Science lab simulation

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Welcome to Virtual Labs by
MERLOT, SkillsCommons, and Partners!

Science faculty throughout the world are adopting virtual labs to engage students in learning through active participation rather than passive observation. Technological advances, combined with bandwidth maturity and mobile access make virtual labs an increasingly viable part of the teaching and learning.

We invite you through this site to learn about current and innovative virtual labs technologies, lab experiments, and simulations used in teaching the science, technology, engineering, and math disciplines in higher education.

image of hand on a computer keyboard and various symbols representing science ideas.

The Online Learning Consortium and MERLOT conducted Ideate Labs for Online STEM: Innovating STEM Education 2020 on August 19-21, 2020.  This free virtual expo showcased a wide range of virtual and distance labs designed to support online STEM education, offered by both commercial and open educational resource (OER) providers. This event brought educators and providers together, not only offering expert guidance on how best to deploy the different types of virtual labs to achieve successful learning outcomes, but also in centering educator use-case virtual lab stories. 

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What You'll Find Here

  1. The use of leading edge Virtual labs in the teaching and learning process.
  2. A "one-stop-shop" for a growing collection of free and fee-based virtual labs.
  3. Advice with links to a wide range of additional Science, Engineering, and Math resources and materials on Virtual Labs.
    • Exciting teaching experience using virtual labs
    • Innovative lab protocols and simulations
    • Exemplary Practices in CSU virtual labs
    • MERLOT Services

Open Educational Resources

Our teaching and learning environments have changed quite rapidly this year! This page provides a (growing) list of free virtual labs and simulations. See the "Finding OER" tab for freely available textbooks and other course materials. If you find or create a resource to share, please email Emily Bongiovanni ([email protected]) to have it added to the page.

Software repositories that include thousands of open source programs that do not cleanly fit into the categories bellow include theCommunity Software Internet Archive and Software Library.

Please see our vast list of research guides for lists of resources (both OER and non-OER) curated for specific subjects or course.

This page is the product of the Open Education community, who quickly came together to share resources and help each other's campuses.

For disciplinary organization, see: Digital Commons Three-Tiered List of Academic Disciplines

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Virtual Labs and Simulation Tools for Remote Education


A list of Virtual Lab tools for both VR and AR. All these tools are focused complementing the on campus lab experience. The tools offer either or both VR/AR headsets and conventional Laptops as a way to join Lab-sessions. They all can be used without a headset. We have indicated what tools are free or subscription based.

This is a useful blogspot: How to bring your lab online quickly and safely 

Please note: tools shared within our network of the Immersive Technology Initiative are not necessarily supported by the college licensing service or the college edtech teams. They are meant as inspiration for further exploration together. Our team at the Immersive Technology initiative will help anyone in the network who wants to test and use these tools for teaching and learning in collaboration with the EdTech teams.


List of resources:



LABS (Subscription basis): Labster gives students access to a realistic lab experience that will let them perform experiments and practice their skills in a fun and risk-free learning environment. 

Labster was tried and implemented at BMB. For more information and feedback from the team please contact us: [email protected] LabBuddy was developed and designed by scientists with knowledge of laboratory education and a thorough understanding of the problems involved. Tailored to meet the specific needs of lab teachers, it represents an e-learning and inquiry based teaching for laboratory education.

LABS (Free)

LabXchange is an online community for learning, sharing, and collaboration. It curates and creates world-class digital content, delivered on a free, online platform that lets you integrate your learning and research experiences. Here, you take control of your learning and solve real-world problems as a community. Useful blog

Chemistry labs:

The ChemCollective's goals are to support a community of instructors interested in improving chemistry education through interactive and engaging online activities.

(!) Free during Covid-19: 

Science & Math:

The PhET Interactive Simulations project at the University of Colorado Boulder creates free interactive math and science simulations. PhET sims are based on extensive education research and engage students through an intuitive, game-like environment where students learn through exploration and discovery.

This online laboratory brings interactive practical science to students anywhere and anytime the internet is available. The laboratory features investigations based on on-screen instruments, remote access experiments and virtual scenarios using real data. Several activities are available to all, while others are available only to registered users. Immersive Learning Experience (ILX) is a production team within the Innovation Center of Excellence at Adtalem Global Education (ATGE). ILX designs, implements, and supports intelligent immersive learning experiences (educational games and simulations using VR/AIEd) for all ATGE institutions.  

LAB Videos and animations (Free) 

The "Digital Lab Techniques Manual" is a series of videos designed to help you prepare for your chemistry laboratory class. Each video provides a detailed demonstration of a common laboratory technique, as well as helpful tips and information.

