Computational Physics in the High School Modeling Curriculum

K-12 Computational Physics Resources

We have created a number of resources for science teachers including:

  1. Videos on Physics Concepts
  2. Installing and using VPython
  3. Tracker video analysis tool
  4. John Burk’s blog on Computational Modeling
  5. Lab Activities using computational modeling (VPython) and video motion analysis (Tracker)

Physics Utility for VPython

A small team of Georgia Tech students helped develop a utility for VPython (physutil) to enhance the aspects of the visualization. The aim is to create a complementary package that will facilitate the creation of highly visual programs by physics students with little need for detailed programming. We are currently testing this version of physutil with students at Georgia Tech and The Westminster Schools.

Development of physutil moved to

We have moved physutil to to provide users with a better mechanism for reporting bugs and making feature requests. In addition, this will help those of us working on physutil track bugs and test new features without interrupting users.

Download physutil

You can download the utility and a few programs that make use of it.

Due to a slight incompatibility with error handling, you should be using Python 2.6+ and VPython 5.12+ with physutil. Just be safe and download Python 2.7 and the latest release of VPython.


We have created some videos to show off some of the features that physutil adds to VPython.

Using physutil

The physutil module extends VPython capabilities to include the easy creation of motion diagrams, timers, graphs, and axes. This documentation discusses the different classes which physutil provides: MotionMap, PhysTimer, PhysGraph, and PhysAxis.