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Simulators for Teaching Ltd

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University Science Experiments Move Into "The Cloud"

A wide range of physical science experiments is now available in the cloud thanks to an innovative software company “Simulators for Teaching.” Students can enter a virtual laboratory without leaving their computer screens.

Wick, United Kingdom, October 30, 2015 --( Sim4t have announced the launch of “Simulators for the Web” (Sim4Web) a suite of programs hosted on the company’s secure web site that can be used directly through your web browser. By using Sim4Web, you can enter a virtual laboratory containing a UV-Vis absorption spectrometer, wet bench, chemicals, solvents, glassware and experimental procedures, indeed, all you need to perform a wide range of carefully designed undergraduate experiments.

Sim4Web is an innovative and exciting new method of delivering practical science sessions. The experiments are an ideal supplement to traditional teaching laboratories: students can use the simulators to practice procedures before they go into the lab class so that valuable lab time can be used more efficiently. By using Sim4Web, students can have “extra time” to cover topics in much more depth than is normally possible in a formal class setting. They also offer simultaneous whole-class access 24/7, they can be repeated as often as you like, and you can't break them. The official launch date for the new product is 28th October 2015. This is the first commercial website of this type anywhere in the world.

Dr Tony Hallam, Chairman of Sim4t, a physicist and entrepreneur with over 40 years of experience in manufacturing scientific instrumentation, said “We are grateful to Scottish Enterprise for financial support in the form of a SMART:SCOTLAND Feasibility Award which has helped us to make this major step in the evolution of our instrument simulators. We now have a catalogue of experiments suitable for students studying chemistry, physics, biology, forensic science and pharmacy which covers everything from monitoring chemical kinetics through to the analyses of aspirin in blood. We also have introductory exercises which are specifically aimed at post 16 students. There is something for everyone!”

Dr Linda Swanson, Managing Director of Sim4t, a chemist with over 20 years experience in developing and teaching undergraduate experiments said, “Students gain experience in performing experiments that may not otherwise be possible. For example, distance learning and part time students and those on correspondence courses may not have access to a formal teaching laboratory. Sim4Web can provide this group with experience of sample preparation, measurements and data analyses, all without leaving their laptop/tablet screens! In recent years, following the huge increase in popularity of the Massive Open Outline Course (MOOC) sector, there is clearly scope for Sim4Web to be used in this area: online science courses with a strong practical element are pretty much nonexistent at the moment.”

Dr Swanson went on “Furthermore, with Sim4Web, certain measurements can be performed in a virtual lab setting that would not be possible in real life. For example, it is unlikely that students would be allowed to analyse real blood samples in a science teaching lab. However, they can with our aspirin analyses experiment! Students use textbooks and the internet to enhance their education: why not use simulators? It’s the next logical step in terms of using technology/media in education. We should use all resources available to make the learning experience as positive and engaging as possible for students. We have run 'hands on experience demo sessions' of our software up and down the UK which has been very positively received: Students do seem to like our simulators! Our company was formed with the aim of trying to 'make a difference' in science education by developing simulators to make high quality teaching experiments available to all, at relatively low cost. There is a very large potential student population who could find the simulators life changing: Sim4Web gives students with mobility issues, for example, equal access to practical science teaching. Now that has to be important! We are enthusiastic about education and want to make the learning process exciting and engaging for all students.”

And Dr Swanson’s parting comments on Sim4Web? “Let’s make a difference! Our students deserve it!”

Mission statement:-

Simulators for Teaching Limited was formed in 2011 by a team of experts in scientific instrumentation and teaching. Our aim is to make sophisticated laboratory experiments affordable for every teaching laboratory and available to every science student.
Contact Information
Simulators for Teaching Ltd
Linda Swanson
+44 (0)1955 608935

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