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published by the PhET
This simulation provides practice for beginners in balancing chemical equations. Introductory activities include separating a water molecule and making ammonia (a compound composed of sodium and hydrogen). The user clicks up or down arrows to add/delete atoms, while bar charts and balance scales are displayed to show when the equation is in balance. Next, apply what you've learned and play the "Balancing Game", with three levels of difficulty.

Editor's Note: The game-like nature of this activity not only gives students practice with chemical equations, but goes much deeper. By viewing the distribution of individual atoms in real-time charts alongside the equation, the learner is building a basis to understand conservation of matter and chemical interactions.

See Related Materials for a link to downloadable lessons and student guides developed specifically for use with this PhET simulation.  

This item is part of a larger collection of simulations developed by the Physics Education Technology project (PhET).

Please note that this resource requires Java Applet Plug-in.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Practices
- Active Learning
= Modeling
Modern Physics
- Atomic Physics
Other Sciences
- Chemistry
- High School
- Middle School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Interactive Simulation
= Model
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Learners
- Educators
- application/java
- text/html
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Access Rights:
Free access
© 2011 University of Colorado at Boulder
Additional information is available.
atom, atomic mass, chemical equation, chemical equation game, chemical reaction, compound, elements, molecule, product, reactant
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created August 15, 2011 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
August 18, 2016 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
June 2, 2011
Other Collections:

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Record Link
AIP Format
(PhET, Boulder, 2011), WWW Document, (
PhET Simulation: Balancing Chemical Equations, (PhET, Boulder, 2011), <>.
APA Format
PhET Simulation: Balancing Chemical Equations. (2011, June 2). Retrieved October 20, 2018, from PhET:
Chicago Format
PhET. PhET Simulation: Balancing Chemical Equations. Boulder: PhET, June 2, 2011. (accessed 20 October 2018).
MLA Format
PhET Simulation: Balancing Chemical Equations. Boulder: PhET, 2011. 2 June 2011. 20 Oct. 2018 <>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {PhET Simulation: Balancing Chemical Equations}, Publisher = {PhET}, Volume = {2018}, Number = {20 October 2018}, Month = {June 2, 2011}, Year = {2011} }
Refer Export Format

%T PhET Simulation: Balancing Chemical Equations
%D June 2, 2011
%C Boulder
%O application/java

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%D June 2, 2011
%T PhET Simulation: Balancing Chemical Equations
%V 2018
%N 20 October 2018
%8 June 2, 2011
%9 application/java

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Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Electronic References.

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PhET Simulation: Balancing Chemical Equations:

Contains PhET Teacher Activities: Balancing Chemical Equations

A link to a comprehensive set of middle school instructional materials, developed specifically to accompany the simulation "Balancing Chemical Equations". Includes pre-test, lesson plan, student guide, and homework problems.

relation by Caroline Hall

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