science

Simulation game: Fishbanks

overfishing_500Fishbanks – a Renewable Resource Management Game is a simulation program and management game from MIT. The game targets the dilemmas surrounding the exploitation of natural resources, such as fish, clean water, fresh air. These resources are not owned by anybody, yet can easily be depleted by some big industries. This is also know as The Tragedy of the Commons.

The game is about subject areas such as: economy, management, resource management, and environmental studies.

You can try out and viw part of the Fishbanks simulation program without registration. Educational institutes can use the simulation for free after registration (administrator).

Below a introductory video of the previous version of the game on The Tradegy of the Commons.

The game is suitable for higher education classes and possibly in grade 11 and 12.

 Purchase  Free for educational institutes
 Hardware  PC
 Requirements  browser
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Concept Cartoons-3

Every month DiScoro writes about (digital) resources that can be used in schools. In addition you will find issues that may inspire you. See Services for workshops, training etc.

Two more concept cartoons that can be used in class. Use pictures of characters with the speech balloons that fit your situation . See also earlier posts Concept Cartoons and Concept Cartoons-2. Many Brainpower problems can also be introduced with the Concept Cartoon format.

I discussed the first problem with grade 5 and grade 6 pupils. The were perfectly able to reason what would happen, even though they we never instructed on Archimedes’ Law. You can also use the concept cartoon in grade 8 or 9 after students have learned about Archimedes’ Law. Do not be disappointed if the students are confused.

Problem: We take a glass basin and place a plastic net with marbles and korks in it. We make sure that the net with the marbles and korks floats in the water. There is nothing that sticks out above the water and the net does not toach the bottom of the basin.

You can also bring the materials in class and let pupils fill the net so that it floats in the water. Discuss and finally cut the net. The answer requires reasoning about why this happens, but there are so many factors that these should come from the students and do not fit into the speech clouds.

What will happen to the water level if we cut the net open?

concepts-cartoons-waterniveau

The second concept cartoon is suitable for a younger age group (grade 2 or 3).

How can you go down faster on your sledge?
sledge

During the discussion words and concepts like speed, acceleration, friction (both with the surface as well as air friction), weight, size may be used.

Climate change simulations

On October 4th 2016 the EU has signed the  global Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. The agreement sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C.

Climate change and clean energy transition are complex challenges. The simulations of Climate Interactive enable you to simulate the many factors and see the result of policies. It is quite reveling and insightfull to see how much reducation in CO2 emmissions is required to minimize the temperature change to 2 degrees Celcius.
C-Learn simulation

C-Learn, C-Roads and EN-Roads are three simulations from Climate Interactive organization, based on systems dynamics modeling from MIT.

The simulations enable teachers, lecturers and students and people in general to see connections, play out scenarios, and see what works to address the biggest challenges we face: climate change and clean energy.

The simulations enable you to set up and compare many What if scenarios. The Climate Interactive website offers tutorial videos on how to use the tools.

  • C-Learn is the simple version of C-Roads and available online
  • C-Roads is the Climate simulation which has to be downloaded
  • EN-Roards is the simulation on Energy transition and climate goals

Target group: policy makers, lecturers, university students.
C-Learn can definitely be used at higher secondary level.

 Purchase  Free
 Hardware  iPad, PC
 Requirements  browser
Note: the downloads give security warnings.

Concept Cartoons-2

Every month DiScoro writes about (digital) resources that can be used in schools. In addition you will find issues that may inspire you. See Services for workshops, training etc.

The blogpost Concept Cartoons is so popular that we decided to write a second blogpost on the subject. The advantage of using Concept Cartoons in class is that it does not require material and a great deal of organisation that comes along with practical, hands-on experiments in class. However, hands-on practicals can be part of it, and remain a valuable and essential part of science education.

Two examples of concept cartoons. If you design your own concept cartoons it is recommended to leave one character with an empty speech balloon.

concept-snowman2

 

 

For more information see the official Concept Cartoons website.

concept-blood-circulation2

 

If you design your own concept cartoons it is recommended to leave one character with an empty speech balloon. Try out the following cartoon. We have started the first question already.
An effervescent tablet has been dropped in (warm) water.

Click on the picture to enlarge.

GoLabz

golab logoGoLabz project is an international platform for online science labs. It aims at promoting and encouraging inquiry learning and experimenting in science education. The large database with resources can be searched on subject area, age group, science topic etc. We selected the most interactive, online labs for age 8-14:

 

  • Balancing Act – simulation, game about weight using a balance scale
  • Density and Buoyancy – simulation, game about mass, volume and density (coming soon)
  • GearSketch – drawing pad enabling you to draw gears and chains and learn about transmission
  • Energy Skatepark – game with information about kinetic, potential and thermal energy
  • Electrical Circuit Pad – easy to use drawing pad for simple electrical circuits

Balancing Act

Balancing Act is a simulation from the GoLabz project. The game uses a simulation with a balance scale. Students have to solve problems which involve the relation between weight and position of the weight on the balance scale.

The Balancing Act program is one of many simulations by PHET, designed and developed by the University of Colorado.

Balancing Act

Are students able to find the rule by which all problems can easily be solved?

balance rule

 Purchase  Free
 Hardware  PC, iPad
 Requirements  browser

Concept Cartoons

concept ice in waterConcept Cartoon is a relatively new approach to teaching, learning and assessment in science. Concept Cartoons were first developed and created by Brenda Keogh and Stuart Naylor in 1991. Concept Cartoons feature cartoon-style drawings showing different characters arguing about an everyday situation. They are designed to intrigue, to provoke to encourage discussion, and to stimulate scientific thinking. The problems or questions posed may not have a single “right answer”.

The characters in the Concept Cartoons offer the students a role model they can identify with. This encourages students to choose a character and thus discuss freely. It does not become too personal what the student expresses about the concept. The cartoons can be used with pupils from 6 to 14.

Concept Cartoons can be an introduction to a more practical and hands-on experiment, a summary after experimenting, or just a discussion in class.

concept cave dark light

More on Concept Cartoons-2 and Concept Cartoons_3.