What is WISE?
What is WISE? Curriculum-Based Inquiry Projects Student Engagement Interactive Models Teacher Tools Free & Open Source
What's New?

WISE seeks a postdoctoral scholar!Jul 3, 2016

WISE is looking for a full-time postdoctoral scholar to join our group. You can find out more details here!

WISE 5.0 Released!Mar 14, 2016

A brand-new version of WISE has been released! See this post to learn more. If you are a developer or a designer, come join our open-source project!

WISE URL changesNov 9, 2015

We're making changes to the URL of some pages in WISE so that they are shorter and easier to remember. Please click here for details.

2015 NSF Video ShowcaseMay 11, 2015

Check out and vote for our video on automated guidance as part of the 2015 National Science Foundation Video Showcase here!

WISE 4.10 released!Mar 9, 2015

A stable release of WISE v4.10 is now available for download from http://wise4.org/. We've added a portfolio tool, redesigned Match&Sequence step, and improved the usability of the grading tool and the authoring tool. See this post for details! If you are a developer or designer, come join our open-source project!

New Article on WISEJan 28, 2015

WISE researchers recently published an article on WISE teachers customizing units. You can read it here. Please feel free to post your feedback on the discussion forum.

New Grading ToolJan 13, 2015

We have added a new and greatly improved grading tool to WISE. You will find a link to it for each project run you have created. We will continue to work on it and would appreciate any feedback you could provide to help us make it better.

Welcome Back!Jan 6, 2015

Welcome back WISE users!

Java UpdateJan 15, 2014

On January 14, 2014, a new version of Java was released. Please update your computer to this version to continue using simulations and probes in WISE. Click here to download the latest java.

WISE Image AnnotatorFeb 27, 2013

Check out the new WISE image annotator. It is currently being used in the Mitosis project. Click here

Java UpdateFeb 20, 2013

For OS X 10.7 (mountain lion), typically Mac machines sold in 2011 and later, a security update will require you to reinstall the Java applet plugin to run many of the WISE4 projects. If you plan to use recent Mac computers with our projects, we strongly recommend that you check with your district if they implemented this update, and if so, request a Java applet plugin on the machines. You can have your IT folks look at this link: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5573 for more details.

WISE in SpanishFeb 14, 2013

WISE is collaborating with a group in Argentina to create versions of all our activities in Spanish. Check out the Detergents project in Spanish!

WISE 4.6 is released!Jan 28, 2013

A stable release of WISE v4.6 is now available for download from http://wise4.org/. Among other goodies, we've made authoring easier, added more functionality to the pre-made comments, and added a new threaded discussion step type. See the full Release Notes for details! Click Here

WISE Server DowntimeOct 15, 2012

The WISE server will be down for maintenance on Saturday October 20th from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM PDT. We are sorry for any inconvenience.

WISE included in STEMworks DatabaseAug 17, 2012

WISE has been chosen as an example program that "deepen(s) young people's learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics" after a rigorous review by WestEd and the non-profit Change the Equation (CTEq) initiative and has been included in the STEMworks database.

WISE Book ReviewAug 17, 2012

Science Learning and Instruction (by WISE Director Marcia Linn & Bat-Sheva Eylon) has been reviewed in the journal Research & Practice in Assessment.

WISE research highlighted by NSTAJun 27, 2012

Research by Kevin McElhaney and WISE director Marcia Linn identified by the National Science Teachers Association's Connections feature as suggested summer reading of current research in science education.

WISE featured in Magazine of the Teachers College, Columbia UniversityJun 27, 2012

Pushing the Right Buttons, by Joe Levine, highlights how WISE tools help teachers understand the needs of individual students and support students to iteratively refine and develop scientific understanding.

June 2012 workshopJun 27, 2012

The LOOPS/CLEAR/CLASS workshop is officially in session! This year's theme is feedback: What makes useful feedback? How can we provide better feedback? How can we design technology supports for using feedback more efficiently and effectively in the classroom? See the workshop website for more details: https://sites.google.com/site/telsworkshops/.

WISE4.5 is released!May 14, 2012

A stable release of WISE v4.5 is now available for download from http://wise4.org/. Among other goodies, there are tools for autoscoring and feedback, an easier authoring interface, and new customizable features in the Idea Manager tool. See the WISE4-Discuss Google Group for details! Click Here

New MItosis ProjectJun 27, 2012

The "Mitosis and Cell Processes Project, one of our most popular, has been completely updated. You will find it titled "What makes a good cancer medicine?: Observing mitosis and cell processes" in our Library.

