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Simulations in the Classroom: Creating an Engaging Pedagogy. Scott A. Sinex Department of Physical Sciences and Engineering Prince George’s Community College. Presented at the Computation and Science for Teachers Workshop held at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, Pittsburgh, PA

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Simulations in the classroom creating an engaging pedagogy

Simulations in the Classroom:Creating an Engaging Pedagogy

Scott A. Sinex

Department of Physical Sciences and Engineering

Prince George’s Community College

Presented at the Computation and Science for Teachers Workshop held at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, Pittsburgh, PA

on 23-27 June 2008


Students should
Students should…

  • Deal with data and graphs from

    • experimental results

    • prepared data sets from Internet

  • Look for trends

  • Introduce mathematical modeling

    • Regression

    • Goodness of Fit


Use simulations
Use simulations…

  • To examine microscopic interactions

    • NetLogo

    • Agent Sheets

    • Many Java applets on the Internet

  • To explode mathematics of macroscopic interactions

    • Excelets

    • Vensim or Stella


Where do we start
Where do we start?

  • Select a single basic modeling tool – Excel

  • Learn some principles of mathematical modeling

  • Develop computationally-based simulations


An ideal approach
An ideal approach…

Single variable experiment

Multivariable simulation

Develop an ideal mathematical model

Add error to make real-world

science process oriented


Guided instruction
Guided instruction…

  • Written guided-inquiry or discovery based instructions (think like your students when you pose questions!)

  • Predict-test-analyze

  • Try it and then revise/rewrite it!!!!!


Ultimately
Ultimately…

  • Integrated mathematics and science

  • A very science process oriented approach

  • Your students could be developing models on their own


This is just the beginning
This is just the beginning…

Computational science can study…

  • Weather and climate

  • Disease spread

  • Engineering design

    See the PSC Scientific Visualization Gallery

    http://www.psc.edu/research/graphics/gallery


Let the journey begin!!!!!

but first some coffee


Resources
Resources

  • Exercises developed by previous CAST participants

    http://www.psc.edu/eot/k12/cast.php (see previous years)

  • Computational Resources by MVHS

    http://mvhs.shodor.org/CAST2008

  • Developer’s Guide to Excelets

    http://academic.pgcc.edu/~ssinex/excelets

  • Introduction to Computational ScienceAngela B. Shiflet and George W. Shiflet

    http://wofford-ecs.org/IntroComputationalScience


Data analysis
Data analysis

  • Graphing with Excel – LabWrite

  • http://www.ncsu.edu/labwrite/res/gt/gt-menu.html

  • Using Excel for Handling, Graphing, and Analyzing Scientific Data:  A Resource for Science and Mathematics Students

  • http://academic.pgcc.edu/psc/Excel_booklet.pdf


Data sets
Data sets

  • Quantitative Environmental Learning Project (QELP) as Excel files

    http://seattlecentral.edu/qelp/Data.html

  • Exploring Data – datasets as Excel files

    http://exploringdata.cqu.edu.au/datasets.htm

Email contact: [email protected]


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