Computational science through
Discovery for students with
Goal: This lesson will give the students experience using a computer model to answer the following questions:
How does a disease like the flu move through a community? Does it matter if you start with one sick person or a
bus full? Do sick leave policies have an impact on the spread of the flu? If a vaccine were available, how many people would need to get the shot to protect the city from the epidemic?
What is the economic impact for a company with different sick leave and vaccination policies?
Objectives: National Science Education Standards
PROPOSE DESIGNS AND CHOOSE BETWEEN ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS. Students should demonstrate thoughtful planning for a piece of technology or technique. Students should be introduced to the roles of models and simulations in these processes.
PERSONAL AND COMMUNITY HEALTH. Personal choice concerning fitness and health involves multiple factors.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN LOCAL, NATIONAL, AND GLOBAL CHALLENGES
Science and technology are essential social enterprises, but alone they can only indicate what can happen, not what should happen. The latter involves human decisions about the use of knowledge. [See Content Standard E (grades 9-12)]
Understanding basic concepts and principles of science and technology should precede active debate about the economics, policies, politics, and ethics of various science- and technology-related challenges. However, understanding science alone will not resolve local, national, or global challenges.
- The students will need to understand that viruses and bacteria can cause
The students should be able to convert decimals to percents ie. .3 to 30%
- The students should know how to use a mouse to navigate web pages
- If the Stella model is used they must know how to open graphs and run simulations.
Optional materials: Stella software. If your school doesn't have a
Stella site license you can download a free save disabled version of
Stella from http://www.hps-inc.com/.
Computer models downloaded for this lesson are available on the "Download" page:
- comupter with internet or CD of this lesson.
- Java or Stella Flu Model
Java Flu model. You can also bookmark this linked page to open the model from the web each time you use it. This model is easier to manipulate but the graph is less detailed and the data isn't
labeled. Also, the model can't be viewed or improved.
Stella Flu model. This model is also available free from the "Download" page. It comes zipped so you need to have software to unzip it. You also need to have Stella or the free Save disabled Stella installed on your computers. I prefer to use the Stella version with my students because it is a more powerful tool for them to explore the model and science. Since it is more powerful, the students need a little more training before they can use it.
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Copyright © 1999-2001 by The Shodor Education Foundation, Inc.
This project is supported, in part,
National Science Foundation
Opinions expressed are those of the authors
and not necessarily those of the National Science Foundation.
Last Update: Saturday, 16-Feb-2002 13:29:11 EST
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