Preview - Intro To Learning With Computational Models

Computational Thinking in Science and Math

Intro to learning with Computational Models

Many lessons in CT-STEM curricula use computational models designed using an agent-based modeling language called NetLogo. In this lesson, we will understand what these models are and how to use them.

This lesson specifically focuses on learning science with such computational models. These computational models are of emergent natural phenomena. Emergent phenomena are the ones in which simple interactions between autonomous agents and environment result into complex patterns, for example, a flock of birds. 


In case of a flock of bird, each bird follows simple rules regarding alignment, coherence and separation with neighboring birds and that results in formation of complex patterns of the flock, such as V-shape formation. 

Learning Goals:

  • In this lesson, we will use a NetLogo model about wildfire to learn about how to computationally study spread of wildfire.
  • We will learn how to engage in the scientific inquiry practices of constructing knowledge.
  • We will learn how to engage computational thinking practices. We will focus on four computational thinking practices, namely, data practices, modeling and simulation practices, computational problem solving practices, and systems thinking practices.

Let's get started!