This is a 15-hour workshop designed to introduce middle school students to the investigation of interesting environmental problems through the use of computer modeling and simulation (computational science) techniques. Using state-of-the-art research-level software, students will create computer models of environmental topics related to:
- air pollution
- water pollution
- ecosystem dynamics
- population dynamics and predator-prey relationships
This workshop uses a "case study" approach, in which students are presented with background readings (case studies) in a variety of environmental topics. Working collaboratively, students use one or several computing tools to develop solutions for a given topic.
Students will also learn to communicate their observations and findings to both lay and professional audiences.
The workshop will involve formal lectures, structured hands-on labs and activities, visits by practicing computational scientists, and the opportunity to work collaboratively with other students on a small research project. Careful observations and reporting of those observations will be emphasized at all times.