SimScientists focuses on topics in middle school science in which students learn concepts that involve understanding systems in the world around us. Our work is based on helping students to reason with and about models of science systems.
Ecosystems covers students' understanding of the roles of organisms in food webs and the interdependencies among them. Students observe organisms, create food webs, explore population models, and design experiments about limiting factors.
Cells and human body systems includes developing an understanding of the structures within each responsible for the basic functions of moving around and breaking down matter and getting rid of waste. Students investigate relationships between matter and energy, explore models, and design experiments.
Atoms and molecules covers the nature of matter, the relationships between energy and the physical states of matter, and how chemical changes occur. Students make predictions, design experiments and analyze data.
Forces and motion includes developing understanding of how forces act on an object and how it acts as a result. Students make calculations and interpret graphs of speed and acceleration, and make predictions about design experiments to investigate how changes in mass influence an object in motion.
Climate includes developing an understanding of the relationship between the latitude and differential heating and how it affects climate patterns. Students describe and interpret observations, predict relationships, vary model parameters to simulate climate characteristics.
Plate tectonics addresses how the motion of the plates (relative to each other) results in geologic events and features and the worldwide patterns of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, trenches, and mountains that coincide with plate boundaries. Students make predictions based on observations, design data sampling, and analyze data.