Physics & Physical Science Demos, Labs, & Projects for High School Teachers

Free Software called Phun

Posted on: July 21, 2008


I just found this package through some random surfing.  It’s called Phun and it’s a simple graphical world builder with a real physics engine underneath.  There is a decent online tutorial and a pretty decent online community to share ideas and solve problems.  The download is only 2.8MB, it loads up fast and easy.

Phun can be found here:  http://www.phunland.com/wiki/Home

The software was created by Emil Ernerfeldt as part of his masters thesis at Umea University.  He calls it a 2D Physics Sandbox and I can see why.  You want to take yours shoes off and just play in it all day.  Since its creation, Emil has gone to work for a software company where he continues to develop Phun.

Phun is free for an individual to use, but not free for commercial use.  Emil made it clear, however, that Phun is free for educational use.  I plan to install in on the computers in my classroom and give assignments and perhaps extra credit for designs that demonstrate the principals we are working on in class.  There is no reason why my students can’t install the software at home and bring in their creations.

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What’s New in 2013/2014?

Every year brings a change, this one is no exception.

I will be picking up the sophomore honors Algebra II class to keep them separate from the juniors. This should help accelerate them and put them on a stronger track towards Calculus. Looks like there will be only one section each of Physics and Calculus, but still two of Robotics & Engineering.

Hot topics this year are going to be the Common-Core Standards, Standards-Based Grading (SBG), improving AP Calculus scores, and somehow adding Python, maybe as a club.

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