Shodor Scholars Program 2008
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The students worked two main areas today. First, Bob started them off with sudoku puzzles and how easily anyone could solve them if they took at approach where, instead of guessing, they systematically found squares which could ONLY be one value, then filling it in, and repeating.

Secondly, the students were introduced to agentsheets, which is an agent modeling program. They first were introduced to model of princes, witches, and frogs. Once they were fairly familiar with the usage of agentsheets, Bob took them through the process of building a forest fire model, where trees had a chance of being set on fire by the nearby burning trees, then became 'crispy', and unable to be burned again. With this model, Bob emphasized the importance of how time was treated in the model, whether the forest would burn down entirely in a chain reaction in one 'turn' or whether it would move step-by-step with each 'turn'.

Bob emphasized some big concepts with these models, as well, such as that in any computer model, order of the tasks performed really DOES matter, and that you really don't need to know the coding side of programming in order to build great models that work brilliantly; all you need is a good story and good story-telling skills, as well as knowledge of whatever software you are building the model with (agentsheets, etc.)

Finally, the students were asked to come up with their own 'story' and to make it into an agentsheets model. The students were quite creative, creating models about everything from an elaborate rock, paper, scissors game to a flower garden where flowers grew based on how often people watered them. There were also other creative ideas such as the Batman and Killer simulations.