modeling 2014
Shodor > SUCCEED > Workshops > Archive > modeling 2014

The focus of Shodors evening workshop today (June 24th) was System Modeling. Today was the second day of the workshop series on System Modeling so the students came in today with a bit more background knowledge. The workshop was three hours long and included a short introduction to System Modeling and working examples using Vensim simulator software and Excel. These exercises were taught with the intention of telling stories through building models.

The Introduction utilized Shodor’s interactive SimpleSick model in order to fulfill the learning objective of understanding how to ‘view the collective.’ Students were taught about the importance of concept mapping, establishing known integers, and how to understand the underlying mathematical concepts.

The first opportunity to implement the introduction material was an activity using Vensim. In Vensim the students built their own SimpleSick model. In order to facilitate real changes to their variables (sick people, not sick people), the students assigned quantities. Finally, with these variables and assigned quantities the students created an output graph which they were able to manipulate with their own values in order to each gain a more in depth understanding of basic computational and mathematical principles.

The last activity was modeling through Excel. The modeling activities focused on building models to flip a coin and to roll a number cube. In order to build these models important user statements such as if/else and rand were taught. In addition to reinforcing the basic system modeling concepts these activities taught the concept of diffusion. By the end of the workshop the students each worked with their own personally designed, colorful, visual system model.