Physical Science

Computational Model

A high school physics teacher has asked me for help with understanding PS3-1, "Create a computational model to calculate the change in the energy of one component in a system when the change in energy of the other component(s) and energy flows in and out of the system are known." As an elementary science teacher, I'm at a loss on how to help. Any information and ideas, including software to use, would be greatly appreciated. 

Wendy Smith
Wendy Smith
1775 Activity Points

Hi. I teach living environment. However I have found many physics applications online. Energy is in most systems. I think the best use of this as a non physics teacher is by teaching circuits. Generate a regular single circuit to light a light bulb. The amount of energy entering the system is the battery. Then add a resistor or a conductor and measure the electricity at various points using a meter. The teacher may find some simulations useful at https://phet.colorado.edu/ The site is free, although it does require registration. It has simulations for Mac , Window and Chromebook platforms. Although some of the chromebook platforms are not offered currently as they are just transitioning over and are limited on funds. Sincerely,

Tammi Kreckel
Tammi Kreckel
3980 Activity Points

I do a lab on the mechanical equivalent of heat that I really enjoy.

http://www.gigaphysics.com/Mechanical_Equivalent_Heat.pdf
http://boomeria.org/labsphys/physlabook/lab22.pdf

I think what I have done is similar to the second link. I like this because it has different types of energy conversions.

Nanette Fladung
Nanette Fladung
1330 Activity Points

Thank you for sharing your ideas and suggestions. I'll be sure to pass them along to the HS physics teacher. I think he was looking for more information regarding the use of software for computational modeling with HS students. I found this article online (https://ddd.uab.cat/pub/artpub/2015/199480/SCRATCH_PhysicsEducation_pertraduir_en_revisat_DDD.pdf) but was wondering if there are other options/ideas out there.

Wendy Smith
Wendy Smith
1775 Activity Points

I am not convinced that when the standards say "computational model" they mean a computer simulation. I believe they intend students to use mathematical formulas to show the relationships. If you look at 

https://betterlesson.com/browse/common_core/standard/2284/ngss-hs-ps3-1-create-a-computational-model-to-calculate-the-change-in-the-energy-of-one-component-in-a-system-when-the-change-in?from=core_child

you will see most of the lessons are hands on activites.  (I hope the link works for you)

If you really want to do this online, the place to go is https://phet.colorado.ed, specifically the Energy Skate Park.

Nanette Fladung
Nanette Fladung
1330 Activity Points

Thanks Nanette. Your replies have been very helpful. I'll pass along the links to the teacher to help clarify the meaning of the standard.

Wendy Smith
Wendy Smith
1775 Activity Points

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