AERA 2012Mar 19, 2012

We're getting ready for AERA in Vancouver, BC! New research presented April 13-17 by Marcia Linn, David Miller, Kelly Ryoo, and Hillary Swanson. Check us out on the AERA program!

WISE Server DowntimeFeb 6, 2012

The WISE server will be down for maintenance on Sunday February 12th from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM Pacific Standard Time. WE are sorry for any inconvenience.

New Design!Aug 10, 2011

We're excited to unveil our new design for WISE! Tell us what you think. We're still ironing out the bugs, so if you find any problems, let us know.

New WISE Projects!Aug 10, 2011

Great new projects have been added to our Library: "How Can Detergents be Used to Clean Oil Spills?" and "How Can We Recycle Old Tires?" for high school chemistry classes and "Investigating Planetary Motion and Seasons" for use in high school earth science or general science classes.

New Book PublishedApr 30, 2011

Linn & Eylon (2011). Science Learning and Instruction: Taking Advantage of Technology to Promote Knowledge Integration.

New Review PaperAug 8, 2011

Gerard, Varma, Corliss, & Linn (in press). "Professional development in technology-enhanced inquiry science." Available online.

Blueprint for Great SchoolsAug 9, 2011

CA State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson calls for connecting children to the online world in the classroom and at home. See http://www.cde.ca.gov for more details.

WISE4 Now AvailableAug 26, 2010

We are pleased to announce that our new learning environment WISE4 is now available in open beta format. WISE4 does require creating a new account. There continues to be no cost or commitment to joining. We will be continuing to add new projects over the next few months. Let us know what you think.

WISE 4.0 ProgressDec 1, 2009

We are currently in beta testing with our partner schools. We are looking forward to full release in the fall of 2010. Keep checking in for updates.

Earth Science
  • thumb

    Investigating Planetary Motion and Seasons

    Students collect and evaluate evidence for explaining and understanding seasons using various dynamic visualizations and models. Instructional scaffolding in the unit helps students use evidence to generate a well-supported explanation for seasons.

  • thumb

    Plate Tectonics

    Students investigate geologic patterns in the United States, then delve deeper into Earth's layers to understand how surface features and events arise from invisible inner processes.

  • thumb

    What Impacts Global Climate Change?

    Students investigate how energy from the Sun affects global temperature and their role in global climate change.

Life Science
  • thumb

    Ocean Bottom Trawling, What A Drag!

    Students investigate the potential for sea life to adapt to the destruction of habitat resulting bottom trawling as a commercial fishing practice. Students compare and contrast the ideas of both Lamarck and Darwin as they explore virtual experiments.

  • thumb

    Who inherits Cystic Fibrosis? (Simple Inheritance)

    Students will learn about cystic fibrosis, a trait that is controlled by a single gene. Modes of inheritance including dominant and recessive allele transmission and genotypic combinations will be explored.

  • thumb

    Pescando en el fondo del mar

    Los estudiantes investigan la capacidad de la vida marina para adaptarse a la destrucción del habitat por la pesca de arrastre como actividad comercial. Los estudiantes comparan ideas de Darwin y Lamarck y realizan experimentos virtuales con peces.

  • thumb

    Mitosis y procesos celulares

    Una nueva versión mejorada del proyecto "Mitosis y procesos celulares". La unidad Mitosis ayuda a los estudiantes a comprender las etapas de la mitosis y estructuras celulares asociadas dentro del contexto de aprendizaje sobre el cáncer.

  • thumb


    Using interactive visualizations, students explore how light energy is transformed into chemical energy and how the chemical energy is stored in glucose during photosynthesis.
    Automated guidance is provided for Step 4.1.

  • thumb

    Cellular Respiration

    Students investigate how plants release the chemical energy stored in glucose as usable energy and use this energy for growth, reproduction, and other energy needs

  • thumb

    What makes a good cancer medicine?: Observing mitosis and cell processes

    A new improved version of the "Mitosis and Cell Processes" project. The Mitosis unit helps students understand the stages of mitosis and associated cell structures within the context of learning about cancer.

