Students at Blair to use computers in science classes

April 7, 2005, midnight | By Adedeji Ogunfolu | 18 years, 10 months ago

Simulations part of new educational study

Starting next school year, some Blazers will begin to use computer simulations in their biology, physics and earth science classes as part of a $2 million dollar study that is sponsored by the National Science Foundation that will last two years. The research is a cooperative effort with school systems in Tennessee and Iowa.

The funds allocated for the study are being shared with several partners, including the Maryland Virtual High School Program (MVHS), the University of Northern Iowa, the Krelle Institute, the Educational Development Center and the Center for Children and Technology. Blair received $250,000 dollars to perform the study locally. There will be three biology simulations, three earth science simulations, and two physics simulations.

Stella, a program used to build different models that represented different structures studied in their science classes, such as the DNA, inspired the new computer simulations. Students were taught to construct the models by using different computer codes.

The project was prompted by the need for teachers to teach the science curriculum more quickly, so the new computer simulations models are already built for the students, unlike Stella, where the models were constructed by students, according to Academies Coordinator Susan Ragan. "We have to be more efficient in order to get out ideas because of time limitations with all of the standardized testing," she said.

This school year and into the summer, the simulations are being tested with smaller groups so that improvements can be made before they are introduced next school year in the state of Maryland. Also, teachers will be trained how to use the simulations during the summer.

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Adedeji Ogunfolu. Adedeji Ogunfolu is now a senior. Besides working dilligently on the Silver Chips Online staff, he is an extremely enthusiastic musician. He is not ashamed to tell people that he has been to band camp, but he prefers to call it orchestra camp. He has … More »

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