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Skill Building Deck

Posted June 12, 2019 by ilee

A slide deck of exercises to build CS and decoding skills

Walk & Turn for StarLogo Nova

Posted July 27, 2018 by turtle

This is the CS in Science, Module 1, Activity 1 activity. Students participate in an activity acting as agents, then view a computer model, to introduce concepts of computer science and complex adaptive systems.

Coding Challenges

Posted July 27, 2018 by turtle

Coding Challenge are a series of short challenges that focus on improving coding skills using StarLogo Nova. Each set of challenges focuses on a specific concept: degrees & heading, x & y coordinates and randomness, conditions including absolute value and percent chance, adding color to the terrain and repeat loops, using the z coordinate, and other computer science concepts (logic blocks, data collection),.

Debugging Challenges for StarLogo Nova

Posted July 27, 2018 by turtle

These challenges ask students to identify and correct common coding errors within StarLogo Nova programs. The first challenge is generic, all others relate to the content area module from CS in Science. Students like to solve the problems and fix the code, and learn about debugging skills while engaging further with content area modules. It is also a good review for instructions/facilitators before building code with students.

Math Basics for StarLogo Nova

Posted July 27, 2018 by turtle

This handout explains left and right degrees, x and y coordinates, and headings in StarLogo Nova.

Complex or Complicated?

Posted July 27, 2018 by turtle

Complex or Complicated uses a slide presentation to create a whole class game-show like activity that is used to engage students in argument from evidence and refine students' understanding of complex adaptive systems.


Posted July 27, 2018 by turtle

Trailblazers is a fun pencil and paper activity where students write simple instructions for another student to navigate a maze. The instructions are drawn on the maze as commands (if square is red, turn right, etc.) and then students exchange papers to navigate the maze following only the commands. This is a preliminary activity for the Bumper Turtles coding activity.

Penny Growth

Posted August 31, 2016 by turtle

Penny growth is a table-top hands-on activity in which students grow penny colonies based on simple rules. Through this activity and a corresponding computer model, students gain experience with modeling population growth, plotting data, and recognizing patterns. Different sized environments can be used to prompt a discussion of limits to growth fo the colonies.

Rock Paper Scissors

Posted August 30, 2016 by turtle

The classic game of Rock Paper Scissors is known to all students. This common experience can then be used to encourage students to think about Complex Adaptive Systems in terms of unpredictability, which comes from the simple rules of agents. The off-line activity gives students a set of rules that will then be programmed into their computer model using Boolean logic and collisions.


Posted August 30, 2016 by turtle

Students participate in an off-line activity called “TryAngles”, and see a computer model based on the same activity. Of particular interest is the interleaving of activity types; live off-line activities and computer simulations, and the juxtaposition of real and virtual worlds.

27 Blind Mice

Posted August 31, 2016 by turtle

An off-line activity that introduces the concept of global and local communication strategies.

Exploring the Wiggle Walk and Collisions via a Kinesthetic Activity

Posted August 4, 2017 by jhenderson

This activity teaches the Wiggle Walk blocks (random right by ___ degrees, random left by___ degrees), through a kinesthetic activity and explores when a programmer would want to code agents to move this way. It avoids the statical analysis of the random probabilities found in Module One, Lesson 4 Activity 1: Probability with Dice and Data and Colliding Turtles, while still addressing the end goals of the Module One Lesson 4.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Robot

Posted September 1, 2016 by turtle

This activity introduces students to several computer science concepts, to the necessity for thoroughness while programming, and to the often strange results of literalism. The overarching theme is that computers do what they are told and nothing more. The ability to read between the lines and determine what was meant rather than what was said is a skill computers lack. Additionally, students are introduced to the concept of debugging.

Battle of the Agents

Posted March 29, 2017 by turtle

A take on the classic board game Battleship, this paper and pencil activity is a fun way to help students understand the use of x and y coordinates in StarLogo Nova. After the activity, students can use the StarLogo Nova model to experiment with x and y locations in a game-like context.

Daisy world

Posted April 3, 2017 by turtle

A model demonstrating the albedo effect of black or white surfaces. Use as a part of the Climate Change and Agriculture Project GUTS Curricular Unit, or as a stand-alone model, activity, and video.

Kinesthetic Flower Turtles Activity

Posted August 3, 2017 by carl

This activity is an extension to the CS in Science Module 1, Lesson 2, between activity 1 and activity 2. It is a kinesthetic activity to show how the agents behave according to a certain program. It can replace the activity that is there or be used as an extension or add on to the listed activities.

Human Boolean activity

Posted August 30, 2016 by turtle

Human Boolean and George Boole Says are similar off-line group activities in which students learn about Boolean logic. Students come up with a set of characteristics that describe all students in the class then use Boolean operations to uniquely identify classmates. These activities have a corresponding StarLogo TNG model and instruction set.

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