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  1. Michelle Wilkerson-Jerde
  2. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  3. Tufts University
  1. Chelsea Andrews
  2. Graduate Research Assistant
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Tufts University
  1. Brian Gravel
  2. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  3. Tufts University
  1. Yara Shaban
  2. Graduate Research Assistant
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Tufts University

The SiMSAM Project

NSF Awards: 1217100

2015 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8

The SiMSAM project explores how middle school students reason about physical phenomena using modeling and simulation technologies. We are building an integrated animation, simulation, and measurement tool that allows students to move back and forth between formats to create, share and test their own and each others’ scientific models.

Specifically, the SiMSAM project is a design-based research project where we try to answer the question:

What are ways in which students adopt simulation and data analysis technologies as tools of scientific discourse? And, how can educators support such adoption?

We use SiMSAM as a research tool in classrooms and after-school environments to make student thinking and learning through these different media available for us to study. In this context, we analyze how students learn to translate their everyday verbal and visual explanations of scientific phenomena into the more formal language of computer simulations and mathematical models, like the kinds used in scientific practice.

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