Why I donated to PhET for #GivingTuesday

by Stephanie Chasteen on December 3, 2013

cck-in-actionWhen I first came to CU from the Exploratorium — the premiere hands-on, “tinkering” science museum in the world — I was pretty disdainful about the idea of spending a lot of resources creating interactive simulations.  These aren’t hands-on, I thought, they’re fake, they’re missing the point.  Then I got to know the PhET simulations (http://phet.colorado.edu).  They’re so intuitive, it feels like you have your hands on the levers and buttons and beakers. And they let you explore the science ideas in a very visual, clear way, so you see what parameters affect certain outcomes.  It is so clear.  And the simulations are so carefully developed to gently guide students to make key discoveries.  And they are fun.  And free.

I became so enamored of the PhET project that I have been devoting a large portion of my professional life to the project for the past two years.  I make videos on effective use of the simulations; see our YouTube Channel).

PhET is now fundraising for two major projects, which will help the project increase its’ impact.  They will also let me get a chance to work on something that I care deeply about — a website to help teachers find and use the simulations most effectively.

Please consider giving to one of these crowd funding projects.  Even $10 will get us towards our goal.  And please spread the word!  More detail about the campaign is below.


Please join PhET this #GivingTuesday and give the gift of science and math to millions of children around the world.

It takes a village to build quality open (that is, free) education resources. And that’s what PhET Interactive Simulations at University of Colorado Boulder (http://phet.colorado.edu) has been doing since 2002. We work hard to make science and math fun and exciting — and accessible for everyone.

But we need your help! If you’re an educator, parent, student, STEM supporter or a company, please consider giving to one of our new crowdfunding campaigns. Any amount helps – minimum donation is $10.

Choose one or support both!

Build the “Teach with PhET” website:
Help us build the “Teach with PhET” website that will support teachers in your neighborhood and around the world…making it easier to use PhET sims.
Goal: $500,000 (or ~20,000 people giving ~$25 each).

Bring Circuit Construction Kit to the iPad:
Help us publish the next-generation of one of our most popular simulations (used over 1 million times a year!), the Circuit Construction Kit DC. Your support will move this simulation to iPad and tablet compatibility using the latest HTML5 software technology.
Goal: $50,000 (or ~2,000 people giving ~$25 each).

Consider not only donating yourself but also spreading the word.

  • Post on Facebook and Twitter
  • Forward this email to your listservs, schools, colleagues, and friends
  • Post on your website
  • Share with others this effort of making learning science and math more fun and accessible to children – at home and around the world.

Thanks for being part of our STEM village this holiday season!

Your PhET Team,
Ariel, Bryce, Carl, Chris, Emily, Jesse, John, Jonathan, Julia, Karina, Kathy D, Kathy P, Linda, Mike, Noah, Oliver N, Oliver O, Robert, Sam M, Sam R, Steele, Stephanie, Trish, and Yuen-Ying



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