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How do you use Mathematica in high school classes?

Posted 10 years ago

In my position, I talk with a lot of groups that are using Mathematica and the Wolfram Language in new and interesting ways.

However, high school teachers that use Mathematica seem to be disconnected from each other. And I'd like to fix that!

If you are a high school teacher using Mathematica, post how you're using M- in your classroom. You'll be able to connect with each other and be an inspiration for other teachers getting started with the Wolfram Language.

POSTED BY: Adriana O'Brien
4 Replies
Posted 10 years ago

I teach Mathematics and Physics to students aged 16-18 in an Italian high school (Liceo Scientifico) and I often use Mathematica, for my teaching activity, in the following ways:

1) To help me understand better some topics or investigate alternative ways to teach some topics (let's call it an "individual usage" to improve my teaching skills).

2) To prepare problems, exercises and their solutions.

3) To prepare interactive demonstrations that can show my students some topics that are not easily explained with a static 2-dimensional blackboard or in a page of a textbook.

For point 3 I've been trying to build up a public wordpress web site (here) mainly concerned with interactive demonstrations realized in Mathematica and then converted to the free CDF Player file format.

Unfortunately this process is not as smooth and effective as I initially thought:

  • building a good math or physics simulation takes time and I've been able to publish very few simulations in the last months;
  • to interact with the simulation students must download the free CDF Player, a rather big program (165MB) with a rather long installation process.Furthermore in the Wolfram CDF Player download page the user is requested to enter some personal information that can discourage many people to complete the process (by the way those information are not at all necessary as they are not verified by Wolfram);
  • it seems that the CDF Player could be dismissed from Wolfram products line. A possible sign of this is the fact that it has not been updated to v10 yet and so it is not compatible with that last version of MMA (that was launched 5 months ago).

Given above considerations I'm having serious doubts whether it can be a good strategy (or not) to invest in the CDF Player software to complete the building of my site, and I'm starting to look around for possible alternatives.

Anyway Mathematica can be a great solution for the points 1) and 2) listed above and, for point 3), apart from my CDF usage doubts, it can anyhow be used to prepare interactive demonstrations to be showed to students through a PC running a licensed copy of Mathematica or to prepare demonstrative videos (maybe published on youtube) of simulations.


We are in the testing phase for CDF Player right now, and are happy to expand our list of beta testers. If you are interested in becoming a tester, please contact, thanks!

POSTED BY: Andre Kuzniarek
Posted 10 years ago

Thanks Andre

It's a great news to hear that Wolfram is actually releasing an updated version of CDF Player. I'd be glad to contribute as a beta tester and I've sent my submission to


I am a heavy user of MMA, I teach high school chemistry, computational biology, medicinal chemistry, research, and other computationally-based courses. I converted to MMA a number of years ago, and students do a significant part of their work using MMA as the "home" tool for submitting homework, labs, and other documents.

I'm currently writing a textbook in medicinal chemistry for high school students using MMA so I can leverage tools like ChemicalData in the text.

I'd be MORE than happy to talk with ANY high school teacher who is using MMA, wants to use MMA, or otherwise wants to learn a little more.

POSTED BY: Bob Gotwals
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