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Welcome to the 2018 CLE ST/DM Conference! Below are the presentations and documents for each session. Please take the time to complete a survey about the conference and the sessions. Your feedback will be helpful as we work to create an engaging conference.

Friday, June 29

Pre-Conference Introductory Systems Workshop

Anne LaVigne and Julie Guerrero, Creative Learning Exchange

Whether it’s your first time experiencing systems thinking or you’d like a refresher, this session is a great way to get a jump start on the conference. We’ll get our hands and minds into exploring systems concepts and tools, while considering integration into our work, whether in a classroom or an organization. We’ll learn and practice iceberg thinking, behavior-over-time graphs, stock/ flow maps and models, connection circles, and feedback loops, while kinesthetically experiencing systems throughout the day.

Presentation | Handouts

Saturday, June 30


Two Roads Converged in a Yellow Wood: Collaborative Journeys

George Richardson and Anne LaVigne

We may on occasion look back in retrospect at the roads not taken as if somehow we missed some important step. What if, instead, we paid attention to convergence – where and how our journeys cross, such that our thinking and understanding is transformed. Through what door have you entered this systems thinking/system dynamics room? Whom have you found coming from another door that challenges you, encourages you, and even pushes you to shift your own thinking? How can we foster those same kinds of learning experiences in our students, our children, our colleagues? We’ll explore this idea through a case study of two people who entered the room through very different doors, yet still found commonalities and a huge benefit in collaborating around systems work within K-12. We’ll have time to reflect and identify new possibilities for creating conditions and opportunities for convergence as we step through the next door.



Teacher as Systems Designer: Classroom Structures for Effective Student Learning

Rob Quaden and Alan Ticotsky, Innovation Academy Charter School (IACS), Tyngsboro, MA

This workshop examines both the practical and philosophical aspects that contribute to a dynamic, learner-centered classroom. We will look at teaching and learning from several points of view, using a variety of systems tools. In this fastpaced, hands-on introductory session, educators will develop their understanding of systems by using some of the key tools of systems thinking, system dynamics, and organizational learning. Explore how behavior-over-time graphs, iceberg diagrams, stock and flow diagrams, connection circles, and causal loop diagrams can be applied to understand and solve complex problems in an educational setting.


Using Systems Tools to Develop Literacy Skills

Brian Bindschadler, Catalina Foothills SD, Tucson, AZ

In this session, participants will explore various ways to use systems tools to increase deep thinking and literacy in the classroom. We will focus on developing the Habits of a Systems Thinker using the Iceberg Visual, Behavior-OverTime Graphs, and Stock-Flow diagrams. These tools can be used in any level classroom—from preschool through high school—and beyond. Each tool will be “unpacked” with explanations and examples, and participants will have opportunities to develop their own applications for these powerful literacy tools.


Teaching STEM with Systems Tools

Chris DiCarlo, Ashley Young, Katharine Hinkle, and Rachel Henry, IACS

In this workshop, participants will see examples of systems tools used to teach STEM concepts. We will examine some of the reinforcing and balancing loops that regulate human body systems, discuss how stock-flow models can be used in Physics and Mathematics, and look at challenging problems like coastal erosion through the lens of a systems thinker. After a presentation of the tools, participants will have time to meet with the presenters and explore some of their own ideas for use in their classes.


Introduction and Testing of Splash!

Ninad Jagdish, BTN, Singapore

Ready for a crash course in Splash!? Learn by doing as we re-imagine stock-and-flow diagrams in liquid physics. We’ll kick-off with Splash! 101 and then split up into teams – each with a mission to teleport a given system dynamics model into the Splash! universe. Your team will need to race against the clock as it competes with others in a first of its kind Splash! modelling challenge. Winner takes all. Maybe. See you there!

Saturday Evening Session

Navigating the Resources: Exploring the online simulations, apps, and lessons for teaching with systems

Conrad Stuntz, Creative Learning Exchange

This session will provide an overview of the resources available to help work with system dynamics in the classroom. The overview is designed to introduce people to the plethora of options available. It will focus on the content available at the CLE and on other programs and apps that have been released in the past two years.


Sunday, July 1

Sunday Morning Sessions

Lessons and Insights Using Stella Online

Diana Fisher, Portland State University, OR

A hands-on workshop, with 3 introductory lessons to help you get started using the free, web-based Stella Online software.


Using Fishbanks and Other Online Simulations to Teach Key Systems Concepts

Anne LaVigne, CLE

Not sure you’re ready to create your own models just yet? Using free, online simulations created by other educators and system dynamicists is a great way to get started with using models. Through individual and multi-user simulations, students can experience a variety of real-world issues – managing a fishery, creating a healthy forest community, or influencing a social issue, like burnout – while making decisions within a virtual interconnected world. All simulations are free and many have accompanying lessons and handouts.


