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MSM Unit 1, Lesson 6: Decoding & Modifying the model

Posted June 7, 2024 by bperret

In this lesson students will be modifying the model of the molecular beam experiment to make a collision between different molecules. This time we will use hydrogen peroxide or H2O2 molecules instead of water molecules. Students will decode the model and make changes to the model‘s setup and collision code to model the collision and reaction. They will test the accuracy of the model by checking to see if the proper number and ratio of products were produced.

MSM Unit 1, Lesson 5: Molecular Beam Experiments

Posted June 7, 2024 by bperret

In this lesson students explore a model of a molecular beam experiment in which two water molecules collide at high speed and break apart into their component atoms. In analyzing the ratios of hydrogen and oxygen produced by the collision, students notice that there is something wrong. Investigating the code of the model leads to the discovery of a problem that students can fix. Students can test their solution to fixing the model by running the model and seeing if it produces the components in

MSM Unit 1, Lesson 2: Colliding Turtles Playground

Posted June 7, 2024 by bperret

In this lesson students engage in creating, modifying and testing collisions and reactions (cause and effect) processes as instructions. Playgrounds are Google Slides with code blocks that students use to arrange and then act out as the computer processing the instructions. The concepts of ratios and examining ratios before and after collisions are made explicit.  

MSM Unit 1, Lesson 3: Decoding & Modifying a Collision Model

Posted June 6, 2024 by bperret

In this lesson students see a StarLogo Nova model of turtles colliding. Then they look under the hood of the model to see if they recognize any of the code blocks being used. (*Students are often surprised to see that the code they generated in the playground is actually used to run the model!) Students identify where in code the ratio is being produced and what the ratio of turtles is before and after the collision. Finally, students get to pick a ratio they want to produce and modify the mode

MSM Unit 1, Lesson 4: Matter and Properties of Water

Posted June 6, 2024 by bperret

In this lesson students learn about matter and properties of matter. Then conduct two experiments (that can be done at home) and develop a mental molecular level understanding of water. This lesson prepares students for the next two lessons in which they will be modeling the breakdown of water into its component atoms.

MSM Unit 1, Lesson 1: Introducing Ratios

Posted April 12, 2024 by bperret

In this lesson students will participate in two activities then create their own ratio puzzles. In the first activity, they will learn about parts-to-parts ratios and complete an embedded assessment. In the second activity, they will learn about parts-to-whole ratios and complete another embedded assessment. In the third activity, students will create their own ratio puzzles to share. Throughout the lessons, the language of ratios is reinforced.

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.

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