1. Daniel Brenner
  2. Principal Investigator
  4. WestEd
  1. Barbara Buckley
  2. Former Principal Investigator (retired)
  4. WestEd
  1. Andrew Grillo-Hill
  2. Co-Principal Investigator
  4. WestEd

SimScientists Human Body Systems

NSF Awards: 1020264

2016 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 9-12

The SimScientists Human Body Systems project provides online exemplars of evidence-centered designed modules for fostering and assessing important science learning aligned with the NGSS.  The suite aims to help students integrate what they have learned into nested mental models of human body systems and make connections between the various systems levels in order to deepen an understanding of body processes such as exercise and homeostasis. By completing task sets in the three instructional modules, students build and use models of human body systems at different levels of scale to investigate phenomena that will help them to understand the overall system and develop a mental model of the complex systems underlying body functions. A benchmark assessment tests how well they can do that following the completion of the modules. The Human Body Systems suite was used in an RCT study with high school biology students. Preliminary analysis of some constructed response data shows that treatment students demonstrate more of an integrated understanding of the connections versus control students who write more isolated structure-function statements that convey little sense of how these components work together.

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