## Skill Building Deck

A slide deck of exercises to build CS and decoding skills

A slide deck of exercises to build CS and decoding skills

Papercatchers is a participatory simulation in which students learn about population growth and limits to growth. Students play the role of members of a growing population, follow simple rules governing survival and reproduction, and collect and graph data.

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.

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.

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.

As a virus spreads through a community, epidemiologists might study how far a disease has spread, how quickly it spreads and how infectious it can be as well a numerous other pieces of data in order to understand the disease and its potential impact on a community. In this activity, students will simulate the spread of a virus such as the flu. Students will work in pairs to accumulate data using graph paper, a data chart, and a die. Before starting, groups will need to decide on three variables.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

This off-line activity reviews the different types of loops in a fun and active way!

Swords and Shields is an interactive simulation game which teaches students some of the basic ideas of complex adaptive systems. After playing, you can show the students a model of the game in StarLogo TNG or StarLogo Nova to discuss basic concepts of agent-based modeling. Try it, it's fun! See also the variation to this activity in Resources, and see the related activity of TryAngles.