For each of our four main subject domains we are developing model-based content units. More information about the units can be found at the ModelSim Project page.
In this time of enormous manmade effects on species,epidemics, rising rates of
extinction and rapid climate change, an understanding of the dynamics of biological populations, predator prey interactions and species/environment dependencies, is a necessary requirement for managing that impact. A first step is an understanding of the dynamics and characteristic patterns of population change. To address this we have developed a suite of population dynamics models to give students a better understanding of the mechanisms at work in these complex systems.
Wolf Sheep Predation Model
"Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution" is the title of an oft-quoted essay by noted evolutionary biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky. Yet, it is widely misunderstood and rejected by the population at large, and it has been shown to be challenging for students. To address this issue, we have worked on expanding the BEAGLE
ABM curriculum, which facilitates inquiry into natural selection, speciation and other evolutionary mechanisms.
Critter Designers Model
Bug Hunter Model
Building upon the successful Connected Chemistry
projects, we have built new models and activities that address concepts in kinetic molecular theory. The two week unit first introduces students to the phenomenon of diffusion before engaging them in explorations to uncover the effect of temperature and pressure on particle movement. Finally, the unit ends with an engineering task where students use their understanding of particle motion to build a physical machine driven by a virtual piston.
Diffusion Sandbox Model
The Syringineering Activity
We have done significant development on the electricity modules for our unit built upon the successful NIELS
platform. This curricular unit centers around three modules. Learners will begin with a Lines of Force model, then move to an Electric Current model, and finally, will interact with the ElectroHub participatory simulation model.
Lines of Force Model
ElectroHub Participatory Simulation