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


Computational science makes Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy seem possible! It looks like a great way to introduce students to examining macrosystems they way the look at microsystems.


Computational science allows the students to simulate real-life world issues and test their theory. A good example of this would be infectious diseases and how they spread through a community.


Computational Science can be used on a large scale when studying the effects of aquatic pollution.


Computational science allows us to explore real world situations in an exponential way. In a traditional science lab, we may not have the resources to explore a big question in the same way. (i.e., weather patterns, changes in ecosystems when invasive species are introduced, etc.)


I agree with this. It helps to show videos introducing invasive species and the impact, but then to allow students to experiment with computational science will be more meaningful and engaging.


Experimentation in science allows students to look for connections between variables; both traditional science and computational science do this. Some experimental materials have been deemed too dangerous for the middle school science lab, so some experiments can no longer be used in the classroom. Computational science could illustrate the concepts of these experiments safely.


I agree that the application of facts was rare. Today, students are expecting to see some results quickly. Simulations can show them quickly what the possible effects might be because computational science allows us to speed up the process.


Spread of disease. In quarantine versus allowed to interact with the public.


We could use computational science to study the spread of disease, climate changes, weather, fire, etc.


I didn’t have too much computer science demonstrations in the classroom when i was growing up. the closest we got to technology in the classroom was a movie or even YouTube videos. After watching that video it made me think that anything was possible. The students we have now are only going to blow us away even more. I think this is the best thing we could do for our students, is give them the tools and knowledge to learn and develop the skill of programming in the science classroom.
I can see my students programming a model that demonstrates how organisms in an ecosystem work together.


I agree. Especially for middle school students.


Tracing genetic changes over time would be great to observe in computational science. We read about it, observe fossils and compare based on information. But to be able to observe the simulation would be great for students. They could also come up with their own interpretation of a mutation and observe the effects.


I would’ve loved science more when I was in school if I could create it and see it using computational science. I suppose it would be similar when creating a physical model, but it is quite different from drawing diagrams and naming their parts and functions. If you could create what you drew in the diagram and show how it functions… wow! That would be powerful.
Something you could do in computational science is to show the blood flow in and out of the heart. You could even possibly show how blood transfers and picks up material through capillaries. Something that cannot be seen on a cadaver.


I agree. It’s a great way for students to problem solve and test multiple theories without feeling like they’ve failed. It’s a safe platform that can easily be “fixed” if it doesn’t turn out like hoped.


Students can read and interpret a simple weather map, but that experience would be greatly enhanced by seeing satellite and computer images of air masses and fronts moving across an area of study, temperatures and wind speeds can also be included.


I agree with the idea that Computational Science saves time and allow us to perform experiments without having to physically perform them, but the more amazing thing is that we can model and conduct simulation experiments that are too dangerous like the nuclear reactions.


I agree with you Sarah.It is time to briefly read a concept and use it to explore and do research using a more active way like Computational Science.That way we can save time and go deeper in content.


With computational science you can speed up time to see long range affects. You can also study much more complex problems and have a variety of variables at play at one time. When I was in school our labs were simple with one expected outcome if you followed the directions correctly.


My science experience would have been all reading facts. They would have been historical accounts of past events. With a computational science model it is very different to see the effects of variables in a real life situation and to be able to manipulate those variables and see the outcomes in a very shortened version of time.


Extreme temperature affects are one example of an experiement that can be conducted in a classroom with the computer. It allows for multiple data points in a very short time period while keeping kids safe in the lab.