The above photo is a screenshot from Energy Skate Park, a science simulation on energy that I mention below.
The Physics Education Technology website provides various downloadable science simulations in which students can have a hands on experience exploring common scientific concepts. Teachers can choose simulations based on grade level (elementary, middle school, high school) and subject (physics, biology, chemistry, and earth science). Each simulation allows the 'scientist' to learn through manipulation of variables. While the viewer is exploring different outcomes through trial and error, the simulation is providing numerical and graphic representations of their actions.
Each simulation provides educators with a sample of how to integrate the simulation into a lesson. All simulations are free; they can be played directly from a computer or downloaded so that students can use the simulations without an internet connection. The only necessary requirement is that the computer in which the simulator is used on should have Flash and Java downloaded as well. Each simulation is also available for translation in a number of different languages.
For students with learning disabilities, sometimes content is easier to learn when it is presented in a manner other than through text. Learning through experiencing is often a better alternative than being lectured at or reading from a text book. With many of these science simulations, that is exactly what the student is doing, experiencing science, not just hearing about it.
Try out a simulation by clicking here! One of my favorites is the Energy Skate Park. Students can alter the track the skateboarder is on to see how the boarder's motion changes and the types of energy associated with his movement. Students can change the kind of person on the skateboard and the setting in which their person is skateboarding (try the moon and see what happens).
To see how to use Energy Skate Park as part of a lesson, see the document below that I created.