Computer Science in Science PD: Using Models in the Classroom - Discussion


Incredible!! Can we be friends?! I’d love to be a student in your classroom.


I would also like to add the component of communication - students discussing and explaining what they have learned


There may be a level of slight frustration as students are not accustomed to this type of learning.


My ideal classroom is one full of lab equipment, a reasonable number of computers compatible with the number of students in class, a modern Promethean board, and a set of new books
used only to search concepts and scientific laws used to make computer models and to perform experiments. Also, students sharing and interacting with their partners in a very constructive way.


That would be awesome. I would like to have a class like that, but also the size of a class determines how effective the ideal class is.


A successful science classroom has clear goals for students, but lets them be creative and interact with each other as they try to meet those goals. Modeling and simulation allows students to work at different levels and still all feel engaged and successful.


A successful science classroom would include students that are eager to learn and build upon that knowledge with new discoveries. I can imagine students asking questions and finding answers to those questions. I’m hoping that by teaching students how to model and incorporate computer science into the curriculum they will be more willing and interested in asking what if… and figuring it out for themselves, that they would enjoy learning and gathering information more.


I like your idea of a successful classroom. I love that you included that it would be nice if students understood how to research and communicate information. I’ve found it very frustrating when I know that students are learning but they can’t communicate it back to me or their class mates.


Ideal Science class would be a room filled with engaged students exploring a specific topic in various ways. Some may use the computers for research, others to recreate an experiment they read about and create a complex system or model for further evaluation of the topic, some may create a hands on approach to the topic or a video to explain it. There would be discussions and a lot of questions being posed. Students seem to fear the freedom to explore and depend too much on a given set of instructions. They need to devise their set of instructions, pose questions and have the inclination to look for the answer.


My classroom looks a little different. I teach kids who are working at a Kindergarten level to about 2nd grade. I would like them to be eager to explore new things, to not be afraid to try something new. I would love if my peer tutors, would eagerly engage with them and support them in their reading and learning about new concepts. I would love all my students to be engaged in exploring the world!


It sounds like a classroom where learning could happen for everyone!


In a classroom where students are encouraged to model and simulate like scientists, there is potential for them to understand the real world impact they have as individuals. My idea of a successful science classroom is a lot like the other posts where we strive for engaged conversations and opportunities for students to practice leadership, but I also believe using these CS tools gives students insight into their own behaviors which can translate into a successful overall education.


I feel like a big shift in science classrooms involves students posing the questions and then using computer models to work to find the answers. The communication component is very important. It requires students to clarify their thoughts to share with others, and then allows for them to change or confirm their thoughts by hearing what others found from their models. It needs to be a collaborative classroom that is very much more student led with the teacher’s role being more of a facilitator.


My successful science classroom would be a place where students feel safe, they are able to ask their own questions in regards to what we are learning, would have the skills necessary to pursue those questions and find additional insight on their journey to finding the “answer.” The teacher would be the lead learner in the classroom and model what lifelong learning looks like. Students would help each other with their various strengths and backgrounds. Computers would be a tool used to accelerate and connect students in their work.


My definition of a successful Science classroom would be one where all students are constantly engaged at higher level of thinking. The teacher guides the students, but, ultimately, the students are the ones figuring out a critical questions or a specific problem. I have encountered many students that just want the answers given to them (even if they have all the information they need) instead of trying to figure it out themselves. Integrating modeling and simulation using computer will help students figure out problems by themselves because they can visualize their models and they can manipulate them to see what would happen.They can use scientific inquiry in order to discover the answers themselves.


My idea of a Successful use of models in a science classroom would be where students are engaged in learning and trying different simulations of the same topic and discussing it with each other successfully. Hopefully some chaos and constant need of the teacher guidance will be compensated with the research and exploration of personal understanding, making the class more student owned.


A successful science classroom is one in which the learner is asking questions and uses tools to develop a method to try to answer the question(s). Teachers are there to guide learners.


Yes. I agree. I think simulations can help make learning much more student driven.


I think a successful science classroom looks like students asking questions and using multiple methods of investigation to gather evidence that supports a claim (or an answer to the question). It looks like students reasoning and developing evidence-based arguments to support an explanation of a phenomenon.

The role of the teacher is to facilitate and guide students as they reason together. Students interact with each other to socially construct explanations for phenomena, refining and revising their ideas (mental models) based on peer feedback. Students make their thinking visible to others and themselves as they are asked to communicate their ideas (often including models).

I think computers are a powerful tool for developing and using models to gather measurable evidence to support explanations of phenomena that involve complex systems.


A successful science classroom is based on teacher facilitated, student-driven inquiry. Students are introduced to a new topic and are encouraged to explore it in a variety of ways and ask questions. The teacher facilitated the students deep dive into the topic by providing them with a variety of resources to help answer questions and bring clarity. These tools include hands on labs, and computer models and simulations. The students should be able to talk with and question each other’s findings and assumptions and should be challenged to explain and justify their reasoning so they can examine their reasoning and adjust their artifact if necessary.