Friday, July 8, 2011

List of Simulations

Simulations are great for sciences courses. There are many interactive simulations out there on the internet. Here are a few that I’ve come across:

This website allows the user to practice the transcription and translation process. I use this in my class when we talk about protein synthesis. First, I demonstrate and then take some volunteers to give it a try.

This is from the same site as the previous example. I have my students work through this during the genetics unit.

This is probably my favorite simulation/animation. This provides a lot of information on enzymes with the visuals to support the information. This has really helped my students visualize what’s going on with enzymes.

I’m sure most people know about the peppered moth scenario commonly used to explain natural selection. This site allows students to simulate a bird capturing moths in this scenario. It also presents them with percentages and graphs based off of their data.

This is a great site for examining the cell organelles. I think there are animations of mitosis as well.

Here’s another good one for translation.

These are the ones that I use in my class. Hopefully, I can add to my list after reading everyone else’s posts.


  1. Those are all excellent websites. I especially like the Cells Alive site. It has some cool stuff that the students can use and I think they would absorb more info from a tool like that than from a textbook.

  2. Taylor,
    Thank you for sharing these simulations. I have used the "Transcription and Translation" and "Make a Karyotype" animations from the University of Utah's Learn.Genetics website. Isn't that website a great resource? I also really like "Cells Alive!" I had never seen the "Enzymes" site before. I couldn't see the movies, though, on my computer. Maybe I am missing the program I need to watch them. I'll have to look into that. I had also never seen the "Peppered Moth Simulation". I will definietly use that one during my evolution unit. Thanks again!

  3. I also like the Peppered Moth simulation. A related resource (although not a simulation) can be found on the HHMI Holiday Lecture DVDs. This one is from "Evolution: Constant Change and Common Threads." There are also clips on their website, and the two on Pocket Mice (w/ light and dark morphs) show a similar pattern to the moths: