It’s a tough time to be a science teacher. If you’re not using a virtual platform, you’re planning for social distancing in the classroom. And neither of those situations is ideal for conducting lab experiments. That’s where LabXchange comes in. It’s a free platform with all kinds of science content, including … virtual lab experiments.
We decided to check them out and found that it was really easy to get started. First, we registered for a free account . (Note: You can still access these resources without an account, but creating an account does let you access all the learning management features.) Once on the site, we found we could search by featured subjects, content types, and content sources. We honed in on content type and selected Simulations. From there, we picked out our favorite virtual lab experiments to share with you. But you should definitely explore it on your own, too!
This simulation allows students to learn how to use a micropipette in a virtual lab setting. Students practice dispensing small volumes of liquid with a micropipette, and still experience technical features of the equipment. The protocols are very clear, and we must say, it’s pretty cool to be able to virtually pipette and see the results of your actions with the equipment. Plus, you get pop-up guidance along the way, and you can see right away if you did it correctly!
In this simulation, students get the chance to build atoms. Through their observations, they’ll draw conclusions about which components alter the atomic number (protons), which components affect the overall charge of atoms (electrons), and which components affect the size of atoms (neutrons). It’s pretty cool to add protons and work your way through the periodic table of elements, and a great way for students to explore concepts that are challenging to visualize.
For learning the basics of forces and motion, this simulation is great. Students can explore the forces at work when pulling against a cart or pushing a refrigerator, crate, or person. They can also create an applied force and see how it makes objects move or change friction to see how it affects the motion of objects. We think students will particularly enjoy the “tug of war” part of the simulation.
We love this simulation that explores how the deer mice adapt to their environment over time. There’s so much to do! Students can add and remove hawks, change the environment, inspect and collect mice, and track fur color vs. time in a graph in real time.
We like this great simulation for middle school or an intro physics class! Students learn about conservation of energy by building skate tracks, ramps, and jumps. They’ll explore different tracks and view the kinetic energy, potential energy, and friction as their virtual skater moves.
Beyond simulations, be sure to explore the vast collection of other free resources, including interactives, hands-on demo videos, personal narratives from scientists, and more.