The StarLogo Nova team at MIT is growing due to an influx of new projects and funding. In partnership with University of Pennsylvania, a grant called BioGraph 2.0 was funded by the National Science Foundation (DRK12 program) to extend the BioGraph resources to include an online PD course and community of practice.
Project GUTS partnered with CSNYC to offer a 3 day professional development workshop at Microsoft Times Square in NYC on August 28-30, 2017. This workshop, facilitated by Su Gibbs, Paige Prescott and Irene Lee, prepared NYC teachers to integrate the CS in Science curricular modules into regular school day science classes.
This article describes a research study that asked "Do viral videos spread in the same way as infectious diseases?" The study minimized the impact of geographical distance as a measure and looked at the linkages and spread of disease. They found that indeed the spread of a viral video had characteristics similar to the traditional "wave pattern" of contagion spread.
The Girl Scouts of America are offering 23 new badges focused on STEM areas. In the photo is Sylvia Acevedo, right, CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA (and former NASA-Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientist) from Las Cruces, NM! She says ""My troop leader looked at me and saw me looking at the stars, and she taught me that there were constellations, she taught me there were systems and patterns to the stars.
This Education Week blog article describes a dearth of curricula that are aligned to the NGSS standards. Notably, it points out the need for PD side by side with new curricula, "Previous efforts to produce science materials for teachers often yielded great results— but neglected professional development. The developers of new curricula need to see these as intertwined, rather than separate, Short said, with supports built in so teachers feel safe trying out new things."
This article shows visualizations of where plastics dropped in oceans ends up. It is not clear what kind of modeling was used but it is a compelling use of modeling and simulation. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/29/if-you-drop-plastic-in-the-ocean-where-does-it-end-up?CMP=share_btn_fb
If you haven't heard of this online journal before, I urge you to take a look at http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/JASSS.html. The journal is filled with examples of how agent-based modeling is used by professionals and students to understand complex adaptive systems. Some examples of complex adaptive systems written about in this issue are:
Peter Denning weighs in on the current state of Computational Thinking. He attempts to answer three questions: What is Computational Thinking? How do we measure students' computational abilities? and Is computational thinking good for everyone? This is a good read and thoughtful presentation of the topic.
Photo (from left): Kathy Keith, director of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Community Partnerships Office and Supercomputing Challenge winners Theo Goujon, Lisel Faust, Ramona Park, Rowan Cahill (GUTS alumni), and their teachers Hope Cahill (former GUTS club leader) and Brian Smith, and Shaun Cooper, the awards ceremony MC.
Project GUTS was highlighted in a new article on Computational Thinking in Teacher Education. The authors, Aman Yadav, Chris Stephenson, and Hai Hong, state "One example of embedding computational thinking in science classrooms is Project GUTS (Growing Up Thinking Scientifically), which highlights what computational thinking looks like for students using three domains: modeling and simulation, robotics, and game design.