Abstract Detail



Julius, Matthew L. [1].

SimRiver: Environmental Modeling Software for the Science Classroom.

The diatom project is an international collaboration with 25+ contributors.  The projects goal is to enhance the scientific understanding and personal appreciation of fluvial ecosystems globally.  The team hopes this understanding and awareness will promote stewardship of aquatic resources and reduce personal water use footprints. The educational multilingual materials produced by the DiatomProject team are freely available web based resources, most notable is the SimRiver Interactive Game. To date the DiatomProject website supports 21 different languages and SimRiver is available in 19 different languges. Students and Educators from 30+ different countries have provided feedback concerning their experience with the educational modules.  SimRiver is an educational tool for upper level science classrooms.  The program is freely available and works on either Mac or PC systems.  Acceptance in the international community has been widespread, with the SimRiver’s incorporation into the curriculum of secondary science education and collegiate classrooms globally. The simulator allows students to manipulate various parameters in a river basin; including landuse, population, and season.  Primary production species communities, specifically diatoms, are produced by the program based upon the environmental parameters selected by the students in developing the river basin.  Students can quantitatively and qualitatively evaluate these species communities to measure water quality.  Environmental variables can then be adjusted producing a new simulated species community, allowing students to discover the resulting change in water quality.  SimRiver allows students the opportunity to participate in a hands on experimental environment change activity that allows a complex understanding of the relationship between organisms and environmental disturbance.  Activities such as this are often unavailable to educators because the complexity and time required to observe actual changes in species communities.  While SimRiver has been a success and has been adopted in schools around the world, a common theme in feedback from users is the desire for an interactive environment simulating the ecology created by students during the SimRiver exercise.  An interdisciplinary team is working to address these concerns and a new modules are being developed to allow students to explore the macroscale river environment created during the “original” SimRiver gaming experience.  The first of these modules is presented and participants are welcome to test this “Beta” version and provide feedback to the authors.  Additionally, participants will be introduced to the “original” version with focus on classroom utilization and connection to specific learning outcomes.
Relevance:


Related Links:
DiatomProject Homepage


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Keywords:
Diatom
Environmental Simulation
Educational Software.

Presentation Type: Workshop
Number:
Abstract ID:46
Candidate for Awards:None


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