Tag Archives: Simulation

Web-based Physics Demonstrations

http://www.walter-fendt.de/ph14e/  (java-based applets demonstrating various concepts)

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Crazy Machines 2

On the topic of individuals learning from games.

Check out Crazy Machines II

The question is: do children learn more from simulations because of the ability to rapid-prototype, or should they just hang out with some tools in the garage instead?

Simulations are fine, but what about the physical experience of actually using or building a machine?  Wouldn’t a Lego Mindstorms or similar toy provide more hands-on / real learning than a computer simulation such as this?

My experience with Benjamin (4.75 yrs old) has been that he seems to get the concepts pretty quickly.

Mathematica (Wolfram Research) And Education

Wanted to jot down a few notes here and start exploring some aspects of how symbolic computations and concepts can be enlightened through the work of the great folks at Wolfram Research.

There are thousands of free Mathematica Demonstrations at the Wolfram Demonstrations Project.  http://demonstrations.wolfram.com  The way this works is that there is a free player for Mathematica 7 which lets you view and interact with demonstrations which are usually small simulations with a couple of knobs/variables that you can control.  I played with one once that was about 2 couple pendula which was very interesting.

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WolframAlpha is a new type of search (or rather solution/answer) engine, which you really need to try out.  Here is a sample of me typing in a question “What is a brachistochrone?”  into the tool. 

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There are those types of questions but what is more amazing is the ability of this web page to basically “solve” some student’s homework problems in calculus or physics.

I urge you to give Wolfram Alpha a try!

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