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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.
Succession from Sand Dune to Maritime Forest on a Barrier Island
Author(s): Aili Carlson, & Sarah Clemmitt Subject: Science
  From the Maryland Virtual High School. By building a computer model of a complex dynamic system--the succession form sand dune to maritime forest on a barrier island--the student develops an understanding of the relationships among many contributing variables. The exercise deals with both modeling skills and the ecology of barrier islands. Funded by the Gordon Brown Fund.
  Zipped (Models & PDF)
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