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  1. EcoMOD uses a design-based research approach to develop and study an elementary curriculum that combines an immersive virtual environment with interactive computer programming interface to support computational modeling, ecosystem science understanding, and causal reasoning. Here we report on changes in students’ perspectives on modeling before and after use of the fifteen day interactive, technology-based curriculum in a 3rd and 4th grade classroom. Pre-post interviews were conducted with ten students, and preliminary results suggest that students demonstrated an increased awareness that models are designed for a purpose, and the purposes students described aligned more closely with scientifically relevant activities like prediction, investigation and explanation. Students also increased in their level of sophistication related to ecosystem science understanding and causal reasoning.