Jun 8, 2008

Engaged Learning and Social Physics: Phun, an Interactive 2D Physics Sandbox

UPDATE 4/24/11:   Phun is commercially available and now optimized for use on the newer multi-touch, multi-user SMARTboards.  It is now known as Algodoo.

For those of you searching for interesting and engaging science activities for use on an interactive whiteboard or display, take a look at Phun. According to the website, "Phun is a playground for the creative mind where machines and toys can be easily created."

It was Emil Ernerfeldt's MSc Computer Science project, created at the Umeå University VR lab in Sweden, under the supervision of Kenneth Bodin.

The Phun application can be downloaded for free. The video provides a good overview of Phun's features, accompanied by soothing music that can you can download at no cost at http://phun.cs.umu.se/files/Phun_theme.mp3


From the creators of Phun:
"Phun is an educational, entertaining and somewhat (!) addictive piece of software for designing and exploring 2D multi-physics simulations in a cartoony fashion. It is part of our long term mission to bring visual physics based simulation to the masses. The application is developed for Umevatoriet, Umeås new science center, where it will run on a large interactive display, but you can also download it and run it on your own pc."

The beauty of Phun is the social aspect. Physics 2.0. There is a YouTube Phun group, where people share videos of their Phun creations. The Phun wiki provides a tutorial, a forum, and links. Phun-makers can share and rate their creations in the Phun Box.


Note: Phun is now part of Algoryx Simulation AB, a spin-off from Umea University. Algoryx focuses on interactive 3D multiphysics simulation. The free version of Phun will continue to be updated and supported, according to Emil Ernerfeldt.


Related Links:
Phun at Algoryx
Forum Thread: How Phun can be used in education
http://phun.cs.umu.se/wiki
Download Page (Mac, Win, Linux)

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