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


Ideal Science classroom where students are highly engaged and taking ownership of their learning. They are creating all of the Scientific questions, testing their theories and I act as a mentor. They ask each other higher level questions and come up with a conclusion based on data.


In a successful science classroom that integrates modeling and simulation there is a strong interplay of ideas between teacher and student. The teacher provides the background knowledge and the students utilize that information to create their own models to evaluate the topic.

The teacher serves as a guide/advisor that helps the students explore their ideas. The students respect one another and help to improve each other’s ideas and creations. The computers serve as the vehicle for the creation and adaptation of the models the students create.


In an effective science classroom the students are collaborating and doing science. The teacher is their to facilitate learning and ensure safety and use guiding questions to help struggling students. Computers can be used to collect and record information or as we are learning to use for models to conduct experiments on .


I agree that students need to be comfortable to learn, but I’ve found that adding opportunities for movement can be even more effective than adding comfortable siting arrangements. A mentor of mine once said that if our buts are numb so are our brains.


A successful Science classroom is one that will build a community of learners that are actively engaged in real-world science experiments utilizing computer models and simulations. The role of the teacher is multi-facet. A 21st century teacher will utilize instructional methods that will deliver and teach content by engaging students in doing science. Facilitate students discourse and discussion, engage in questioning in the classroom, and integrate a coherent understanding of science with cross-curricula concepts. The students will be designers of experiments and investigations. Teacher and students method of interaction will reflect the research group model. The role of computers will be utilized as the tool that will be used to explain phenomenon and analogies of abstract concepts and processes.


A successful science classroom with modeling will have students working in pairs discussing and building models. The teacher will be more of a facilitator of learning rather then imparting knowledge. Asking questions to refine models. Students will compare models also to refine them further. The computer would be a tool that may not always be used that guided the students thoughts to refine their model.


Science assumes that the universe is knowable through observation and that we are capable of understanding how things work because the universe is rational. Ideally, students believe this to be true and are eager to test and share their ideas.


Successful science classrooms are probably louder than most because when the kids see something take place that they did not predict happening their gut response it to verbalize that excitement. I would anticipate seeing students working in small groups or alone and in-between verbal outburst (lol) a mixture of banter between peers and silence as they put their discussed ideas into actions. Not much from me as the teacher other than to guide and encourage their exploration.


I imagine a successful science classroom had a lot of models as the foundation. Allowing students to experiment with and experience science rather than reading and memorizing, though that may still have a part. The teacher gives a foundation of information and allows students to make programs to manipulate the variables and really see what would happen if… The computers become a very important tool for students and the teacher to use in everyday instruction.


In my mind, a successful Science classroom has a lot of practice and lots of room for failure that leads to learning in context. The students do a lot of hands on learning while the teacher acts as a facilitator to how the students learn. Computers become both a tool and a resource for students to be able to collaborate and learn together.


Teaching 8th Science for 15 years has given me too many examples of physical modeling. I am excited to see how I can convert many of those existing models into computer modeled systems.
For example, I see the old models of Atoms,compounds, and reactions (periodic T) taking a back seat to a completely interactive modeling process. Where the students can manipulate any function of chemical interactions, and actually “witness” their reactions on a molecular level. Much deeper thought than just duplicating a diagram.
I see the teacher acting as a tour guide. Giving limited info and open ended goals, then letting the student(s) develop their model as they change the agents of their models. The teacher can always use their own device to assist.


For a science classroom to be successful, it needs to have both hands on experiments and computer based simulations. Teachers will still need to give students the basic vocabulary and set up the rules and guidelines for running the class, but if students can learn to create the own models and simulations, they will have a greater depth of learning. Students need to have meaningful discussions on their simulations to learn from each other their mistakes and to share their successes. Teachers need to do their best to keep discussions on the science topic and not who the latest couple is or who got in a fight before school. I see this as the biggest challenge for the average middle school student, who has little interest in anything beyond playing games or gossiping on social media. Computers should be used to help students create “experiments” that would be impossible for them to actually perform in the real world. My school site is across a highway from (and at a slightly higher elevation than) a large dam for a reservoir. With the NGSS integrated middle school progression, Earth Science is now incorporated into all middle school grade levels, so students would be able to use their knowledge of earthquakes, plate tectonics, erosion, etc. to model what could happen if a major quake struck our area and the dam was compromised.


A successful science classroom is one where all students are engaged in model creation. Students need to be exposed to the progression and allowed ample time to make connections and and learn. I’m excited to incorporate computers where they will be tools and not viewing platforms. I believe that students will be excited to be involved in their own learning and make it more relevant to them. It has been hard to get excitement from the “textbook” and watching videos can only give the student a peek at what others do. Students working together in collaboration with each other and their computer models is what classroom learning has been missing.


A successful science classroom is inquiry-based, engaging students to investigate and research information through appropriate technology. Modeling would be authentic and use real life situations.


Students would be motivated to eagerly search and answer questions they may have. Unfortunately many students rely on the teacher to give them the information that they are expected to know. With technology, students can reach outside the classroom and work on assignments that require them to delve into topics and work collaboratively with other students.


Students would have the freedom to explore and be creative with new ideas. They would be able to “think outside the box.” and take classroom learning to a whole new level.


I couldn’t agree more with, carrie_crawford. We share the same idea that a science classroom should be organized chaos on a lab day. Students are highly engaged in conversation. Groupings might vary from a “solo artist” to a small group of three or four students. Students know and respect group safety with regard to lab procedures.

With regard to moments of direct instruction, cooperative-learning strategies would be utilized. The teacher’s primary role is one of a facilitator. Socratic seminars would also be an important part of reporting out or sharing a conclusion. Students are invested as a member of the culture of the classroom.

Devices of all types including computers provide the enrichment and innovative practices to launch students’ creativity, critical thinking, and enhanced learning. The computer has become another measurement tool in the science classroom.


I agree, there should be differentiation in activity, so it’s going to be chaotic. The teacher will facilitate learning, assessing and providing instruction at the point that it’s needed and relevant. Technology should be used as a tool, not a time-out for students. Computer modeling allows for an important use of technology in the classroom.


My vision of a successful Science classroom would be 3 dimensional incorporating the NGSS 8 science and engineering practices. The classroom environment would be student centered revolving around teacher facilitated Productive Science TALKS. My students would use computational science, modeling, and simulations to study phenomenon. Through the use of these tools my students will to explore, design, problem solve, reflect, and analyze results.


A successful science classroom would include curious, motivated, engaged, and active learners who are thirsty for knowledge and understanding, with multiple resources for students to utilize in their journey to find answers (e.g., the teacher, books, computers, lab materials). Students can incorporate and demonstrate their understanding of the scientific method in various forms, including hands-on experiments, simulations, or virtual modeling. Students would help one another through the process as they search for answers; meanwhile, new questions would continually arise. The teacher should always be available, circulating, guiding, supporting, and reinforcing the learning and discoveries made by each student.