1945 Views
  1. Aditi Wagh
  2. Research Scientist
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  1. Paulo Blikstein
  2. http://tltlab.org
  3. Associate Professor
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Columbia University
  1. Engin Bumbacher
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/in/engin-bumbacher/
  3. Professor of Education Technology
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. HEP Vaud
  1. Adelmo Eloy
  2. Research Fellow
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Teachers College Columbia University
  1. Tamar Fuhrmann
  2. Senior Research Scientist
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Teachers College Columbia University
  1. Leah Rosenbaum
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/in/leah-rosenbaum-9948bb40/
  3. Postdoctoral Researcher
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Teachers College Columbia University
  1. Michelle Wilkerson
  2. https://gse.berkeley.edu/user/3474/
  3. Associate Professor
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. UC Berkeley
  1. Jacob Wolf
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jacobhwolf/
  3. Research Associate
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Teachers College Columbia University

From Access to Sustainability: Investigating Ways to Foster Sustainable Use o...

NSF Awards: 2010413

2022 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8

This video will showcase an NSF DRK-12-funded project titled From Access to Sustainability: Investigating Ways to Foster Sustained Engagement in Computational Modeling in Middle School Classrooms. As part of this project, we are engaging in design-based study to investigate how data and modeling can be integrated for sustained modeling investigations in science. We are designing a new web-based programming environment focused on creating scientific models, but with two crucial new featurea. First, students can easily juxtapose computational models side by side with real-world data for comparison and validation (bifocal modeling) together with supporting curricular units. Second, the programming blocks are not only domain specific (and thus easier to learn,) but they can be "opened up" for deeper inspection.

Our design work is informed by co-design with 6 middle school science teachers in California. So far, we have done implementations in 6th to 8th grade classrooms with about 275 students. Drawing on data from implementations and co-design with teachers, our video will answer two questions:

1. How can students be supported in engaging in computational modeling by drawing on real-world data to ask and pursue about to understand a scientific phenomenon?

2. What kinds of learning outcomes do we see emerging from these investigations?

3. What design principles emerge from this work around integrating data and modeling for sustained investigations?

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Discussion from the 2022 STEM For All Video Showcase (19 posts)
  • Icon for: Aditi Wagh

    Aditi Wagh

    Lead Presenter
    Research Scientist
    May 9, 2022 | 09:24 p.m.

    Welcome! Thank you for checking out the A2S project. In partnership with middle school teachers in California, we are co-designing MoDa, a web-based platform that integrates computational modeling and data analysis for science classrooms. We have brought MoDa and our curricular units to about 275 students in 6th and 7th grade classrooms, and are currently analyzing video data and student artifacts to examine student learning. Please reach out with any questions or comments about the research or design aspects of this project. We are proud of our work, and excited to share it with you!

  • Icon for: Brian Drayton

    Brian Drayton

    Facilitator
    Co-Director
    May 10, 2022 | 10:57 a.m.

    I can tell from the teachers' "testimonials" that this project is on to something that is both engaging and substantive.  I wonder if you could say a little more about the "sustainability" in your title -- seems like you have several possible kinds of sustaining going on?

  • Icon for: Aditi Wagh

    Aditi Wagh

    Lead Presenter
    Research Scientist
    May 10, 2022 | 12:44 p.m.

    Hi Brian! Thank you for watching our video. That is a great question. We are currently thinking about "sustained/sustainability" along two dimensions: One dimension is around engaging students and teachers in sustained modeling investigations. We see our focus on integrating data and modeling as one way to support extended modeling investigations in science class. We are also designing multiple units that conceptually build on each other for students to see their work as a long-term engagement in modeling. This is part of our research emphasis as well - to understand how to design for and support sustained investigations with modeling. The second dimension is around "sustainability" and designing for teachers to be able to use this beyond the duration of our project. We have been working very closely with our teacher partners on co-design for nearly 2 years now so their voices and expertise is "baked into" MoDa and our curricula. The vision is that this will help teachers make the materials their own and continue to use them beyond.

    Hope this answers your question! 

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Billy Spitzer
  • Icon for: Brian Drayton

    Brian Drayton

    Facilitator
    Co-Director
    May 11, 2022 | 10:36 a.m.

