1. Intro to Learning with Computational Models

Sugat Dabholkar, Connor Bain, Philip Woods, Kevin Hall
Environmental Science
40-50 min
High School Advanced Biology (AP)


This is an introductory lesson for using certain types of computational models designed using a software called NetLogo.

In this lesson, students will learn -

  • how to computationally study the spread of wildfire
  • how to engage in the scientific inquiry practices of constructing knowledge in the context of an Emergent Systems Microworld (ESM)
  • how to engage in computational thinking practices in the context of an ESM.

We will focus on four computational thinking practices: data practices, modeling and simulation practices, computational problem solving practices, and systems thinking practices.

Underlying Pages


Next Generation Science Standards
  • Life Science
    • [HS-LS2] Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
    • [HS-LS4] Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
  • NGSS Crosscutting Concept
    • Patterns
    • Systems
    • Stability and Change
  • NGSS Practice
    • Analyzing Data
    • Using Models
    • Conducting Investigations
Computational Thinking in STEM
  • Data Practices
    • Analyzing Data
    • Manipulating Data
    • Visualizing Data
  • Modeling and Simulation Practices
    • Using Computational Models to Find and Test Solutions
    • Using Computational Models to Understand a Concept
  • Computational Problem Solving Practices
    • Troubleshooting and Debugging
  • Systems Thinking Practices
    • Investigating a Complex System as a Whole
    • Thinking in Levels
    • Understanding the Relationships within a System