Computer Science in Science PD: Introduction to Computational Science - Discussion


In 6th grade, we compare heating and cooling rates of land and water.We conduct a traditional lab experiment which yields varying results, and then we look a sample of real data which gets them closer to the target. It would be interesting to be able to use computational science to analyze more data (like for a whole year), or to compare different locations.


When I was in school, we hardly ever did hands-on work. It was mostly read the text, answer the questions, watch some videos, maybe watch the teacher do a demo to two. Computational science would allow for some minds-on/hands-on work even if doing the actual things was prohibitively expensive. In a traditional classroom, maybe you wanted to do an experiment to see what happens to fish in an ecosystem when oxygen levels decrease below levels that can support live. This would be unethical for obvious reasons in a classroom. CS would allow you to do this without worrying about actually “killing” anything.


and the number of questions that students can come up with and actually test, can excite students in unimaginable ways.


Computational science allows us to create real life scenarios and explore solutions and or consequences of certain actions. Simulating evolution, or infectious disease, or cell processes would all be possible.


Computational science is the science i wanted to teach my kids when i was younger, but could not. For example, a student once asked me what would happen if our school had NO lockers. they took a survey of students and of teachers, but with this, they could have done some “hard numbers” and examined how students moved through the hallways, and whatnot. That’s cool!


I wish I had more of this when I was in school. I very vaguely remember doing a lot of simulations on the computer, but nothing I designed on my own. I would use this for infectious diseases, fault line simulations, changes in ecosystems, and so much more.


Computational Science allows students to experiment and analyze simulations to real-world problems. It will engage students and allow them to be problem solvers. I could definitely see applications for Computational Science in the study of genetics and natural selection.


Students always want to know what they are learning in the class apply to them (why do we have to learn this!). Computational science allows students to tackle real life problem and see possible results. Students can study ways to control pests in their communities.


Computational Science would be applicable for anything dealing with human impact on the environment or on other humans, after all, it wouldn’t be ethical to experiment on actual humans or animals in my opinion. My experience in school was just replicating work that someone else has done.


In my evolutionary biology course we used a computational science technology to experiment with evolution. We were able to do different things such as introduce an invasive species, increase the population of a predator species or cause a natural disaster. In just a few minutes you’re able to see way more than you could possibly see in real life.


I think using computational science for human impact studies would be really informative for students. Maybe it would help them see that even though they are just 1 person, what they do matters and really does have an impact.


Computational science expands the textbook learning that is done in many schools. For topics such as mutations of cells or growth of animal populations, computational science can allow students to see the effects of altering genes or animal populations without expensive equipment and a lot of time.


I hated learning about weather systems when I was in school. I could see students become engaged if they had the ability to manipulate the variables involved.


When I was a student most of our science instruction relied heavily on reading and memorization. Computational science is an exciting way for students to apply scientific knowledge. I can imagine computational science being a powerful tool in a problem based science unit. This would be especially helpful in astronomy and geology subjects where the size and scale is often hard to comprehend.


I agree! The experiments when I was in high school was using the scientific method and following a set of lab procedures but we already knew ahead of time what the outcome or results would be! The experiments were also more of an exploration and understanding of science. In Computational Science however, students will be able to simulate events to see how changing variables affects outcomes of human nature. An example of this would be to conduct a simulation of how introducing an invasive species affects the environment.

We have never done computational science so I am looking forward to learning how to use it in our classes! I’m sure there are many possibilities!


Computational science is more engaging and hands on than traditional work out of a book.


Computational Science allows you to take real world issues and interests of the students and make them come to life. It allows you to experiment on things that otherwise would not be a viable experiment. In relation to the classroom it takes experiments to a whole other level and creates a higher level of engagement. It also allows for students to research and experiment things that they would not have been able to do if they had the same Science classes we had growing up.


I’ve been puzzled by the use of math in biology and now I see. It’s brilliant and useful for studying so many situations.


Most of the science that I grew up with was from texts and a few experiments. If I were to use computational science, it might be fun to simulate rock formations, which may take millions of years, but can be simulated via computational science.


computational science is more discrete. conventional science is more analog. one experiment in computational science is the game of life. traditional science lab will be hard to control all external factors.