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Natural Selection Prey and Predator

Posted May 14, 2021 by sgibbs

This post includes a link to a model that can be used with the OpenSciEd Bacteria Food Hunt Unit net logo simulation.

Looking at particles with StarLogo Nova

Posted May 13, 2021 by sgibbs

This lesson uses StarLogo Nova to explore how particles move from gas to liquid to solid depending on the setting of the heat slider.

Modeling molecules is solids, liquids, and gases

Posted May 12, 2021 by mbuhl

This model simulates intermolecular forces and lets people change the temperature using a slider. At high temperatures, you can see the molecules fly around as a gas, with occasional collisions. With lower temperatures they condense to a liquid, and even lower they freeze to a solid.

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.


Posted May 11, 2021 by sgibbs

A 7th grade math project testing students' ability to create geometric figures.Stude


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.

Locating the Epicenter of an Earthquake Lesson

Posted February 28, 2020 by wellina

Identify the location of an earthquake epicenter using a travel time graph and three seismograph tracings. The epicenter is the point on Earth's surface directly above an earthquake. Seismic stations detect earthquakes by the tracings made on seismographs. Tracings made at three separate seismic stations are needed to locate an earthquake epicenter.

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.

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.

Silver Nitrate Production video

Posted July 27, 2018 by sgibbs

A short video showing "Silver Production from Silver Nitrate using a Copper Pipe" - used if wet lab activity not available for CS in Science Module 4 (Chemical Reactions)

The Greenhouse Effect

Posted July 27, 2018 by sgibbs

A short video on the basics of the greenhouse effect, used in CS in Science, Module 2 (Greenhouse gas model).

Emergence video

Posted July 27, 2018 by sgibbs

A portion of a PBS NOVA video discussing the concept of emergence (or complex adaptive systems) where patterns emerge in nature where agents follow simple rules.

Middle School Dissolving Salt Chemistry Module options

Posted August 4, 2017 by mmarkham

This lesson was developed to be used with two stand alone models developed by GUTS as alternatives to the Chemistry Module 4. This is aimed at middle school students. This pairs a hands on lab activity with the CS models to explore the strengths and weaknesses of CS models of physical changes at an introduction to chemistry level. Students decode the models and make changes including adding and testing variables.

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.

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