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


One experiment that we used modeling for to study in school was “Darwin’s birds.” We could modify variables like beak size, food availability, or predator concentration to extrapolate the effects on disparate bird species. We obviously could not have observed many generations of birds in different locations under varying contexts in our classroom. It really helped us understand survival of the fittest not as a threat, but as form follows function.


Chesapeake-specific modeling would be a great thing to work on for our kids! There are some amazing programs in the field that would dovetail with these examples and really empower the students to Save the Bay!


I remember learning science using a textbook and lecture format with the occasional video or lab sprinkled in from time to time. I feel like we have moved to a more hands on approach, but there are still some concepts that students have difficulty grasping due to the fact they cannot be seen for one reason or another (too small, too time consuming, etc.). This type of modeling gives us a way to put a visual with concepts that have always been abstract.


I could see myself using this model when discussing the human body and diseases. A good example for my students might be how diseases spread throughout a population and how we can help curb the spread of such diseases.


that’s a good idea! I think that could also be something I could use.


In Business classes students use the CAS known as the Internet. The Internet is a positive CAS because individuals in the system following a few simple rules creating a system and the more information added creates more information available for all.


I remember making a map with mountains, valleys, and rivers on a board using clay – that was as interactive as it got. Now students can interact with computer simulations that engage students and enhance learning.


Science I learned in school and often teach now is strictly content based. Meaning the learning was simply the topic and not connected to other branches of science or ideas in many ways. Especially science before college was this way. Computational science has many components blending together in it’s use and function. An idea that comes to mind is anything climate change related. Specifically a simulation bringing in increasing greenhouse gas concentration and all the various issues that will arise. Using the simulation table, kids could see distribution of sea ice, rising sea levels and affects, global climate changes such as distribution of various disease vectors and other organisms. Many ideas could be simulated and layered together to help learning.


The most memorable lessons from my own learning were when labs were involved. One lab that came to mind immediately was a lab involving taking a culture from various personal or classroom items, inoculating a petri dish with them and then measuring the growth and graphing it over the course after a week.

Using computational science would allow students to see the results over a longer period of time. More importantly, computational science would have allowed students to virtually observe a more dangerous or potentially lethal bacteria or virus.


I remember doing a bunch of labs in school and not really understanding what I was supposed to be looking at or grasping. Computational science would allow students to complete labs more than once if they needed to. A life science experiment that could be completed with computational science could be looking at cell division and seeing what stages of mitosis the cells are in.


The expirements we conducted in school were only good to the point we took the expirement. With computer modeling we can input the data into the model and it can predict outcomes without physically conducting the expirements which saves time, money and possiable human life.


Computational science allows for a myriad of factors in modeling as in the real world. It was impressive to watch both videos for the possibilities for what is and can be done in the real world and classroom.


It allows you to simulate real life situations and discover differences depending on specific variables as well. An experiment could be that the students experiment what would happen to a cell if different molecules were to get through the cell wall and enter the cell.


Computational science allows us to explore ideas for which we do not have the physical requirements in a classroom. An example in a physical science classroom would be the study of chemical reactions and their effect on the environment, too dangerous to study in class.


Using tools like the ones shown in the video will now allow us to asses our solutions. For example, my students build a retaining wall during our erosion and deposition unit; while they do create a small cliff to protect and have a wave simulator, accuracy is difficult and they also come up with other important factors that they cannot test. Using CS will allow students to really use the engineering process to gather feedback and make changes to find the best solution possible.


Much of the Science that I learned was through textbook and journal readings, lecture, classroom discussion, and traditional experimentation limited by the parameters of the lab environment. Computational Science is more flexible in allowing for more “Trial and error” learning; manipulation of variables to observe outcomes. I would like to try using CS for modeling environmental impacts of different energy resources.


Computational science allows students to manipulate a system and get results immediately. There are certain experiments that cannot be completed in a classroom setting within a school year. We may not even have the equipment to complete the lab. Using computational Science, students will be able to make predictions and actually obtain results.
I can see students using Computational science to see what will happen to our solar system if we make changes in the movements of one planet. Teaching weather and global warming, students can change temperature of a region to see the outcome.


Multiple effects of a volcanic eruption on an area would not be possible to conduct in a traditional science lab.


These are great ideas! I like the idea of students using CS to see how complex problems effect a whole system.


This idea is really a good one for middle school students understanding any communicative disease