To have a full understanding of the theories behind the instruments, we use to produce virtual microscope data. These materials, which are still in progress, describe the basics of light, electron, and scanning probe microscopies, as well as how to operate the Virtual Microscope. In addition to these microscopy manuals, NASA has also produced teacher training materials, lesson plans, and conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness of the project.

Nothing more immersive than reality:), please find below physical lab kits:


Other companies, like Carolina, allow you to assemble a kit for a lab youʼve designed and then have students purchase the kit. 

For more software tools, please visit:



Over 1 billion simulations delivered

Teaching Resources, Activities, and Community

Teachers have access to simulation-specific tips and video primers, resources for teaching with simulations, and activities shared by our teacher community.

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161interactive simulations

97language translations

3001teacher-submitted lessons

Founded in 2002 by Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman, the PhET Interactive Simulations project at the University of Colorado Boulder creates free interactive math and science simulations. PhET sims are based on extensive education research and engage students through an intuitive, game-like environment where students learn through exploration and discovery.

Shouldn't All Students Experience STEM?

Learn how we are tackling challenges in STEM education, software development, and assistive technology.

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Lab simulation science

Best Free Virtual Labs

By Diana Restifo

Virtual labs are not just a pandemic thing.

Virtual labs are not just a pandemic thing.

While the majority of kids will be back in brick-and-mortar classrooms by fall, that fact doesn’t relegate online learning to the digital recycle bin. Many schools don’t have robust in-person laboratory facilities, instead relying primarily on dry textbooks to teach difficult STEM topics. But even schools with quality labs can benefit from these innovative and flexible online simulations. 

The following top virtual lab sites and apps are all free, highly engaging, and informative—and most don’t require registration. Since most browsers no longer support Java or Flash, sites built exclusively with those outdated technologies have been excluded. 

