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


These are excellent points about student involvement. It’s the critical piece that will make the endeavor work!


A successful science classroom would provide students with opportunities to construct models that describe there understanding of the concept previously taught. Once the individual models are created, students should be given an opportunity to think, pair, share. Visualizing other students models of understanding help to clarify or solidify the concept.


Collaborative, positive feedback, failure is a step in a process.Computers are dynamic intelligent tools that allow students to extend their reach.


I think a successful Science classroom would include students that are engaged and interested in the learning process, as well as being excited about the topic at hand. With the use of the computer technology, students will be able to learn through trial and error, as well as becoming excited about using the technology to further their knowledge.


I agree - hopefully we will learn some strategies that can help us all get through all the testing!


The ideal Science classroom is one in which the students can learn from there own discovery/inquiry activities. When the student owns the discovery the content of the course is more meaningful. Computer models can be a means of inquiry in which the resulting model is not just " in ones mind" but evident for others to see and experience.


A successful science room is one where students are working together in collaboration to not only gain knowledge, but to foster an environment of curiosity. The teacher is helping to facilitate the learning by providing initial instruction, but the students take responsibility for their learning by interacting with the information and each other. Computers will be used to help assist in the learning of information, but to also allow the students to create their own scenarios and model different types of experiments that they come up with as well.


The classroom of today is often a noisier room filled with what sounds like chaotic discussion as compared to a few years ago. The discourse of NGSS SEP should mean students are talking about their ideas and building and then modifying models - either physical or computer based.


In a science classroom which integrates modeling and simulation, students are provided with tools (such as starlogo) to vet their ideas before proceeding to actual physical experimentation. Students are provided with instruction to become adept at such tools and then these tools are integrated into instruction. Students are provided with projects to help them discover scientific concepts and encouraged to test their ideas using simulations.


In my opinion a science classroom is student centered and based on inquiry. I see modeling and simulations as a perfect way to get students thinking, discovering and communicating. I foresee posing a problem to my students and having them work in teams to brainstorm ideas. I then would ask them to create a model or simulation to test their idea and communicate their findings.


A successful science classroom is one in which most of the students are directly engaged in the inquiry task most of the time. Engagement can take many forms: independent thinking/processing, active listening, discussion/clarification/questioning between students and/or student(s) and teacher. The teacher is providing the scaffolding for the inquiry process and computers are valuable tools in this inquiry process.


A successful classroom must use both modeling and simulation, as well as field experiences to help children develop explanations (using both artifacts) to their questions. As they interact together, they can discuss these artifacts and reflect on the social relevance of their findings… even apply it to new learning.


A successful Science classroom should have students interacting with one another and discussing ideas respectfully. The teacher acts as a facilitator, not giving answers to questions students have, but rather guiding and questioning to lead them on the right path. Computers are used to help develop and express ideas to model conclusions and findings.


I agree completely! I love that you envision team work for brainstorming, as students can play off the ideas of each other to make deeper connections.


I believe that a successful science classroom has several different areas and utilizes different ways of learning. I believe that the class should have informational texts available, multi-media information, and computers that can be used for reference and for modeling simulations. I think students should work as a whole class, teams and individuals to research a problem, discuss and hypothesize what the solutions are (if any) and then build a simulation or conduct an experiment in teams or individually. Then a presentation, group discussion or paper can be assigned to teams, groups or individuals.Students should be encouraged to make mistakes, learn from them and understand that learning is fluid.


A successful science classroom is where a problem or topic is provided. Students will then use models to understand the topic and also the relevance to the world. They will then ask their own questions and find answers by creating their own models. They will work together to share and analyze data and come up with best answers to their questions. Everybody remains engaged and interested and can explain what is happening in class to an outsider.


A successful science classroom should have students actively conducting in inquiry-based learning where the teacher only serves as a facilitator or a guide to lead them to ask the right questions. Students would be the ones exploring the data in which they form their hypothesis and finding ways to test it. Computers not only serve to provide them with research information but also allows them to construct their models in order to explore and test out their thinking.


I’ve come to believe that a successful science classroom definitely involves modeling. Since I teach high school, I have used POGIL activities, which are built around using simple 2-D models of scientific processes to facilitate understanding of the key elements. I have also had my students create various models, again mostly 2D in the form of posters (although we’ve done some 3D with playdough), where students worked together to use information they had gathered to explain a process or phenomenon. I have done only limited simulations, both hands on and computer based, maybe because I need to understand them better myself. In all cases computers have played a very limited role because we have very limited access–I can sign up to use a computer lab at times but I don’t have ready access in my classroom. I think 2D models serve a purpose and can certainly fulfill goals of a successful classroom like promoting inquiry, allowing students to deduce “the rules” together with coaching from the teacher, and helping students put into concrete form their own mental models. But expanding the role of computers in an optimum way requires access to be expanded.


There are so many ways in which a scence classroom can be successful. One way, tapping into the video from this lesson, would be to have a class which is organized into teams of five to six students. using a mixture of teacher-led presentations, textbooks and trade books, videos and computer websites, students research the topic and get solid background knowledge on the material. You then present the problem. SEPUPs 6th grade curriculum does a good job with this. Teams then brainstorm solutions and use computer modeling to test their solutions. Along the way there are checkpoints and team updates to make sure everyone is on track. After they create and run their models they debrief and discuss what worked end what didn’t. They recommend revisions. Or scrapping their projects.

This type of classroom would require enough computers for students to use, enough time for students to delve into background research model development, program writing and running, team meetings, teacher conferences, revision and presentations. It also would require a larger space so that teams aren’t on top of each other. Teachers,too, would require more time to be comfortable with the programming language to provide good guidance. I hate to be a cynic, but I have a hard time seeing this fit given the many budget and space constraints we have.


I see the teacher walking around the room as students create models to address questions they have formulated. Students also evaluate the limitations of the models they are using.