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MSP News: Computational Modeling

October 11, 2018


NEWS IN BRIEF


Announcements
1. NSF Solicitation: Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) - 17-573
Full Proposal Deadline(s): November 7, 2018
2. Virtual Office Hours with NSF AISL Program Officers
October 24, 2018 at 3-4 pm EDT
3. NSF Webinar: Preparing Clear and Effective Budgets and Budget Justifications
October 17, 2018 at 2:30-3:30 pm EDT

New STEM+C Paper
1. "Engaging students in computational modeling: The role of an external audience in shaping conceptual learning, model quality, and classroom discourse," Ashlyn E. Pierson, Douglas B. Clark, Science and Integrated Language Plus Computational Thinking and Modeling with English Learners STEM+C, Science Education, September 2018.

New in Library
1. "Epistemic gameplay and discovery in computational model-based inquiry activities," Michelle Hoda Wilkerson, Rebecca Shareff, Vasiliki Laina, Brian Gravel, Instructional Science, February 2018.
2. "Learning progressions in context: Tensions and insights from a semester-long middle school modeling curriculum," Ashlyn E. Pierson, Douglas B. Clark, Max K. Sherard, Science Education, September 2017.
3. "Exploring computational modeling environments as tools to structure classroom-level knowledge building," Michelle Wilkerson, Becca Shareff, Brian Gravel, Yara Shaban, Vasiliki Laina, Proceedings of the 12th International Conference for Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, 2017.

2018 STEM for All Video Showcase
This week we feature videos from the 2018 STEM for All Video Showcase that address computational modeling.

Title: EcoMOD: Blending Computational Modeling with Virtual Worlds

Presenter(s): Amanda Dickes, Karen Brennan, Chris Dede, Amy Kamarainen, Shari Metcalf & Joseph Reilly

Title: Computational Modeling in Physics First with Bootstrap

Presenter(s): Rebecca Vieyra




DETAILS BELOW


Announcements
1. NSF Solicitation: Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) - 17-573

Full Proposal Deadline(s): November 7, 2018
Full Solicitation: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2017/nsf17573/nsf17573.pdf
View Program Page: https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504793

Synopsis:The Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program seeks to advance new approaches to and evidence-based understanding of the design and development of STEM learning opportunities for the public in informal environments; provide multiple pathways for broadening access to and engagement in STEM learning experiences; advance innovative research on and assessment of STEM learning in informal environments; and engage the public of all ages in learning STEM in informal environments.

The AISL program supports six types of projects: (1) Pilots and Feasibility Studies, (2) Research in Service to Practice, (3) Innovations in Development, (4) Broad Implementation, (5) Literature Reviews, Syntheses, or Meta-Analyses, and (6) Conferences.

See more details: https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504793


2. Virtual Office Hours with NSF AISL Program Officers

October 24, 2018 at 3-4 pm EDT

To help you develop and submit your proposal, the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) invites you to join the following virtual office hours with NSF AISL program officers. Virtual office hours are informal sessions where you can ask questions about the solicitation and/or the NSF merit review process. They are open to everyone.

Register and read important preparation information here.


3. NSF Webinar: Preparing Clear and Effective Budgets and Budget Justifications

October 17, 2018 at 2:30-3:30 pm EDT


It is the job of the Principal Investigator (PI) to ensure that the project narrative, budget, and budget justification tell a single, connected story that makes a convincing argument for funding. In this webinar, AISL program officers and staff from NSF’s Division of Grants and Agreements will provide insight into how to apply the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) guidelines to develop clear and effective budgets and budget justifications. They will also answer your questions.

Please review the PAPPG section on budgets and budget justifications in advance of the webinar (pages II-15 to II-23).

Register here.


New STEM+C Paper
1. "Engaging students in computational modeling: The role of an external audience in shaping conceptual learning, model quality, and classroom discourse," Ashlyn E. Pierson, Douglas B. Clark, Science and Integrated Language Plus Computational Thinking and Modeling with English Learners STEM+CScience Education, September 2018.

"Research suggests that designing for an external audience may support conceptual understanding by offering students increased opportunities to reframe perspectival thinking in ways that support domain-specific reasoning. While this argument is theoretically compelling, to our knowledge, it has not been empirically tested in terms of comparing the conceptual growth of students designing computational models for an external audience to the conceptual growth of students designing computational models for a classroom audience of their teacher and peers. In a constructionist agent-based computational modeling environment, we compare the conceptual understanding, artifact quality, and discourse of 6th grade students designing models of tides primarily for an external audience of younger students (i.e., designing for 5th graders) to the conceptual understanding of 6th grade students designing models for a classroom audience. We found that students who designed for an external audience of younger children displayed greater conceptual growth about the mechanisms that cause tidal bulges as evidenced by students' pre-post assessments, models, and user guides/reports. Our analysis of classroom discourse suggests that designing for an audience of younger children may have facilitated domain-specific reasoning in whole-class discussions by creating opportunities for shifts between students' own perspectives and the perspectives of their anticipated audience."

