After winning the Nobel prize in 2001, Wieman became particularly involved with efforts at improving science education and has conducted educational research on science instruction. He helped write Physics 2000 to provide simulations to explain his work in creating the Bose-Einstein Condensate. As he gave public lectures, some incorporating simulations, he noticed that "often the simulations would be the primary thing people would remember from my talk. Based on their questions and comments, it appeared that they consistently learned the physics represented in the simulations." He then used money from a grant from the National Science Foundation Distinguished Teaching Scholars program, the Kavli Foundation, and a portion of his Nobel Prize money to found PhET to improve the way that physics is taught and learned. The PhET simulations differ from the Physics 2000 ones because users can interact with the simulation to change conditions whereas the Physics 2000 simulations are just videos.
In 2007, Wieman moved to Vancouver, British Columbia while retaining 20% faculty position at the University of Colorado Boulder. The current director of PhET is Dr. Katherine Perkins, who has been with PhET since January 2003. Perkins hopes that the simulations’ accessibility and interactive nature will increase scientific literacy and promote student engagement in the classroom.
Phet na video direct download here
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