Steerable Environmental Simulations for Exploratory Learning

ID: 53440 Type: Full Paper
  1. Michelle Zhu, Nicole Panorkou, Sowmith Etikyala, Debasmita Basu, Taheeda Street-Conaway, and Pricilla Iranah, Montclair State University, United States
  2. Daniel Mazol, Kearny School, United States
  3. Corey Hannum, Ryan Marshall, Pankaj Lal, and Bharath Samanthula, Montclair State University, United States

Tuesday, October 16 2:15-2:45 PM

Stephen Arnold, University of Arizona, United States

This paper presents the software design for some interactive simulations on the subject of Earth and Environmental science in grades 5, 6 and 7. These simulations together with some programming exercises have been successfully integrated into a series of instructional modules for local New Jersey elementary and middle schools. The goal of these modules was for the students to explore the steerable parameters of the simulations and develop their computational and mathematical thinking skills. In this paper, we present some simulations we developed, discuss their design and examine student assessment results that were collected and analyzed using statistical inferences. Our findings illustrate the effectiveness of such enticing exploratory learning processes for developing students’ reasoning of Earth and Environmental science, computational thinking and mathematics.


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