i managed to meet up with my school teacher friend and got some of the student feedback forms.
i key in the data (43) / ~200 forms, the data seems to suggest it is a meaningful practical lab made possible through this applet and planning from the teachers in that school RVHS.
(63) / ~200 as of 8sept2010

you can see the data (feedback) and come to your own conclusions whether it is meaningful to start using similar applets as practical lessons to give students the chance to conduct inquiry learning in student centered pedagogy.

Google Form which all can see, not edit

summary of results