Monday, 31 March 2014

Science Teaching resources in EDUBUNTU

B.Ed. Teaching Notes

Prepared by
M.Sc., M.Ed., JRF & NET
Lecturer in Physical Science, Arafa Institute for Teacher Education
Attur, Thrissur.

Science Teaching resources in EDUBUNTU

A large number of applications for Science Education including PhET, Celestia, Avogadro, Chemical Calculator, Gamgi, Ghemical, Gperiod, Kalzium, Kstars, Molecules Viewer, Periodic Table of the Elements, Rasmol, Stellarium etc are included in Edubuntu.

PhET: PhET is a suite of research-based interactive computer simulations for teaching and learning physics, chemistry, biology, maths, and other sciences. PhET simulations can be run online or downloaded for free from the PhET website. The simulations are animated, interactive, and game-like environments where students learn through exploration. They emphasize the connections between real-life phenomena and the underlying science, and help make the visual and conceptual models of expert scientists accessible to students. PhET simulations are primarily developed for and tested with university and high school students, but have been found to be educational and fun for students of all ages.

Celestia: Celestia is an application for real-time 3D visualization of space, with a detailed model of the solar system, over 100,000 stars, more than 10,000 galaxies, and an extension mechanism for adding more objects. The program allows users to travel through an extensive universe, modeled after reality, at any speed, in any direction, and at any time in history. Celestia displays and interacts with objects ranging in scale from small spacecraft to entire galaxies in three dimensions.

Step: It is a package available in Edubuntu for simulating Physics Experiments. It is an interactive physical simulator. It allows exploring the physical world through simulation. We can place bodies of different shapes like sphere, polygon etc on the scene, add some forces like gravity, spring etc and we can get the simulation according to the laws of physics.

Avogadro: Avogadro is an open source, free, graphical software written in Python and designed to act as an advanced molecular editor, as well as visualizer. Avogadro has been specifically designed to be used in molecular modeling, computational chemistry, materials science, bioinformatics, as well as other similar areas.

Chemical Calculator: It is simple and free software available in Edubuntu. It acts as a calculator for chemistry. It parses chemical formula to calculate raw formula, molecular weights, mass composition, and isotopic patterns.

Gamgi: GAMGI (General Atomistic Modelling Graphic Interface) is a program to build, view, and analyze atomic structures such as molecules, crystals, glasses, liquids, etc. It aims to be useful for:
1)    The scientific community working in Atomistic Modelling that needs a graphic interface to build input data and to view and analyse output data;
2)    The scientific community at large studying chemistry, physics, materials science, geology, etc., that needs a graphic interface to view and analyse atomic structural information and to prepare images for presentations in classes and seminars;
3)    Teaching chemistry and physics in secondary schools and universities; science promotion in schools, exhibitions and science museums.

Ghemical: Ghemical is computational chemistry package. It is a molecular modeling software package having some nice 3D-visualization tools. It supports methods based on both molecular mechanics and quantum mechanics.

Gperiodic: GPeriodic is a periodic table application for GNU/Linux. It allows you to browse through a periodic table of the elements, and view detailed information on each of the elements. 118 elements are currently listed. This program was originally written by Kyle R. Burton. GPeriodic is a program for looking up data of elements from the periodic table.

Kalzium: Kalzium is your digital replacement for the periodic table on paper. It is a program that visualizes the Periodic Table of Elements and includes basic information about all common elements. Its main features are
·         versatile overview of all important data from the elements like melting points, electron affinity, electron negativity, electron configuration, radii, mass, ionisation energy
·         tool to visualize the spectral lines of each elements
·         different colored views: separation of the different blocks, Year simulator, Temperature simulator
·         Molecular weight calculator
·         an Isotope table
·         3D molecule editor, with a load and save functionality
·         a equation solver for stoichiometric problems
·         file type conversion for different types of chemical programs

Kstars : KStars is free, open source, Astronomy Software. It provides an accurate graphical simulation of the night sky, from any location on Earth, at any date and time. The display includes upto 100 million stars, 13,000 deep-sky objects, all 8 planets, the Sun and Moon, and thousands of comets and asteroids. In addition, it provides tools to perform many astronomical calculations, an observation planner, and lots of information and resources to help you explore the universe!

Molecules Viewer:  It is a free open-source molecular editor and visualization package. It offers a range of features including a molecular editor, surface generation (orbitals and densities) and animations (vibrational modes and reaction pathways). It is a 3D structure molecule viewer generally called as GChem 3D Viewer.

Periodic Table of Elements: It is generally called as GChemtable. This application have a table view which allows the elements to be coloured thematically by several properties, a sortable list view and an element properties dialog, displaying a variety of information, including historical, thermodynamic, electrochemical, and crystallographic properties. It provide scientific information on the elements and multiple table colour schemes.

Rasmol: RasMol is a molecular graphics program intended for the visualisation of proteins, nucleic acids and small molecules. The program is aimed at display, teaching and generation of publication quality images. RasMol runs on wide range of architectures and operating systems including Microsoft Windows, and Ubuntu. It was originally developed by Roger Sayle in the early 90s.

Stellarium: Stellarium is free open source software. It simulates a planetarium. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope. 'Stellarium' simulates the skies from anywhere on Earth in close to photo-realism. It is a beautiful and engaging way to explore and increase your understanding of the night sky. Users can see constellation art, deep space objects, meteor showers, solar eclipses, transits, and more. It is particularly useful as an educational tool.