The Swedish company, Algoryx, has taken physics to a new level with its educational paradigm, Algodoo. The company strives to lead the way in the future of physics education and physics based simulation. Algodoo With tools that allow students to “touch-draw” and label objects, the software creates an engaging and impressive range of virtual physics experiments. Though the approach is student-centered, the company is marketing to teachers and institutions as well. The flexible methodology behind Algodoo represents the future in education: the need for engaging materials that can be used in diverse settings.
Algodoo utilizes a learn-by-doing approach. The student creates a drawing or chooses objects, such as a container, a liquid, a chain, a gear or a light ray, then studies and explores its movement and interaction with its surroundings. The more advanced version, Algodoo for Education, allows students to further analyze their drawings with graphs or visuals of momentum and force. Students are easily able to edit their scenes by rotating, scaling or moving objects. Overall, kids learn the fundamental laws of physics with the time-honored scientific method, experimentation.
History of Algodoo
This interactive software sprang from Phun, a 2-D sandbox that become widely popular as a free Internet download. The creator, Emil Emerfeldt, designed Phun for a master’s thesis. Algodoo is the commercial form of Phun with updates that create a complete physics learning environment and additional tools for educational institutions, such as online forums and lesson plans for teachers. The software incorporates Newton’s laws of physics in a virtual space that engages the creativity and innovation of young people.
All over the world, educational systems are recognizing the importance of STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics. With these four disciplines defining the future, countries are seeking new techniques in education which will maximize the potential of the next generation. Interactive learning allows students to fully realize the forces of matter and motion. The virtual environment appeals to kids who enjoy gaming and provides the opportunity for a broader range of simulations than wouldn’t be readily available in an average classroom setting. If more kids fully grasp scientific basics at a young age and feel inspired to participate in the scientific community, greater achievements in STEM become possible.
Defining the Future
The student-centered approach has been popular since the 1970′s, and technological advancements have greatly enhanced student-centered teaching. The challenge for modern educational companies lies in designing interactive software that will engage the students of tomorrow. While motion and sound can grab a student’s attention initially, kids from technological generations will not be easily compelled by a new virtual setting for long.
The various packages of Algodoo address the need for increasingly complex learning. The basic design draws young people into the world of science while lesson plans and advanced graphs take the interactive learning environment to the next level. As more and more young people embrace the fundamental laws of science with innovative products like Algodoo, the future of physics is poised to accelerate to a heightened speed.
image credit: algoryx.com
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