  • National Science Digital Library: ChemCollective Virtual Labs  
    Take a deep dive into chemistry with these virtual labs from the National Science Foundation. All the basics are covered, from equilibrium to stoichiometry to solubility. Each topic includes multiple customizable experiments designed to replicate the in-person chemistry lab experience as much as possible. Brief videos serve as a guide for both teachers and students before getting started.  
  • PBS: Nova Labs
    Terrific platform for teens and older learners to explore and examine cutting-edge issues such as ecology, evolution, renewable energy, cybersecurity, RNA, and more. Accompanying each standards-aligned lab is a guide for educators. Users can create a free account to track their progress.
  • FlyLab JS
    A super simple and focused site, the Fly Lab is just plain fun—and perfect for beginning and advanced genetic students. Select your flies’ attributes—eye color, wing size and shape, antennae—and predict the offspring that will result from mating. Then cross the flies to test your knowledge. Export analysis and lab notes easily too.
  • University of Colorado Boulder: Interactive Simulations for Science and Math  
    One of the richest single repositories of online science interactives and virtual labs. Investigate more than 150 physics, chemistry, math, biology, and Earth science topics. Available in dozens of languages, the interactives are searchable by grade level, subject, and accessibility. Accessibility options include alternative input, audio descriptions, and pan-and-zoom functionality. The University of Colorado Boulder team even found a way to incorporate Java sims so that you can easily run one in your browser window. 
  • Reactor Lab
    Interactive simulations of chemical reactors and other systems for higher ed students. Try the blockchain and cryptocoin (Teddy Token) sim for an unusual challenge. 
  • Line Rider
    Awesome physics simulation/game/lab experiment. Draw the line to maximize the toboggan rider’s trip time. When you master that, add one or two more riders. Export your best efforts as a movie for bragging rights! Also available as an Android or iOs app.
  • Explore Learning Free Gizmos  
    Gizmos are impressive, multifaceted, and hugely appealing interactive tools for investigating math and science topics. Create a free teacher account to access a rotating bank of free Gizmos. Among the current batch of 36 free Gizmos are those investigating Hubble’s Law, the circulatory system, and periodic table trends. Each Gizmo comprises several manipulatives targeting different aspects of the topic, assessment questions, and student and teacher guides. Certified COPPA, FERPA, and CSPC compliant. Certified fun. 
  • Chrome Music Lab
    An amazing free resource that inspires kids to create music and examine the connections between music and math, science, and art. It’s simple and fun to play around with rhythm, harmonics, chords, songwriting, and much more. 
  • Zooniverse
    Can students and teachers with no specialized training participate in real-world research? Yes — and the Zooniverse platform is designed to facilitate just that. Current projects run the gamut from the arts to biology to social science; in all, 79 active projects span 11 disciplines. The education guide provides examples and resources for teachers interested in using this powerful research tool in their classrooms. Classrooms can even create their own projects by uploading data to the Zooniverse. iOSAndroid  apps are also available. 
  • HHMI Biointeractive
    Seven free virtual labs, designed for high school and college students, cover lizard and stickleback evolution, bacterial identification, clinical lab testing, neurophysiology, transgenic flies, and cardiology. The detailed labs include built-in quizzes, notebooks, and references. No account is required, but users who sign in with their Google account can save their progress across multiple devices. Great for advanced learners.
  • Learn.Genetics Virtual Labs  
    From the University of Utah Genetic Science Learning Center, these five interactive labs cover techniques that are essential to any molecular biology lab. With DNA and PCR becoming common vocabulary, it’s a great introduction to highly topical technology. 
  • 3M Young Scientist Lab
    Easy-to-use collection of five virtual labs encourages kids to explore science in the everyday world. The labs, covering energy, electricity, design, innovation, and science history, are well organized and fun. 
  • The Concord Consortium Free Interactive STEM Activities
    Fine, extensive collection of interactive STEM resources, searchable by grade level, activity type, and STEM topic. Each activity offers a preview and the ability to assign and/or share with students. By creating a free account, teachers can easily track student work and create assignments. 
  • PraxiLaBS
    With a free basic account, users can access six simulations in English and Arabic. The simulated labs are remarkable, offering sophisticated graphics, PDF and animated guides, assessments, and enrichments activities. Topics comprise Agarose Gel Electrophoresis, Annexin V Binding/Propidium Iodide Uptake Assay, Tests for Sodium Radical and Aldehydic/Ketonic Groups, Focal Length of a Convex Lens Using General Law, and Measurement of Ohmic Resistances Using Ammeter and Voltmeter. Although a limited selection, these free labs are well worth checking out. 
  • LabXChange Harvard
    More than 300 free lab simulations that can be easily shared or embedded. Searchable by subject, level, source, and 13 different languages. A rich resource for virtual labs, including some very topical entries, such as Covid-19 infection spread, climate change predictor, and model of hydraulic fracking. 
  • New Mexico State University Virtual Labs
    Eight virtual labs cover basic food science lab techniques and are similar to real-world labs high schoolers or college freshmen would perform. They may not seem glamorous— but our food safety depends on these unheralded-yet-essential tests.
  • Bioman biology
    Created and maintained by a biology teacher, Bioman Biology offers an outstanding selection of free biology interactives, games, quizzes, and virtual labs. All are standards-based and easy to use for students (no registration required). Teachers can track student progress by simply registering for their own account. Biology topics covered range from physiology to evolution to scientific methods. 
  • Ecoocean – Future Ocean's Online Game About Sustainable Fisheries  
    EcoOcean is a unique online fishing simulator that aims to bring awareness to the global overfishing crisis while engaging users in a challenging sustainable fishing experiment. Easy to play and slightly addictive. Be sure to save your high score!
  • Cell Homestasis Virtual Lab
    What happens to a living cell when it’s placed in solutions of varying sugar concentrations? Use the virtual beakers, graduated cylinder, scale, dialysis tubes, and lab-grade sugar to find out. A simple experiment illustrating a key physiological principle. 
  • East Tennessee State University
    Great collection of higher-level free online biology labs covering ecology, evolution, and cell biology. Each experiment is available in both java and HTML5 - choose the HTML5 as java is no longer supported by most browsers. Users will enjoy changing parameters and observing the effects on honeybee foraging, male guppies’ tail spots, or plant biodiversity. Perhaps most important in today’s world: modeling and understanding the “tragedy of the commons” phenomenon. 
  • Java Lab
    Based on JavaScript, these clever simulations are both intricate and easy to use right away. Some of the more fascinating topics investigated include Eratosthenes’ calculation of Earth’s circumference, Brownian motion, and the slingshot effect. Challenging ideas presented with fun, interactive visuals. 
  • Natural History Museum of Utah: Research Quest
    Curriculum-aligned explorations of topics related to the museum’s exhibitions, such as artifact case studies, changes in the Uinta Mountain forests, and—best of all—dinosaur quarry! 

►Best Virtual Lab Software

►How to Design “Future Ready” Science Labs

►How to Teach Project-Based Learning in a Virtual Classroom

Labster Virtual Lab: Microscopy Simulation

PraxiLabs Helps You Conduct Science Experiments Anywhere Via 3D Interactive Virtual Labs

Whether you are teaching or learning biology, chemistry, or physics at university, We’ve got you covered.

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PraxiLabs offers more than a microscope for each student to understand biology on a molecular level. Enrich your students’ knowledge and understanding with immersive virtual experiments on topics ranging from DNA extraction and genetic cloning to tissue culture and protein electrophoresis.