MSPnet Location: Library >> STEM+C Papers
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/33641



New in Library
1. "Epistemic gameplay and discovery in computational model-based inquiry activities," Michelle Hoda Wilkerson, Rebecca Shareff, Vasiliki Laina, Brian Gravel, Instructional Science, February 2018.

"In computational modeling activities, learners are expected to discover the inner workings of scientific and mathematical systems: First elaborating their understandings of a given system through constructing a computer model, then 'debugging' that knowledge by testing and refining the model. While such activities have been shown to support science learning, difficulties building and using computational models are common and reduce learning benefits. Drawing from Collins and Ferguson (Educ Psychol 28(1):25-42, 1993), we conjecture that a major cause for such difficulties is a misalignment between the epistemic games (modeling strategies) learners play, and the epistemic forms (model types) a given modeling environment is designed to support. To investigate, we analyzed data from a study in which ten groups of U. S. fifth graders (n = 28) worked to create stop motion animations and agent-based computational models (ABMs) to discover the particulate nature of matter. Content analyses revealed that (1) groups that made progress--that is, that developed increasingly mechanistic, explanatory models--focused on elements, movement, and interactions when developing their models, a strategy well-aligned with both animation and ABM; (2) groups that did not make progress focused on sequences of phases, a strategy well-aligned with animation but not with ABM; and (3) struggling groups progressed when they received guidance about modeling strategies, but not when they received guidance about model content. We present summary analyses and three vignettes to illustrate these findings, and share implications for research and curricular design."

MSPnet Location: Library >> Teaching and Learning
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/33642


2. "Learning progressions in context: Tensions and insights from a semester-long middle school modeling curriculum," Ashlyn E. Pierson, Douglas B. Clark, Max K. Sherard, Science Education, September 2017.

"Schwarz and colleagues have proposed and refined a learning progression for modeling that provides a valuable template for envisioning increasingly sophisticated levels of modeling practice at an aggregate level (Fortus, Shwartz, & Rosenfeld, 2016; Schwarz et al., 2009; Schwarz, Reiser, Archer, Kenyon, & Fortus, 2012). Thinking about learning progressions for modeling, however, involves challenges in coordinating between aggregate arcs in the curriculum and individual student learning trajectories. First, individual student performance is often dependent on students' epistemic aims and the nature of the conceptual and representational context. Second, approaches for longitudinally supporting students in modeling is a relatively nascent endeavor, although notable exemplars have been developed (e.g., IQWST). Third, research on the highest levels of the proposed progression is often hypothetical, because few students demonstrate high-level modeling practices in typical classrooms. In response to these challenges, we conducted a semester-long design-based study of eighth graders engaging in diagrammatic, physical, and computational modeling. In this paper, we explore conceptual and representational contexts designed to support sophisticated modeling practices and beliefs, analyze the nature of high-level performances achieved through these contexts, and suggest revisions to the articulation of the Schwarz and colleagues learning progression to increase its utility and generalizability when viewed through a resource-related lens."

MSPnet Location: Library >> Teaching and Learning
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/33644


3. "Exploring computational modeling environments as tools to structure classroom-level knowledge building," Michelle Wilkerson, Becca Shareff, Brian Gravel, Yara Shaban, Vasiliki Laina, Proceedings of the 12th International Conference for Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, 2017.

"Although computational modeling is noted as a powerful way to engage students in scientific knowledge construction, many studies focus on individuals or small groups. Here, we explore computational modeling as an infrastructure to support classroom level knowledge building. We present data from a two-week study where two fifth grade classrooms modeled evaporation and condensation. We focus our analysis on one group that experienced success with the activity, and another that struggled; these groups' intended models emphasized random motion and aggregation respectively, two important but complementary molecular behaviors. Both groups' ideas were incorporated into a collective model designed in consultation with the entire class. We show that computational modeling (1) often required explicit support, but when leveraged productively (2) served a representational role by supporting the elaboration of student ideas about physical mechanism, and (3) served an epistemic role by allowing students to compare, synthesize, and build on other's contributions"

MSPnet Location: Library >> Teaching and Learning
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/33643


2018 STEM for All Video Showcase
This week we feature videos from the 2018 STEM for All Video Showcase that address computational modeling.

Title: EcoMOD: Blending Computational Modeling with Virtual Worlds

Presenter(s): Amanda Dickes, Karen Brennan, Chris Dede, Amy Kamarainen, Shari Metcalf & Joseph Reilly

Title: Computational Modeling in Physics First with Bootstrap

Presenter(s): Rebecca Vieyra