We articulate a framework for using computational modeling to coherently integrate the design of science and engineering curricular experiences. We describe how this framework informs the design of the Water Runoff Challenge (WRC), a multi-week curriculum unit and modeling environment that integrates Earth science, engineering, and computational modeling for upper elementary and lower middle school students. In the WRC, students develop conceptual and computational models of surface water runoff, then use simulations incorporating their models to develop, test, and optimize solutions to the runoff problem. We conducted a classroom pilot study where we collected students’ learning artifacts and data logged from their use of the computational environment. We illustrate opportunities students had to integrate science, engineering, and computational thinking during the unit in a pair of contrasting vignettes.
Integrating interactive computer simulations into K-12 earth and environmental science
This paper discusses our work in progress aiming to explore how computer simulations can be integrated into the K-12 curriculum of Earth and Environmental science. Several interactive simulations using Netlogo, a multi-agent modeling environment, and Scratch, a visual programming software are being developed with steerable parameters and the corresponding output plots for students to manipulate and interpret the results, respectively. Here, we present two simulations we designed on water cycle and discuss how these may help students learn about the distribution of water and its continuous move in the ecosystem.
- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Proceedings of IEEE Integrated STEM education Conference (ISEC) 2018
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- 220 to 223
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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