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Natural Selection Programming

Posted May 11, 2021 by sgibbs

A lesson for middle school science that uses a variation of the rabbits and grass program to explore concepts of natural selection.

DECODE NYC Virtual Lesson Plan - MODIFYING A MODEL: OMNIVOROUS FOXES

Posted January 27, 2021 by wellina

This remote lesson serves as an opportunity for students to modify the code of an agent-based model to reflect the complexity of real-world food webs. Students will evaluate theeffectiveness of the modifications based on their understanding of population dynamics.

Decode NYC Models

Posted January 13, 2021 by wellina

In the NSF-funded DecodeNYC program at the American Museum of Natural History, middle school students use the agent-based game and simulation programming environment StarLogo Nova to use, modify, decode, and create scientific models to test different strategies for fighting Lyme disease and answer questions about their urban ecosystem.

COVID-19 Modelling Challenge

Posted March 18, 2020 by wellina

Learn basic StarLogo Nova skills then use those skills to customize your model to reflect how Coronavirus spreads. To that model, you can add different strategies and study the impact of the strategies on containing COVID-19’s spread.

Module 3 Lesson 2 - Rabbits and Grass Model

Posted January 30, 2020 by wellina

In this lesson, students will participate in two activities that USE the Rabbits and Grass model. The first activity is a look under the hood at the model to understand what was included and left out of the model (abstraction). In
the second activity, students will learn to design and conduct systematic experiments using the model as an experimental test bed. They will instrument their model to collect data, then analyze data and report out on
their findings.

Module 3 Lesson 1 - Ecosystems as Complex Adaptive systems

Posted January 30, 2020 by wellina

In this lesson, students will be introduced to ecosystems concepts through an activity called "Papercatchers", a participatory simulation in which students play the part of agents in a simulation. After playing the “game” that illustrates population dynamics and carrying capacity, students will view a computer model of a simple ecosystem. Through the model, students will review concepts of population growth, producers and consumers, and the
movement of energy through an ecosystem.

Module 3 Lesson 3 - Adding a Predator

Posted February 10, 2020 by wellina

In this lesson, students will modify the Rabbits and Grass model by adding a predator, a Mountain Lion, to answer a new question: “Does adding a top predator increase or decrease the stability of an ecosystem?” In the second activity, students will design and run experiments to see if adding a predator has an impact on the ecosystem. This activity will reinforce the concepts of energy flow through ecosystems and the often unexpected results of interactions in complex adaptive systems.

Module 3 Lesson 4 - Create Your Own Ecosystem Model

Posted February 10, 2020 by wellina

In this lesson, students will design their own ecosystems projects consisting of a question, experimental design and model. In the first activity, students will learn about the computational science cycle and use it to scope their project. This leads to a second activity where they start designing and implementing their model.

Skill Building Deck

Posted June 12, 2019 by ilee

A slide deck of exercises to build CS and decoding skills

What's Represented?

Posted June 12, 2019 by ilee

These exercises ask the learner to identify abstractions in the computer model as compared to a diagram or image of a natural phenomenon.

Alternate activities to introduce Project GUTS

Posted July 27, 2018 by turtle

Sometimes, teachers have a students who have already participated in Project GUTS introductory activities, and want to use something different, or want another activity to expand a lesson. Below are links to some alternate activities, both hands-on and on-line, for you to explore.

Complex Adaptive Systems Modeling Video

Posted July 27, 2018 by turtle

This short video (3:13 minutes) introduces complex adaptive systems and agent-based modeling concepts to middle-school students. It shows beautiful footage of birds flocking as an example of a complex adaptive system.

Pair Programming video

Posted July 27, 2018 by turtle

This short video (2:51 minutes) features two middle school girls describing and practicing pair programming. It is a great introduction to this method of learning programming and creating models.

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.

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