    Yes, this is very interesting and hopeful.  I am always interested in teachers talking to each other, and so, with respect to the project putting down lasting roots, I am wondering if there are channels or settings in which your teacher-collaborators can report to their colleagues and get them interested/excited about joining in -- and getting administration to do the same? 

  • Icon for: Aditi Wagh

    Aditi Wagh

    Lead Presenter
    Research Scientist
    May 11, 2022 | 09:25 p.m.

    This is something we're definitely interested in doing! Though we haven't yet figured out a way to do it. When our teacher-collaborators joined the project, Covid fatigue was a concern for many of them and they hesitated from even asking other teachers to join. Have you seen successful models of this in the last couple of years? We'd love to learn more if you have ideas ..  

  • Icon for: Billy Spitzer

    Billy Spitzer

    Facilitator
    Executive Director
    May 10, 2022 | 12:57 p.m.

    Aditi,

    Thank you for sharing some of the details of your project. I was really interested in how you are focusing on diffusion as a very specific and challenging concept, and exploring the role of both data and models in helping students make sense of it.

    I was curious to learn more about how you are approaching the co-design of the project with teachers. And, I was also wondering if there were particular reasons that you chose to work with California (vs. Massachusetts) teachers, and how that is working out.

    Thanks,
    Billy

  • Icon for: Aditi Wagh

    Aditi Wagh

    Lead Presenter
    Research Scientist
    May 10, 2022 | 06:37 p.m.

    Hi Billy!

    Thank you for checking out the A2S project. About the co-design work with teachers: we have been meeting monthly with our 7 teacher partners since the project began nearly 2 years ago. We spend our monthly meetings sharing design drafts and getting feedback from the teachers. We also ran a Summer & Winter Teacher Institute in which we did more extensive design work with our partners. In our second year of the project, as teachers began implementing the units, we also used our meeting time as a space for teachers to share and reflect on how they adapted the units to their classrooms and what they found.

    As a group, we are in CA, MA and NY. The decision to work with teachers in California was based on logistical reasons, more than anything else. It's been working out well because some of our team members are in California. The monthly meetings are all virtual so we do all see each other regularly. Some of us fly out to the west coast for longer PD sessions and classroom implementations. So overall, it's been working out well.

    Hope this answers your question!

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Billy Spitzer
  • Icon for: Beatriz Canas

    Beatriz Canas

    Facilitator
    Director of equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility
    May 10, 2022 | 03:31 p.m.

    Aditi,

    it was great learning more about your project. The teachers in the video are so enthusiastic about MoDa.  As a follow up to Billy's question, did teachers identify any challenges with using the web based platform? What other challenges do you anticipate if you were to expand this offering to other schools?

    Thanks!

    Beatriz

  • Icon for: Aditi Wagh

    Aditi Wagh

    Lead Presenter
    Research Scientist
    May 10, 2022 | 06:45 p.m.

    Hi Beatriz,

    Those are both great questions! I'll answer the question about challenges with MoDa identified by teachers. When implementing the very first unit, we had one class of students at one school get so excited with coding that they kind of lost sight of disciplinary meaning making and that they were trying to model a phenomenon through the code. In this classroom, the teacher had students draw out a model (using code blocks from MoDa) before going back to the environment on the following day. That helped students reorient to the task at hand, and what the purpose of modeling is. In another school, many of the students had never programmed before and found the task a bit overwhelming. In this school, the teacher had the students build "cardstock" models using code blocks from the environment printed on sheets of paper. So the students first constructed a program using paper blocks, and then reconstructed that model in MoDa to run it. We think it's interesting that in both instances, the teachers identified ways to ground modeling with MoDa in physical materials to support students.

     
    2
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Beatriz Canas
    Billy Spitzer
  • Icon for: Paulo Blikstein

    Paulo Blikstein

    Co-Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 10, 2022 | 07:25 p.m.

    Hola Beatriz,

    As Aditi explained, we are trying to take a very open-minded approach to the implementation, really listening to teachers and students and creating -- sometimes on-the-fly -- new ways to get started and to adapt to what's possible in a given classroom. There are always challenges in bringing those things to classrooms, but we believe that co-designing out of it could be a good way forward. Thanks for your question!

