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  1. Daniel Damelin
  2. https://concord.org/about/staff/dan-damelin
  3. Technology and Curriculum Developer
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Concord Consortium
  1. Joseph Krajcik
  2. http://create4stem.msu.edu
  3. Professor
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Michigan State University

Supporting Secondary Students in Building External Models

NSF Awards: 1417809, 1417900

2017 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Undergraduate

The Next Generation Science Standards identify modeling as one of eight key science and engineering practices for students to engage with in the context of disciplinary core ideas and crosscutting concepts. However, students seldom construct runnable models to explain and predict phenomena. Existing tools for building and testing models are not typically accessible for students, especially younger students. The Building Models project, a collaboration between the Concord Consortium and the CREATE for STEM Institute at Michigan State University, is designing a new web-based systems modeling tool called SageModeler to address this need.


SageModeler is free and easy to use for students in middle and high school. Students can create a conceptual model of  how they think the world (or some particular phenomenon) works, test their idea, and use feedback from the output of their model to refine it. In the Building Models Project, we’re trying to understand how students learn through model construction, testing, and revision. With SageModeler and appropriately scaffolded curriculum around modeling, we are supporting students in building a more robust, nuanced, and intricate framework for understanding the world around us.

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