Simulations, Online Labs, and Apps
*Be aware that some simulations presented in larger lists rely on older versions of programs, e.g. Flash, & will no longer run. Some are working on updating the simulations while others are not. Some of these are free while others require purchasing for a classroom.
This is the only site on the list which allows anyone to contribute to real citizen science projects. Anyone with a computer (or phone) can contribute to real scientific research. The tasks require no prior knowledge or special skills, they provide you with a short tutorial. A nice casual introduction to research or for students with an interest in various STEM topics. Free.
K-12 simulations, you will need to sign up to use them, but they do have lessons/curricula aligned to NGSS
K-12+, simulations of lab experiments & engineering design projects, lessons/curricula, you will need to sign up (15 day free trial)
Explore Learning – Gizmos, Reflex, Frax, Science4Us
Grades K-12, simulations for math & science, free sign up (although they do have more elaborate lesson plans, etc. available for a fee & the free Gizmos (grades 3 – 12) will change each semester), do align them to NGSS, math & science topics available
The Concord Consortium
Free interactive STEM activities, K-12+, chemistry, earth & space science, math, physics, etc.
Smithsonian Science Education Center
Free online & downloadable simulations, mostly K-middle school, frankly adorable
They also have an online weather lab for grades 5 – 8.
3M Young Scientist Lab
Free interactive for elementary – middle school, mostly focusing on designing something based on a challenge.
Free virtual simulations & labs. Range from about elementary school+. Physics, chemistry, biology, math, etc.
Free, have lots of options, even experimental design option. Elementary school+, biology, physics, chemistry, math, etc. They have collected a lot of simulations done by the Concord Consortium, etc, so they’re all in one place.
Free online planetarium-style software which allows you to see what the sky looks like any day, any time, any location. Does not come with activities. Good for most ages and family stargazing. They also have a phone app version, but it’s paid.
Free physics app based on energy & motion. Maximize a toboggan rider’s time.
Chrome Music Lab
Create music & learn the science behind it – good for STEAM. Free.
Grades 6-8, free virtual museum research investigations. Mostly ecology/paleontology.
InqITS Virtual labs
Middle school+, physical science & life science virtual labs, not free (but has free trial)
McGraw-Hill Virtual Labs
Upper middle school+, virtual labs in biology, chemistry, & physics, not free.
Online weather resources for middle – high school.
General Chemistry Simulations
Free chemistry simulations, including an interactive periodic table. Middle school+.
The Physics Aviary
Free virtual physics labs, upper middle school+.
The Science Bank
Online dissection resources, sorted by animal. Some free, some not.
The Science bank also runs a lending library with models for dissections with various animals & organs available. Their aim is humane alternatives for science education.
Upper middle school+, looks to be free with a signup, various topics & educator guides available.
Free virtual biology labs, ~middle school, high school.
Free interactives, middle-high school, math
Not free ($5-$10/student/educational term), middle school – college, biology, earth & space science, chemistry, environmental science, physics, lab/simulation
cK-12 Exploration Series
Free simulations of physics & chemistry topics, middle school/high school+.
Includes games based on the concepts.
Lab safety tutorial, interactive, free
PhET interactive simulations
Free online simulations suitable for middle school through college, possibly for elementary school with some adaptation. Subjects: Physics, Chemistry, Math, Earth science, Biology
Help with creating STEM content, lots of simulations, probably middle school/high school.
Mostly based on nature. Publish your nature photos to learn about wildlife.
Cell Homeostasis Virtual Lab
Free lab about cell homeostasis. It walks you through the steps.
The Biology Corner
Free interactive biology simulations & worksheets, include some lesson plans, etc. ~high school
AACT (American Association of Chemistry Teachers)
Free chemistry simulations, high school+
Virtual Biology Lab (ETSU)
Free virtual biology labs, ~high school+.
Royal Society of Chemistry
They have an aspirin & titration simulation. Free
Free virtual murder mystery, appropriate for high school chemistry classes
Free to sign up, classes have different pricing. Learn to code.
Free high school/college labs & simulations for genetics, evolution, botany, neuroscience, ecology, etc.
Virtual Labs (NMSU)
Free, high school+, mostly chemistry/biology virtual labs.
High school+ free virtual chemistry labs
Jon Darkow Sims
These are computational models for biology & ecology, probably high school/college+, free
Some labs available with the free account. Mostly high school/college, biology, chemistry, & physics.
Central State U virtual labs collection
The Phet labs do appear here, but there are also collections of simulations, etc. in Merlot, etc. Physics, chemistry, biology, ecology, engineering, math, ~high school+
Free interactive simulations & labs/lab videos for high school, physics, chemistry, biology, math
High school+ free virtual labs on a few topics in biology.
High school+ videos & interactives, environmental science, microbiology, etc. They come with worksheets, etc. Free. Spanish dubs, etc. available.
Not free: Do have simulations & free trial, highly rated. High school+
Pearson Interactive Labs
High school+ virtual biology labs, not free
New England Journal of Medicine – videos in clinical medicine
Videos showing clinical procedures. Probably more of use/interest to older students, but might be useful if a younger student expresses interest in medicine.
Not all educational apps come with age ranges.
The Frog Dissection App, fairly cheap, educational discounts available.
iPad Frog dissection, also fairly cheap
Graphing calculator X84
Mimics a TI 84, free
Desmos Graphing Calculator
Free app that mimics a graphing calculator
Allows anyone to identify plants & animals, free
App store preview - list
STEM apps for kids
NASA Visualization Explorer
For middle & high school, free, news about space exploration, earth & space science
App for exploring the periodic table, upper elementary school+
We Are Teachers
65+ best STEAM apps for home & classroom
Turns your smartphone into a measuring device – accelerometer, speedometer, etc. Suitable for middle school+, free
Free, turns your phone into a measuring device for acceleration, temperature, magnetic field, etc.
Experiments & simulations, interactive
Free stargazing app
Best apps for chemistry students
Geometry of Molecules
Best apps for chemistry students
Educational App Store
Best apps for chemistry, biology, physics, astronomy, & math students, all ages, free or paid
Educational Technology and Mobile Learning
Best chemistry apps for high school students
Collections of images or videos to supplement labs, includes dissection videos:
Biology videos, some dissections, etc. High school+
PBS Learning Media – Dissection videos for classroom use
Dissection videos organized by animal
Free - images made during dissections
Insides on the Outside
General lab resources (curriculum):
This company provides an entire NGSS-aligned science curriculum, middle school or high school, for up to a year’s worth of material for face-to-face classes.