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Working to develop Systems Citizens in K-12 Education


2014 Systems Thinking Dynamic Modeling Conference

Babson Executive Conference Center, Wellesley, MA | June 28 - June 30, 2014


The Systems Thinking and Dynamic Modeling Conference for K-12 education provided resources and opportunities for educators and interested citizens to explore what is current and possible in K-12 systems education.


Conference Handouts and Materials.



VISUAL TOOLS FOR STUDENT PROJECTS: Communicating Critical Thinking

From the first chapter:
Creating the question or the topic for student projects can be the most agonizing part of the whole process. Having students brainstorm ideas, either singly or in groups, is productive. These are a few questions and guidelines that may help. Encourage students to stay within the general subject area of the project assignment. Read more...

Built as a collaboration between The Creative Learning Exchange and The Gelfand Family Charitable Trust. This booklet is designed to help teachers and students create and complete all kinds of projects (in science and other curricula) which clearly show and explain the critical thinking incorporated within the project.

After exploring how to create a question, the booklet continues in other key areas such as: communicating thinking with visual tools, how to use the visual tools of systems thinking, and assessing Visual Tools for Communicating Critical Thinking.

Download the booklet and explore!


Thinking About Drinking

What are the effects of drinking alcohol? A new simulation from the Creative Learning Exchange explores just that concern. Use the simulation and lesson to see what happens over time to one’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (or BAC) following the consumption of alcohol.

Try the simulation!





Dollars and Sense II: Our Interest in Interest, Managing Savings, and Debt
by Jeff Potash and the CLE

Dollars and Sense II challenges students to understand how compound interest affects their personal financial lives, through savings, credit cards, installment loans and mortgages.

Simulations contained in 8 lessons emphasize practical hands-on learning (experimenting, making mistakes) in using systems thinking and mathematical tools to manage their financial futures. The materials include Instructor Guides and Student Worksheets.



Learn more....



The Water Bottle Project


Participants at Camp Snowball 2011 use a water bottle activity to learn the concepts of stocks and flows.

More videos....





Recent Newsletter Articles

Learning to Connect the Dots: Developing Children’s Systems Literacy
by Linda Booth Sweeney

Reprinted with permission from Solutions, Vol 5, No. 3. pp. 55-62

The road construction project around the local rotary had been going on for over a year. As a result, the whole town was cranky. One afternoon, my son and I drove the rotary just before 5:00 p.m., along with throngs of irritable commuters, anxious to get home. Tempers were short and the sound of car horns pierced the air. Pointing to the tangle of traffic in front of us, my then four-year-old asked: "Mommy, what happens when everyone says me first!?"

I was used to his asking questions. Typically, Jack asked about categories ("Animals aren't people, are they?"), or how things work ("Why do bees kiss the flowers?") or facts ("How hot is the center of the earth?"). This question was different; this one had to do with causes and consequences. I considered talking to him about the cost of maximizing individual gain, but held back and asked instead, "What do you think would happen if everyone said me first!?"

Read more in The Exchange...


More articles at the CLE by Linda Booth Sweeney


My Experience with System Dynamics as a High School Teacher
by Ian Parker

My name is Ian Parker, from Australia. I have sporadically followed the fortunes of System Dynamics, especially in the education sector, for more than 20 years now. At one time, when the System Dynamics conference was held in New Zealand, I was almost able to attend. Now, I am about to retire from teaching—Science (specialising in Pre-College Physics) and Computing Studies.

Read more in The Exchange...


Systems Thinking and Dynamic Modeling Conference
Babson College, Wellesley, MA

June 28 – June 30, 2014


A new workshop will be held at Babson Executive Conference Center on June 27th, the day before the conference. This training workshop will include 8 hours on Friday (9 AM — 5 PM), breaks and lunch on Friday, a 3-hour workshop session on Saturday afternoon, and mentorship time scheduled during the conference, tailor-made to increase your knowledge and help you integrate the offerings of the conference. Work with systems mentors with decades of experience in 11 hours of introductory content and utilize their guidance in integrating the stimulating material and discussion presented throughout. The workshop is offered for an additional fee of $110.00. This does not include lodging on Friday night.
Register here


SPECIAL: Throughout the conference, Jeff Potash and Jennifer Andersen, two experienced modelers with extensive K-12 experience, will meet with you by appointment to discuss your model or how to incorporate modeling into your curriculum.


10:00-12:00  Keynote: What skills do kids need to complement and enhance SD to make meaning and gain knowledge? –  Linda Booth Sweeney, Systems educator and author, with Brad Morrison, Brandeis University, and others.

Read more in The Exchange...


Register for the conference



Download The Exchange vol 23.2


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