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Chemistry On Zero

Simulations now available (2010) are more colorful and detailed than those available 5 years ago! These sites offer what IMHO are the best for high school.

Davidson College
Virtual Chemistry Experiments


PhET has a wealth of great simulations for biology, physics AND chemistry. Perusing the list, good choices for high school chemistry include these selections. As well, many of these applets have teacher-developed lessons that have been contributed to the site!

 These can each be downloaded also!

Additional sources of simulations/animations your students might find helpful in developing their conceptual understanding:

Cool applications (reasons why chemistry is important)

Chemical Elements
Simple but drawings may be easier to interpret. Nice feature: Table can be populated with all types of properties including year of discovery

 Visual Elements Periodic Table (Flash/HTML) - photographic

The CU Boulder folks and their colleagues designed these PhET simulations based research on simulations as a way to develop conceptual understanding . To quote: ""Do students learn if I just tell them to go home and play with a sim?" Most students do not have the necessary drive to spend time playing with a science simulation (they're fun, but not that fun) on their own time unless there is a direct motivation such as their grade."

So, here are some recommendations:
In class, work through a sim together as a class. Students can call out a condition/variable and all can collect the identical data. Then, have students plot the data (if it doesn't plot automatically, depending on the sim).  For example, using Gas Laws from the Davidson site, students can read the manometer and do the math to see the actual pressure, then everyone plot the data points.  Further on... have groups of students collect data to examine Dalton's Law choosing different gases.  Lastly, have the class come up with the common principles underlying the pressure/temperature/volume through an all-class conference with teams reporting their group's data.