (April 2010)
  • URL: www.wolfquest.org

Y Science Laboratories

Y Science Laboratories
  • Description: extensive virtual labs for Chemistry, Physics, Earth Science, and Biology.
  • URL: yscience.byu.edu
  • Creators: Brigham Young University
  • Cost: commercial products, available via Pearson.