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


I think it would be cool to use simulation to build complex machines by combining simple machines in a model environment. The students could manipulate the variables to see what they could accomplish with a variety of wedges, ramps, pulleys etc.


When I was in school, we didn’t have anything like this! I think it would be an amazing way for my kids to get hands on experience in making models and experiencing how these models would represent a real situation. An experiment that could be used in the classroom would be the behavior of molecules inside and outside of cells (osmosis, diffusion, active transport, etc.) depending on concentration gradients.


As I reflect on the science I have learned in school, it was definitely more hands on. Some experiments that I would conduct in computational science would include students using simulations to explore the human body, to venture into outer space, to diagnose a heart murmur, to dissect a frog, to observe the laws of physics, and to dive deep into the ocean. The purpose of these simulations would give students the opportunity to “reason scientifically about data that is available in a simulated setting.


This was a really neat video. Science was nothing like this when i was in school. Kids love being able to do hands on projects like this and it really helps them learn and retain things.


I really appreciate the fire example they shared in the previous video. I spent 5 summers working as a wildland firefighter and the video’s example of computer modeling was exactly what we needed in order to mitigate the issue. This is example is definitely something I will put in my toolbox when humans interacting with ecosystems unit comes up.


I learned Contour maps for generating an understanding of the topography and its climatic effects in my school days. The computational model is more 3D and user friendly than the many calculations that we had to do. I teach energy and global climate interactions. Looking forward for an easy user friendly version of the same.


Computational science would be a great way to teach students about the results of avalanches on a city or town.


My students had the opportunity years ago to participate in a simulation of a hurricane evacuation. Students were able to react to on the spot scenarios in a safe and controlled environment while flexing their problem-solving skills.


The benefits of computational science is most evident to my students through the use of an online simulation lab platform that allows them run multiple inquiry-based scenarios/activities. Everything from what can produce the healthiest and tallest plants, how limiting factors affect an ecosystem, to how find “patient zero” of a virus spreading.


I’m thinking hurricanes.


I agree. Simulations allow us to “see” what happens when variables change.


Computational science allows you to experiment with real world phenomena in a safe, economical and efficient manner. It is similar to the hands on lab activity that you are creating simulations and gathering data of an experiment. Computational science would be very helpful with climate modeling.


Computational science and the science I learned in school is
similar in that they are both testing a specific hypothesis or problem and
collecting data. The difference is that computational science allows you to
collect a larger amount of data in a shorter time and you can simulate ideas
that would have a substantial cost. Using computational science we can create
an experiment to mimic how waves move to create tidal turbines to harness
renewable energy.


I found that display of Computational Science to be amazing as well. I went to school a long time ago and we had nothing like this to make learning take on new meaning. We had lecture, memorize, answer,done. This is a great way to engage the students and encourage creativity and investigative thinking. It is amazing to see how many things were able to be shown and studied via technology.


I think this would be a great way to study an invasive species and the effects on the ecosystem. This makes learning so much easier for visual and multi-modal learners.


My education was so long ago that it was lectures and books as well. I really did not enjoy science much back then because it was just memorizing and doing a “bit” of investigation. This computational science method could really help our students to learn and investigate more while enjoying the learning. It would be a much more student centered classroom.


I take my students to a nearby river to practice stewardship behavior. One problem we identified at the river was the presence of invasive species. I would love to find a way to use computational science to model population growth and control of this invasive species. We discovered that the forest service uses a biological control agent (a fungus) to infect the invasive species (Dyer’s Woad). My question is: How many plants would we need to infect in order to eradicate the invasive species in the area? We could use a computer simulation to model this and use the data to design a solution.

I think in a traditional classroom there is emphasis on using the scientific method to determine cause and effect relationships in a controlled experiment. But depending on your question and your field of study, other methods of doing science are required (such as computational science). This is a needed shift in classroom culture for the 21st century.


The science I learned in school included very little hands-on or experiments and no computer simulations. Computational science could be used for many “what if” scenarios in the 7th grade life science course. It could be used to show the effects of a disease or disorder on the human body over time. The impact of the different environmental pressures on a given species could also be done. Students would be looking at real world problems, where the answer/outcome is unknown.


I also did not have this type of experience when I was in school. Creating and using these models will be a great benefit to students. When students have real world application, they are more interested.


I essentially received no instruction in computational methods in high school, unless extrapolation of of a math function. Undergraduate science included some statistics, but no simulation or computational thought experiments. Graduate school brought an introduction to simulation through computation in chemical topics and testing in statistical analysis. Scientific simulation through computational methods has heretofore been too complex for the high school curriculum, and only relatively recently have systems like Phet brought simulation to the classroom. This has been a powerful tool for me in some instructional topics. I think giving students the opportunity to create through programming can enrich student engagement, buy-in, and independent learning in their real-world design environment.