Chemistry and Biochemistry

Virtual Chem Lab

Virtual ChemLab is a set of sophisticated and realistic simulations for high school, freshman, and sophomore level chemistry classes. This project was primarily funded by Brigham Young University by the Department of Education through the Fund for the Improvement for Post Secondary Education (FIPSE). The conceptual basis for these instructional laboratory simulations is that it is difficult to teach laboratory technique on a computer. Instead, the most powerful use of the computer in the instructional laboratory is to provide a virtual environment where students are free to make the decisions they would confront in an actual laboratory setting and, in turn, experience the resulting consequences. This virtual environment, then, is the most effective means for students to apply the concepts and skills learned in the classroom.

The current set of completed simulations include Qualitative Inorganic Analysis, Organic Synthesis and Organic Qualitative Analysis, Fundamental Experiments in Quantum Chemistry, Gas Properties, Titration Experiments, and Calorimetry. We are currently working on a set of physics simulations that will include Mechanics, Density, Circuits, and Optics that will be included in a Physics and Physical Science product.

Virtual ChemLab is currently sold through Prentice Hall at the high school level as an integral part of the high school chemistry program, at the freshman and sophomore level as a standalone product, and Virtual ChemLab is packaged with three of the top selling freshman-level general chemistry texts. Currently, over 150,000 students per year use Virtual ChemLab for homework, quizzes, and laboratory work.

Please visit the Virtual ChemLab web site for more information about the laboratory simulations, a virtual tour, links to various independent assessments of the simulations, and research papers describing their educational effectiveness.

Last updated 17 May 2013