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


Traditional lab activities are great for the students and should not be replaced with computational science but enhanced by them. Let students decide how true labs could be modified to become computational and vice versa. Its all very relevant and engaging.


Computer science enhances the teaching of science for example the study of weather. Students could look for patterns over a weeks and make prediction to test out. What about study the earth process, the movements of the plates? How avalanches and predicting then? There are so many areas where students can take a real life problem and test it?


computational science has many uses in school. The biggest use I see is the use of large amounts of data that allow students to see that one trial and one small set of data may not be enough to consider all the information of an experiment.


Computational science can be used to bring some of the theory to life. Instead of saying a population would suffer if a certain action is taken, you can show what would happen through computational science.


Science class for me as an elementary and middle school student was textbook driven. There were little to no hands-on experiments. Had I experienced this approach, I might have traveled down different paths.

I would love to experiment with computational science and natural hazards.


I agree with you. Natural hazards are a topic of interest to my students. I would love to study the effects of an epidemic.


My School experiences were also mostly textbook, and lab activities. Comp Sci would allow any student to take the data(stats) and apply them to a larger field or population study.
For example, if I had collected wave data over a certain amount of time, then that same data could be used to model.


a great point. they could also use the larger data set to make more precise models.


Hello Nancy.,
I agree traditional labs that enhance the student’a ability to think critically should not be replace by computational science, only enhance the learning of the concept. The hands-on experience that engages the students to think out of the box will allow the students to think what if I try this, what would happen?, is trigger, then can be created through computational science. That is one of the reason why I am trying this course to provide the experience for the students to think what would happen next then experiment it with it.


Computational science involves analyzing data and making predictions, just like the science I studied in school many years ago. But with computational science, fast forwarding future results, and modeling scenarios too dangerous to produce in “real life” are possible. With computational science, an experiment that simulates the spreading of pathogens within a community (such as a school) could be modeled.


Computational science allows us to gain a better understanding of very long processes that would normally be difficult and expensive to do in a traditional lab. In our classroom, we could use computational science to better understand the formation of different types of rocks and sea-floor spreading.


I went to school in the days of computers the size of desks that used punch cards. At that time, people studying things such as movement of fire and evacuation procedures were only able to learn from actual events. I spent months in Hawaii as part of a study on Hawaiian spinner dolphins, where we photographed the dorsal fins of the members of the pods in order to map and understand which members of the pod were consistent despite the location and which were dependent on the location. This field work was done by college students who lived in tents in a horse pasture and only received college credit (no paycheck). The development of complex computers and the various programs will enable researchers to predict many scenarios without the time and cost involved in field research.


The hands-on approach to science is important. However, as stated in the video students cannot make a full and complete determination of their results due to the limitations of small scale experiments. So, computational science is different that mass amounts of data can be analyzed in a shorter amount of time.

I would use the CS model to show the progression of contaminates in the underground well-water system. Our community in the mid 70’s was an official Superfund Site because several companies had dumped toxic wastes into clay pits in the Jurupa Hills. Showing the progression of the contaminated plumes towards the community using the CS models would be advantageous to showing the rate of speed and volume.


Maybe using a program to balance chemical equations with the use of actual atoms so the kids can see the true balanced equations. Much more hands on and visual than trying to do it the pencil and paper way.


Computional Science will be able to help us model the impact of humans on the environment. Input the behaviors and simulate over time the effect.


Part of the 10th grade biology SOL involves the welfare of the water sheds in Virginia. Using Computational Science could help predict the flow of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay region.


Computational science could be used to model any number of real-world events. In my life science class, I can imagine using computational science to demonstrate evolutionary adaptations over time among species within various ecosystems.


I’m excited about the potential for students to gather data from real world phenomena and then use that data in a predictive computer model. It seems like a great applicational usage.


Hi charles_simth,

I agree with you, I wasn’t able to follow all the science behind the Redfish demonstrator, but I believe he shared good knowledge about the practice and ways people learn. It was interesting to hear him incorporate so many different types of science (earth science, life science, computer science) into 1 topic.


I’m thinking that Computational Science can be used in a variety of ways to expand the learning in the classroom to make it more relevant and contextualized for students. I can see making connections with local science issues or questions. Often traditional science labs have a similar answer or result that students should arrive at, with Computational Science I’m seeing that there might not be “one right answer” but a variety of responses that can help solve the problem.