Think of Algodoo as a way for both teachers and students to create, share, and remix interactives, virtual experiments, lessons, and demos that build conceptual understanding of physics. Use Algodoo as an assessment tool: Ask students to model their learning by designing models, experiments, or games that demonstrate what they've learned.
Since users can share their creations and lessons, teachers can also publish their work and their students' work, helping a larger global community and showing students how to participate responsibly online. Algodoo can also be a good brainstorming and testing tool; students can design models aimed at solving larger real-world problems, or they can design them as safe and cheap preparatory work for actual builds and projects.Continue reading Show less
Algodoo is a 2D physics sandbox that lets students build working systems of environments and objects that all have interacting physical characteristics; it's like a blend of a toy box and laboratory, sure to lead to fun and discovery. In addition to the free web version, there's a paid iPad app.
Changing the density of an object, its mass, or the material from which it's made can greatly affect how it works, and students get to see these changes in action, effectively learning through experimentation. Attraction (magnetism), gravity, and light can also be tweaked, and students can create anything from simple scenes that illustrate a principle or two to complex machines like simple computers, sorting machines, and vehicles. While advanced users can do extraordinary things like create playable games, even beginners can have a blast playing around with just a few objects and settings to see how things like density or refraction work.
It's terrific for teaching basic physics, since it removes some of the complexity and confusion of 3D, and it offers useful tutorials for new users. Less computer-savvy students don't have to worry about awkward camera angles or other 3D snags, making it easier for them to control and set up simple experiments. Since users can create and share specific lessons, it's also great for classroom teachers who want to prepare virtual demos that students learn from and remix in school or at home.
Algodoo is an engaging and supportive primer in basic physics that helps learners discover and toy with the logic behind everyday forces like inertia, momentum, and reflection. The number of variables users can control is impressive, meaning students from novice to experienced can always find new things to build and test.
Key Standards Supported
Modeling With Geometry
Use geometric shapes, their measures, and their properties to describe objects (e.g., modeling a tree trunk or a human torso as a cylinder).
Apply concepts of density based on area and volume in modeling situations (e.g., persons per square mile, BTUs per cubic foot).
Apply geometric methods to solve design problems (e.g., designing an object or structure to satisfy physical constraints or minimize cost; working with typographic grid systems based on ratios).
Key Standards Supported
Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
Translate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text into visual form (e.g., a table or chart) and translate information expressed visually or mathematically (e.g., in an equation) into words.
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
Key Standards Supported
Use evidence to construct an explanation relating the speed of an object to the energy of that object.
Ask questions and predict outcomes about the changes in energy that occur when objects collide.
Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another.
Construct, use, and present arguments to support the claim that when the kinetic energy of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from the object.
Develop and use models to illustrate that energy at the macroscopic scale can be accounted for as a combination of energy associated with the motions of particles (objects) and energy associated with the relative position of particles (objects).
Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.
Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.
Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
Use a computer simulation to model the impact of proposed solutions to a complex real-world problem with numerous criteria and constraints on interactions within and between systems relevant to the problem.
Matter and Its Interactions
Make observations and measurements to identify materials based on their properties.
Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
Analyze data to determine if a design solution works as intended to change the speed or direction of an object with a push or a pull.
Support an argument that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down.
Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.
Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.
Apply scientific and engineering ideas to design, evaluate, and refine a device that minimizes the force on a macroscopic object during a collision.