modeling 2015
Shodor > SUCCEED > Workshops > Archive > modeling 2015

Today Iain and Amy taught a lesson on vensim in the afternoon. In this lesson they first focused on the different tools of vensim and what vensim does. What vensim does is that it takes different models and runs them. So you can collect and predict data. They talked about the different tools, which are variables, box variables, arrows, rates, and pipes. After they explained that they started to demonstrate a model in which they used rabbits. They first wrote out their program and model on the board before going in to vensim and completing it. The had two pipes which were chance of birth and chance of death, chance of birth was going through a box called rabbits and chance of death was coming of the rabbit box. This shows the connection between death and birth of rabbit. Now since they have got their box variable together they got there actually variables together which were birth chance and death chance and they gave them rates. Now they let the kids open up vensim and copy their model then run it to see what they get. Now after letting kids run the program Iain and Amy are now introducing a new box variable into the model, which is a hawk. Before Amy and Iain go and put more variables on the model they write it out on the board and they explain how models get bigger more complicated they need to write their models out on paper. So they can make sure it makes sense. But the new main variable the have added in is hawks and now they are putting the variables death, birth, and how much hawks eat. Also they are making sure that the rabbits and hawks connect and make sense. But they are trying to get the rates right for each variable so that neither hawks and rabbit die off and also that hawks population doesn’t get to big and vice versa for rabbit. After writing and explaining the model they drew up on the board they went ahead and let the kids try these on their own and ask for help if needed. After doing this now they have let the kids work independently on their vensim model and trying to help them make it better and put in more factors to make it more realistic. Overall, today was a great day and Iain taught a great lesson and Amy focused on vensim and how it can be used to collect and predict data.