Common Sense Review
Updated July 2016

PhET Interactive Simulations: Earth Science

Solid simulations are more illuminating than textbook diagrams
Visit Website
This module is part of the Website PhET Interactive Simulations.
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating
Not Yet Rated
  • The pressure simulator is great for teaching hidden processes such as groundwater hydrology.
  • The orbit simulator puts a new spin on astronomy.
  • Understanding acidity is useful across the sciences, and this demonstrator makes it easy.
  • The wave simulator is a blast to use and can inspire lots of fun real-world experiments.
  • All tools are nicely laid out and easy to browse.
Galen McQuillen
Common Sense Reviewer
Common Sense Rating 4
How Can Teachers Use It?

PhET's excellent simulations, which let students visualize and take an active role in controlling complex scientific phenomena, have a place in earth science classes and units across the K-12 spectrum. From illustrating astronomy and gravity to demonstrating fluid dynamics and material properties (to more concrete phenomena such as glaciers, plate tectonics, and the greenhouse effect), there's almost certainly a simulation that will fit into your lessons.

Before turning to videos and diagrams to show off earth sciences, it's worth checking out PhET for a more dynamic experience. Let students get their hands on these and they'll quickly internalize tricky concepts. If you need some ideas, check out the teacher-prepared lesson plans, labs, and guides that accompany each simulation. 


Read More Read Less

See how teachers are using PhET Interactive Simulations

Lesson Plans