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Summer SAVY 2016 (Session 1, Day 3) – Science Simulations: Computer Models of Change

Posted by on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 in Grade 3, Grade 4, SAVY.

It’s been another great day in Science Sims.  We worked extensively on our models of marble acceleration today, using our designed method of frame-by-frame analysis of our videos. Almost all students decided that the video of motion they initially made for measurement and modeling needed improvements, such as holding the camera still, capturing the entire length of the ramp in the field-of-view, and reducing any “sag” in the middle of the ramps.  Students’ computational models of acceleration use features of the programming environments to illustrate the patterns of change in the distance traveled in each successive interval of time.

We also took a step back from motion to look at some other contexts of science simulations.  We worked with a mutli-agent traffic model [http://volkhin.com/RoadTrafficSimulator/] and manipulated the number of cars, timing of traffic lights, and other features do determine cause and effect relationships in how traffic jams were forming and resolving.

We also became ants in an embodied simulation of ant colonies; illustrating how complex group behaviors emerge from many agents following simple rules.  The queen ant was well-fed and the colony flourished!  Tomorrow we’ll pick up with a multi-agent ViMAP ant food web model that will leverage this introduction to multi-agent modeling and emergence.  

Thank you for sharing your fabulous thinkers and learners with us!  It is an honor to spend the week with them.