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Oscillations: Characteristics of Complex Systems in K-12 Education Project
Author(s): Jennifer Andersen, Anne LaVigne, & in collaboration with the CLE Subject: Cross-Curricular
  Led by a partnership between MIT Professor Emeritus Jay W. Forrester and the Creative Learning Exchange, the goal of the Characteristics of Complex Systems Project is to create online curricula for ages five and above that will illustrate the characteristics of complex systems. In exploring the nature of complex social systems, the curricula address questions such as – why do such systems resist policy changes? Why are short-term and long-term responses to corrective action often at odds with each other? How can leverage points be applied to bring about desirable change in social systems? The goals of the project are grounded in the belief that an abstract level of understanding of social systems will help prepare future citizens to actively shape their society. The lessons and simulations are based upon the fourth characteristic of complex systems: the cause of the problem is within the system.

Complex Systems Connection: Cause within System. Five interdisciplinary areas are covered in a series of lessons, utilizing a family of models that all generate oscillation. Oscillation in real-world systems is often considered problematic rather than a consequence of system structure. This progression of lessons will help students understand that undesirable behavior can be a consequence of system structure and not a result of outside, uncontrollable influences. In other words, a system that oscillates does so because it has an inherent tendency to do so.
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Population Dynamics, Part A: Connecting Past, Present and Future, Part A:Push and Pull Forces in Settling America
Author(s): Jeffrey Potash, & Jennifer Andersen Subject: Cross-Curricular
  The Population Dynamics series are designed to supplement existing high school history curricula and be largely self-directed by students outside of class time. The lessons are intended to introduce students to a variety of systems tools (behavior-over-time graphs, stock/flow maps, models/simulations) alongside primary and secondary historical resources. Part A focuses on the impact of population on the settlement of New England (1630).

Complex Systems Connection: Separate Cause and Effect. The interactions of population dynamics with changes in the environment and social systems of a nation play out over time. The story of American settlement is not complete without understanding the conditions people in England experienced before deciding to cross an ocean to a new land. Cause within System. This systems view is organized around three sectors: population dynamics, environmental factors, and changing social systems. Their interactions in England during colonial times contributed to Puritan emigration to New England.
  Link to the file: http://clexchange.org/curriculum/complexsystems/populationdynamics/popdynA.asp
Population Dynamics, Part B: Connecting Past, Present and Future, Part B:Push and Pull Forces in U.S. Colonial History
Author(s): Jeffrey Potash, & Jennifer Andersen Subject: Cross-Curricular
  The Population Dynamics series are designed to supplement existing high school history curricula and be largely self-directed by students outside of class time. The lessons are intended to introduce students to a variety of systems tools (behavior-over-time graphs, stock/flow maps, models/simulations) alongside primary and secondary historical resources. Part B focuses on population change in New England in Colonial times and how it contributed to the growth of America.

Complex Systems Connection: Separate Cause and Effect. Population dynamics and changes in the environment and social systems of a nation play out over time. Generations of Americans, together with streams of immigrants, had children and grandchildren, all needing space to lives. Our nation's population grew (and is still growing today due to the same forces). The settlement of America is a story about population growth and migration. Cause within System. This systems view is organized around three sectors:population dynamics, environmental factors and changing social systems. Their interactions in New England during colonial times contributed to the settlement of America.
  Link to the file: http://clexchange.org/curriculum/complexsystems/populationdynamics/popdynB.asp
Population Dynamics, Part C: Connecting Past, Present and Future, Part C: U.S. Urbanization from 1820 to 1920
Author(s): Jeffrey Potash, & Jennifer Andersen Subject: Cross-Curricular
  The Population Dynamics series are designed to supplement existing high school history curricula and be largely self-directed by students outside of class time. The lessons are intended to introduce students to a variety of systems tools (behavior-over-time graphs, stock/flow maps, models/simulations) alongside primary and secondary historical resources. Part C focuses on U.S. urbanization between 1820 to 1920.

