Computer science people...

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Peregrin5, Nov 25, 2016.

  1. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Nov 25, 2016

    I know there are some CS people here (Pallas I think is one).

    Anyway, one thing I've been interested in doing this year to teach gravity is having students develop a simulator to model gravitational interactions between two bodies. One of the NGSS standards is developing computational models for this purpose, but I've been able to find precious few resources for teaching 9th graders how to program a simulation using a simple programming language for this purpose. The stuff I was able to find looked way too advanced and tricky for students to use, especially for the level of understanding that they're going to be learning at.

    I'm wondering if there are any resources you CS people might know, or some tips on how to get started? I'm thinking the best language for them to use might by Python as it's fairly simple and powerful. (trying to get away from the code blocks) But I also have very little understanding on how to take it from there to something the kids can work with and use.
     
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  3. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    Nov 25, 2016

    Have you looked at the Phet simulations? They do have a gravity force simulation that could be useful to you and your students. They can collect data, graph it, and try to linearize the graph to create their model equation and explain the relationship between the data variables.
     
  4. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Nov 25, 2016

    Hello, yes I've used the PHET simulations, but I'm more interested in teaching them how to code their own simulation.
     
  5. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Nov 26, 2016

    I've contacted Rhett Alain for his work on a gravity simulation that he had posted about on Wired that I found earlier. I think it's great he's pioneering this work, but I was hoping it was a little past the point of pioneering, and something more was prepared for the classroom. A lot of the things he does with VPython is meant for advanced level physics students. It would be too difficult for my 9th graders I believe, to understand even the concepts much less the programming. But I'll look more into these resources. Thanks!
     

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