    Paulo

     
    2
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Beatriz Canas
    Billy Spitzer
  • May 11, 2022 | 08:57 p.m.

    I wish I had access to this tool when I was in school.

  • Icon for: Aditi Wagh

    Aditi Wagh

    Lead Presenter
    Research Scientist
    May 11, 2022 | 09:13 p.m.

    Thank you Victor! It's never too late: https://admin.a2s.fablevision-dev.com/ :)

  • May 11, 2022 | 09:31 p.m.

    Thanks!!!

  • Icon for: Paulo Blikstein

    Paulo Blikstein

    Co-Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 12, 2022 | 07:06 a.m.

    Nice, Victor! Do try it!

  • Icon for: Shari Metcalf

    Shari Metcalf

    Researcher
    May 15, 2022 | 05:40 p.m.

    Hi, Aditi! Very nice project. Really interesting work, and it was great to hear the enthusiasm of the teachers for the project.

    If I understand, it seems like kids investigate a science phenomena by doing experiments, make a video of the experiment, build a model to explain the phenomena, and validate their model by comparing it with the video - this seems like a qualitative approach to validation that feels like a great fit for middle school and gets them to focus on key concepts. Did I get that right? Are they also trying to compare and match numerical data? Because I know that can get a lot more confusing. But I love the video, and the teacher describing the gallery walk made it clear that students got a lot out of presenting and critiquing each others' models.

  • Icon for: Jacob Wolf

    Jacob Wolf

    Co-Presenter
    Research Associate
    May 16, 2022 | 10:44 a.m.

    Hi Shari! Thanks for watching our video and asking this question!

    The units in our project include both qualitative and quantitative validation of models. For each unit, we select a different source of real-world data about a phenomenon. Sometimes that’s students’ videos of an experiment, sometimes publicly available data like satellite images. We’re even working on a unit where students will use a microcontroller and sensors to collect data.

    In regards to the actual validation metrics students use, part of our curricular sequence includes discussions about what would be good ways to use the data we have to validate the models. For example, in the wildfire smoke spread unit, we watch satellite videos of smoke spread from a wildfire at different times with different environmental conditions, and we ask students how we can describe what we’re seeing in ways that will be useful for comparing with the model. For that unit, we often end up talking about the shape and the path of the smoke we see coming off the fire. To offer a quantitative example, in the ink spread unit, we talk with students about how to estimate how much the ink has spread in a beaker and then come up with a method to estimate the ink spread percentage based on videos they take of the experiment.

  • Icon for: Christine Voyer

    Christine Voyer

    Senior Program Manager
    May 16, 2022 | 12:41 p.m.

    This is such a cool project and I love seeing block based coding used in this way! I was wondering if you have other phenomena you are exploring having kids work with. For instance, a project we are working on involves students investigating impacts of climate change on local ecosystems through community science. Part of the project involves students working with data, constructing microcosms, and modeling including the use of CODAp and Sage Modeler. It would be so cool to also have a tool like this that supports constructions of complex ecological models with block based code that they could test against data they collect from their microcosms and/or the community science data. Would these kind of ecological investigations and the ill-understood phenomenon they are exploring be modeled with MoDa or could you imagine it being used in this way?

  • Icon for: Aditi Wagh

    Aditi Wagh

    Lead Presenter
    Research Scientist
    May 16, 2022 | 10:04 p.m.

    Hi Christine! Your work sounds really cool, and very closely related to what we're trying to do. We are looking to expand out to including other types of data (including large data sets through a tool like CODAP). I'd love to connect and learn about your work. Here's my email: awagh@mit.edu. Or, if you share ours, I'm happy to reach out! 

  • Small default profile

    Michael Mumbo

    Researcher
    May 17, 2022 | 04:34 p.m.

    Anytime you mention Maths, Modelling, and data, these are items that will definitely raise goosebumps considering the potential they can bring to our classroom. How about next we think of Modelling Animal motion? (hahaha Just my wild thoughts) Kudo to the team on this amazing project

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