Complex Systems Connection: Separate Cause and Effect. The process of urbanization unfolds over decades, sometimes centuries. Small changes in society (inventions of labor-saving devices for farming) accumulate over time and cause other changes (people move to cities to find jobs). The trend can be imperceptible over a few years but becomes apparent when looking at a long timescale. Urbanization features push and pull forces that transform entire nations. Changing population dynamics, environments and social systems push some people to seek opportunities elsewhere. The result can be explosive urban growth that creates a pull for others. Short and Long Term Conflicts. Achieving an immediate goal (welcoming new labor, improving labor productivity) can come at long-term costs (lower wages for all, fewer jobs). Complex systems often feature such tradeoffs - seemingly rational decisions and actions in the present can have unintended consequences in the future.
  Link to the file: http://clexchange.org/curriculum/complexsystems/populationdynamics/popdynC.asp
Population Dynamics, Part D: Connecting Past, Present and Future, Part D:America's Baby Boom and Global Youth Bulges
Author(s): Jeffrey Potash, & Jennifer Andersen Subject: Cross-Curricular
  The Population Dynamics series are designed to supplement existing high school history curricula and be largely self-directed by students outside of class time. The lessons are intended to introduce students to a variety of systems tools (behavior-over-time graphs, stock/flow maps, models/simulations) alongside primary and secondary historical resources. Part D focuses on America's baby boom and global youth bulges.

Complex Systems Connection: Separate Cause and Effect. Baby booms and youth bulges play out over time. The impacts of population dynamics may cause changes to the environment and social systems that will be felt over several generations. It is difficult to predict the effects of issues that are decades away, and even harder to implement policies that will correct for them. Baby booms and youth bulges can create push factors that cause particular age groups to migrate to new countries. Young or old, people respond to shrinking opportunities by looking outside national borders. One country's youth bulge may become another region's immigration influx. Cause within System. The decision to have a child is very personal, but common factors are often present (age, finances). These factors also affect the rate at which people die, leave (emigrate) or come to a new area (immigrate). This demographic system generates its own behavior. The particular trajectory of population growth or decline is a consequence of these various flows of people. Shifting Burden. Humanitarian aid is widely provided to nations in need. When aid creates a dependence between the giver and receiver, the ability of the receiving country to meet its own needs may be compromised. Over time the "burden" of providing for a country's citizens may be transferred to the intervener - the country or countries providing the aid.
  Link to the file: http://clexchange.org/curriculum/complexsystems/populationdynamics/popdynD.asp
Population Planner App - Mini Lesson
Author(s): Anne LaVigne Subject: Cross-Curricular
  Population Planner is a free, engaging, easy-to-use app for students and others to explore how populations can grow or decline over time. http://www.clexchange.org/curriculum/apps/ Students can change the initial population, death rate, and birth rate to see what happens over 100 years.
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Retire Rich App - Mini Lesson
Author(s): Anne LaVigne Subject: Cross-Curricular
  Retire Rich is a free, engaging, easy-to-use app for students and others to explore the implications of different plans to save for retirement. Students can change annual savings, interest rates, and the timing of saving to see what happens over the course of a lifetime.
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Seamless Integration of System Dynamics into High School Mathematics: Algebra, Calculus, Modeling Courses
Author(s): Diana Fisher, & Ron Zaraza Subject: Implementation
  From CC-STADUS. A report on the introduction of system dynamics concepts into the mathematics curricula, including sample models.
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Shape of Change (Lesson 1): In and Out Game, including Stocks and Flows
Author(s): Rob Quaden, Alan Ticotsky, & Debra Lyneis Subject: Cross-Curricular
  From "The Shape of Change" including "The Shape of Change: Stocks and Flows." A simple activity that introduces and reinforces the understanding of change over time, including the use of stock/flow diagrams that show why the change happens.
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Shape of Change (Lesson 2): Making Friends, including Stocks and Flows
Author(s): Rob Quaden, Alan Ticotsky , & Debra Lyneis Subject: Cross-Curricular
  From "The Shape of Change." A non-competitive tagging game, wherein students track the rate of growth of friendship and discover the effect of rates of growth, including showing why change occurs by means of stock/flow diagrams.
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