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Working to develop Systems Citizens in K-12 Education

Model Mysteries - Revised

An Exploration of Vampires, Zombies, and Other Fantastic Scenarios to Make the World a Better Place
by Anne LaVigne and Lees Stuntz

Model Mysteries Book Cover

Calling “kids” of all ages! Want to learn a new way of thinking and, at the same time, have fun exploring zombie chickens, vampires, and the spread of a new strain of space flu? Dive into this self-paced book of mysteries to begin your personal adventure. First you’ll copy and run simple models, then modify those models to add more elements, and finally use your models to explore scenarios of your own imagination.
Model Mysteries authors, Anne LaVigne and Lees Stuntz, encourage use of this resource for a variety of purposes and audiences.

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

Hunting Season Game

Sustainability and the Tragedy of the Commons
By Richard Ruston and Nathan Cole with modifications by Creative Learning Exchange

Hunting Season Game

Hunting Season is a combined single and multiplayer game that teaches the dynamic behavior behind the Tragedy of the Commons.

Designed with systems thinking in mind, the game is split into a single-player game focusing on environmental stewardship and a multi-player game that adds a competitive component.

Play the Game...

Now What? A Call to Action

Environmental Systems Lessons for Upcoming Generations
by Alan Ticotsky with the Creative Learning Exchange

Now What? Cover

The title Now What? - A Call to Action draws us into one of the most important questions of our time. The world faces a decision point in the 21st Century. Major “Environmental Systems” are becoming so stressed that our future quality of life may decline after hundreds of years of growth and development. But strategies and choices exist that lead to a happier outcome.

These environmental systems lessons contain activities and research about sustainability, land, air, and water for students to explore. Systems thinking tools help them discover ways to create an environment for the future that has the ability to regenerate as well as sustain. Because “the environment” is not a single, isolated system, all aspects of civilization are bound together in an interconnected web. Social justice, public health, and economic prosperity all depend on a healthy environment that is consistently regenerating.

Learn More...

Dig deeper into the Now What? book with a blog hosted by the author, Alan Ticotsky. Explore concepts from the book, expand the conversation, follow it today.

Read the Now What? Blog page.

CLE Micro-lessons

The CLE is creating short, micro-lessons that are easily accessible for students of all ages. Each lesson distills key concepts and helps encourage the use of systems thinking to solve problems.

Beyond the In and Out Game (Splash!)

Let it Snow (Splash!)

Making Thinking Visible (Videos)

Thinking about Energy Drinks (adapted from Model Mysteries)

Systems Thinking about Infections

Infection Game

Infection Game
from the Shape of Change

As we deal with a world-wide pandemic, 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. This CLE simulation and others are available on the isee Exchange - a great resource for accessible simulations.

COVID-19 Modeling

Local COVID Model

COVID seems to be an on-going and persistent issue that has a lifecycle far longer than anyone thought when it emerged on the scene. An interesting initiative was started by Maurice Glucksman and Kim Warren in the UK. They created a contest for students to look at the spread of COVID within their localized areas. They created a system dynamics model and on-line courses for students to learn and utilize the model without needing to learn sophisticated modeling skills.

These courses and articles are available at The COVID-19 Localization Modelling Group.

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.





Splash! A New Kind of System Dynamics Software

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