  • thumb

    Photosynthesis & Cellular Respiration

    Using interactive visualizations, students explore how light energy is transformed into chemical energy and stored in glucose during photosynthesis, and how plants release the chemical energy as usable energy. Automated guidance is provided for Step 6.8

Physical Science
  • thumb

    Hanging With Friends

    This project helps students integrate verbal, animated, and algebraic representations of velocity. Students interact with 3 dynamic models that help students relate velocity, position, and time. Students apply this knowledge to solve a real world problem.

  • thumb

    Graphing Stories (with motion probes)

    This project helps students understand that every graph has a story to tell. The project is based on the study of motion.

  • thumb

    Thermodynamics in the Kitchen: Food for Thought

    Students learn about thermal equilibrium through experiments and visualizations dealing with the conduction of heat energy.

  • thumb

    Orbital Motion and the International Space Station

    Students use interactive visualizations to investigate and understand projectile and orbital motion. Using what they've learned, they develop a plan to safely bring the International Space Station out of orbit around the Earth.

  • thumb

    Graphing Stories (without motion probes)

    This project helps students understand that every graph has a story to tell. The project is based on the study of motion.

  • thumb

    ¿Cómo podemos desacelerar el cambio climático?

    Los estudiantes investigan las reacciones químicas que dan lugar a un aumento de los gases invernadero en la atmósfera. Luego aplican las evidencias que recolectaron para comprender el impacto de las acciones humanas en el cambio climático global.

  • thumb

    How does heat energy move?

    Students learn about thermal equilibrium through experiments and visualizations dealing with the conduction of heat energy.

  • thumb

    Chemical Reactions: How Can We Slow Climate Change?

    Students investigate chemical reactions that result in an increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. They then apply the evidence they have gathered to understand the impact of human actions on global climate change.

  • thumb

    Historias gráficas

    El proyecto ayuda a los estudiantes a comprender que cada gráfico tiene una historia para contar acerca del movimiento de los cuerpos.

  • thumb

    Sink or Float? (Density and Buoyancy)

    This project introduces students to density and its relationship on an object's buoyancy. Students will investigate several hypotheses about what makes an object sink or float. Students will then investigate density, including graphical representations.

  • thumb

    Space Colony! - Genetic Diversity and Survival

    The WISE Space Colony module introduces students to the differences in genetic diversity through asexual or sexual reproduction. Students learn about the connections between genetic diversity and natural selection.

  • thumb

    Crime investigation: DNA onder de loep!

    Doorheen het project gaan de studenten (3e graad ASO) dieper in op de bouw en werking van DNA aan de hand van het oplossen van een moordzaak. Ook komen toepassingen van DNA-onderzoek aan bod.

  • thumb

    Project High! WiseTabletsDIFF

    Doorheen het project gaan leerlingen dieper in op 'drugs', en dit via inzicht op de bouw en werking van informatieoverdracht tussen zenuwcellen.

  • thumb

    Project High! WiseTabletsNDIFF

    Doorheen het project gaan leerlingen dieper in op 'drugs', en dit via inzicht op de bouw en werking van informatieoverdracht tussen zenuwcellen.

  • thumb

    How Can We Recycle Old Tires?

    Students investigate how to recycle old tires by comparing tires to commonly recycled materials. Students examine the relationships among chemical composition, atomic arrangements, bonding, and physical properties of substances.

  • thumb

    Diseñando un detergente para combatir la polución marina

    Los estudiantes aprenden la química de detergentes y cómo fueron usados para limpiar aves empetroladas. Mientras se involucran en la preservación de fauna, aprenden los conceptos básicos de polaridad, atracción intermolecular y solubilidad.

  • thumb

    How can we clean marine pollution?

    Students learn the chemistry of detergents and how they were used to clean birds endangered by oil spills. While engaged in the topic of saving wildlife, students learn the standards-based topics of polarity, intermolecular attractions, and solubility.

  • thumb

    Kernchemie en -fysica

    In dit project leren de leerlingen hoe isotopen voorgesteld worden en op welke manieren onstabiele isotopen over kunnen gaan in stabiele isotopen.

  • thumb


    Het voorliggende project is vakoverschrijdend voor de vakken fysica en chemie voor het 4de middelbaar. In dit project leren de leerlingen wat meer over de verschillende gaswetten, gassen in chemische reacties, ...

  • thumb

    Fuzzy Chronicles: Newtonian Dynamics

    Students apply Newton’s laws as they navigate a spaceship through obstacle courses in order to save Fuzzies. This game for middle school students targets the relationships between force and velocity, force and mass, as well as equal and opposite forces.