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PraxiLabs provides educational organizations and their learners with a large and growing library of virtual chemistry experiments. Experiments currently available cover areas in general, analytical, and organic chemistry. Students can learn and understand through experimentation without the hazards or high costs.

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The PraxiLabs experiments available in the fields of physics cover a wide range of topics in the areas of nuclear physics, thermodynamics, electricity, and more. Provide your students and learners with virtual physics labs that encourage interaction and enhance understanding.

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Why PraxiLabs?

Immersive 3D Interaction

PraxiLabs provides students with an immersive and interactive 3D simulation of a realistic lab, enhancing their understanding and knowledge with a virtual hands-on experience of what they’ve learned.

Beyond the Lab

Students get more with PraxiLabs, thanks to its various study aids provided in different formats and its assessment to boost their knowledge and understanding, in addition to the opportunity to perform experiments safely.

Adaptive to Learning Styles

We provide an experience and educational tools that fit every student’s unique learning style, with various multimedia formats and adaptive learning experiences that will help them excel.

Usability & User Experience

Visual aids, easily usable multimedia, and immediate feedback by our famous “lab partner” to guide students through the process for an enriched experienced and a smooth educational process.


PraxiLabs is available in both Arabic and English to provide a thorough experience for students with the same user-experience and knowledge in both languages.

LMS Integration

Your students can now quickly and easily access your virtual lab right from your Learning Management System with a great feature that allows for easy integration between Praxi labs and your preferred LMS.

Happy Clients

Dr. Abdulwasee Heig, PhDLecturer - University of Hajjah

Khaled M Goher, BSc MSc PhD MIET PGCertHE Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering
School of Life & Health Sciences
Aston University, UK

Take Your Lab Anywhere

PraxiLabs is compatible with all the common modern operating systems and platforms, so you can take your virtual lab wherever you go.

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Latest News

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PraxiLabs wins Next Billion EdTech Prize 2019

Praxilabs wins the 2019 Next Billion EdTech Prize during the Global Education and Skills Forum that was held in Dubai, UAE from the 22-24 of March 2019. Thirty EdTech startups were selected out of 800 to compete, and only 3 have won the prize. We are proud to be the only winning startup from the MENA region.

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Introducing the New Biology 3D Simulations

In order to provide you with an all-in-one portal of 3D science simulation, We have added a new section for Biology 3D simulations Latest addition to our simulations. PraxiLabs is not only offers a microscope for each student to understand biology on a molecular level, but also enriches your students’ knowledge and understanding with immersive virtual experiments on topics ranging from DNA extraction and genetic cloning to tissue culture and protein electrophoresis.

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New Release of PraxiLabs V.5.3

We are pleased to announce that a new version of PraxiLabs has been released (V. 5.3), which comes with some new features including: Enhanced design and user experience, Additional content and multimedia files, the ability of integration with the learning management systems and the Compatibility with Tablets & Smartphones so you can access your virtual science labs everywhere and anytime.

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PraxiLabs joins Katapult Global Acceleration Program in Norway!

We are pleased to announce that PraxiLabs has been chosen, alongside 11 other impact-centric startups, to join Katapult Accelerator for their three-month program in Norway. We were selected amongst 1500 applications from 107 countries around the world, with a selection rate of only 0.8% – we are excited to be a part of this group of talented people!

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Virtual labs are defined as a virtual teaching and learning environment aimed at developing students’ laboratory skills. They are one of the most important e-learning tools. They are located on the Internet, where the student can conduct many experiments without any constraints to place or time, in contrast to the constraints of real labs. It...

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Open Educational Resources (OER)

NameDescriptionDisciplines offeredConcord ConsortiumInteractive STEM activities Physics, chemistry, life science, earth & space, mathematicsEduMediaInteractive resources for learning scienceLife science, earth science, environmental science and ecology, physics, astronomy, chemistry, technology (engineering), mathematical tools for physicsLabXchangeA free online platform for science education from Harvard UniversityPhysics, chemistry, biologyMerlot (hub)Curated database of OER from multiple sources that includes virtual simulationsPhysics, chemistry, biology, agriculture, computer science, engineering, astronomy, math and statisticsMolecular WorkbenchStandalone program for visual, interactive simulations for teaching and learning sciencePhysics, chemistry, biology, biotechnologyPBS NOVATo access the interactive labs, navigate to a topic page and in the "filter by" box, select "explore." If visiting multiple topics, page needs to be refreshed for filter to work correctly.Physics, physiology, space, physics, biology, engineering, earth science.PhETMath and science simulations from the University of Colorado, BoulderPhysics, chemistry, math, earth science, biology

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