Teaching Humanities using Systems Tools

Jeff Potash, Jason O’Neil-Willoughby, Beth Olesen (CLE and IACS)

In this workshop, we will explore how different system 4. Introduction and Testing of Splash! –Ninad Jagdish, BTN, Singapore MYSTIC A Ready for a crash course in Splash!? Learn by doing as we re-imagine stock-and-flow diagrams in liquid physics. We’ll kick-off with Splash! 101 and then split up into teams – each with a mission to teleport a given system dynamics model into the Splash! universe. Your team will need to race against the clock as it competes with others in a first of its kind Splash! modelling challenge. Winner takes all. Maybe. See you there! tools offers opportunities for students to look for patterns in human history and to ask deeper and more thoughtful questions relating to the causes and connections underlying these patterns. Building systems structures (causal loops, connection circles, models) uniquely empowers students to actively explore “what ifs” in ways that bridge past, present, and future.


Beginning at the Beginning: Children’s Stories to Foster Systems Thinking

Linda Booth Sweeney

In this interactive workshop, we’ll dive into to some of our favorite children’s stories. We’ll look at ways to find stories and tell stories that better prepare children for the diversity of the real world patterns they will encounter while supporting literacy development and pK-12 curriculum standards. Together we will learn ways to encourage young readers to be pattern detectives, that is, to understand and show the connection between parts of a system, to look for elements that change over time, and to explore patterns and structures (rather than events) driving that change. I’ll have a supply of children’s books on hand and I invite you to bring along your favorites as well. We will discuss them as we build our list of good stories for systems thinkers, big and small.


Lessons from Implementation of Systems Thinking and Dynamic Modeling in Schools: Educators with experience from across the world.

Three different models:

Greg Orpen (Innovation Academy Charter School) Presentation
Tim Lucas and Cathy Keegan (Milton PA Public Schools and the Institute for Teaching and Leading) Presentation
Benjamin Chung (Korea and Thailand) Presentation

Sunday Afternoon Workshops

Using the World Climate Simulation in the Classroom

Jason O’Neil Willoughby and Chris DiCarlo, IACS

Participants will learn about the World Climate Simulation and how to use it in a middle or high school classroom. The World Climate Simulation gives students a chance to play the role of negotiators from countries around the world as they attempt to develop a climate agreement. Their pledged actions can be simulated using the provided computer model to show the results of their actions. Participants will have a chance to run through the simulation as a negotiator. Afterward we will discuss how systems tools can be used in debriefing the simulation and its applications in the curricula. The World Climate Simulation was designed by John Sterman at MIT and Climate Interactive.

Systems Lessons through Games

Greg Orpen and Alan Ticotsky, IACS

Games can be a fun way to introduce students to the essential concepts of system dynamics, such as feedback, accumulations, and delays. Whether you consider yourself a novice to systems or a seasoned veteran, this workshop will involve groups playing hands-on and “on your feet” activities that you can bring to your school or organization. This workshop will draw on lessons from The Systems Thinking Playbook by Linda Booth Sweeney and Dennis Meadows as well as The Shape of Change by Rob Quaden and Alan Ticotsky

Presentation & Activities

Sunday Evening Session

Splash! Demonstration

Ninad Jagdish, BTN, Singapore

Witness the full range of Splash!’s features in action – from timed switches and graphical functions to overflowing liquid and automatic feedback loop detection. Using live demos, we’ll take a journey through Splash!’s design and its intended role as a bridge between the concrete world of kinesthetic exercises to the abstract world of stocks and flows. We’ll discuss how serving as this bridge makes Splash! both useful and quirky, and how those quirks might point to deeper questions about the field of system dynamics and its conventions.

isee systems New Offerings: A Workshop For Experienced Modelers

Bob Eberlein, isee systems

System dynamics is a powerful lens that brings clarity to a complex world, yet many SD models are intimidating and hard to use. Does it have to be this way? Should system dynamics be made more easy, intuitive and fun, and, if so, how? We’ll look at innovations in the fields of story-telling, gamification and next-gen computer interfaces, discuss how SD might benefit from them, and imagine the models of the future. Bring your own questions and help shape the event.

Monday, July 2


Using Group Modeling and Systems Tools to Unpack a Complex Educational Problem

Brad Morrison and Saras Chung

There are a variety of challenges and opportunities that teachers and schools face on a day to day basis. Participants will choose a topic of their interest and work in small teams through an engaging systems thinking process. We will guide the teams to use systems tools for problem definition, the identification of patterns and trends and causal interdependencies, surfacing of ways to intervene leading to action steps. We hope to support novices and challenge the experienced using a highly participatory, practical learning environment.

Thank you for attending the 2018 CLE ST/DM Conference. Please take the time to fill out a survey to help us with future work.

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