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Working to develop Systems Citizens in K-12 Education

The Exchange: May 2020

Teaching Robotics with Goal-Seeking Loops
by Chris DiCarlo

One of the underutilized powers of system dynamics and systems thinking is the use of the SD/ST tools to aid learning through meta-cognition. Using SD/ST tools helps students gain perspective of what they are thinking -- creating a powerful learning environment. In this activity, an experienced systems educator uses a goal-seeking loop to teach robotics.

See the article

Micro-Lesson: Beyond the In and Out Game

As students stay at home, the CLE is creating short, micro-lessons that are easily accessible for this new online schooling. Introducing stocks and flows, this Splash! based micro-lesson adapts the widely used In and Out Game from the Shape of Change .

Explore a full simulation of the In and Out Game

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Thinking about Infections

Infection Game

As we deal with a world-wide epidemic of a novel virus, there are many ways to help our students cope. One of them is just talking about what is going on, how they are feeling, the practicalities of their lives in a quarantine situation, and how to think about infections from a 10,000 foot perspective (meta-cognition.) Another is figuring out what useful enrichment activities would be helpful and fun.

This simulation, especially for younger students, is a start in meta-cognitive understanding of a large and scary topic. Sensitivity in introducing something like this is needed, but may actually give some students a way of handling their upside-down world. This short lesson is taken from the Shape of Change, (The Infection Game). This CLE simulation and others are available on the isee Exchange - a great resource for accessible simulations. A simulator for COVID-19 is currently available on isee.

Activities for Kids at Home

At Home Activities

Resources that may be of interest to students who are on home-stays:

  • Splash! - a simulation app for hand-held devices. Fun to play with and helpful for learning to create little, simple models. A guide called SplashCards is available for purchase from the CLE website.
  • Making Thinking Visible Videos - short videos demonstrating the building blocks of systems thinking.
  • Model Mysteries - An Exploration of Vampires, Zombies, and Other Fantastic Scenarios to Make the World a Better Place. Available to purchase in book format or downloadable.
  • Micro-lessons - Short lessons focused on encouraging students (of all ages) to use systems thinking to solve problems.

Model Mysteries:Energy Drink Mania

Energy Drinks Image

A MicroLesson adapted from Model Mysteries

by Anne LaVigne and Lees Stuntz

Energy drinks can be a quick way for people to increase alertness and energy in the short term, e.g., to study for a test or to complete a long, endurance drive. Caffeine in these drinks can also stay in the body for longer than you might think. Explore how different choices affect caffeine levels in the body over a 24 hour period!

Model » Lesson »

A new version of Splash! Version 1.6!

Splash! is a simple modeling software that’s designed with beginners in mind – something that students might use to learn system dynamics.

The same exciting functionality of v1.5 with a more stable design and a friendlier user experience! Download a new copy today.

Splash! is a creative partnership between the CLE and BTN. Learn more about Splash!.

Get it on Google Play Get it at the Apple App Store

Model Mysteries

Model Mysteries Book Cover

An Exploration of Vampires, Zombies, and Other Fantastic Scenarios to Make the World a Better Place

by Anne LaVigne and Lees Stuntz

If you’re interested in thinking about how to solve mysteries and like the idea of creating computer models and applying them to real-world problems, this book is for you. You can use it independently as a student, work with a group of students, or if you’re a teacher, share it with interested students to complete a guided or independent study.

Learn more, get the book, and some extensions (including some models with Stella Online!) at the Model Mysteries page.





Splash! A New Kind of System Dynamics Software

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