In May, 2008 Virginia Beach City Public Schools approved the Modeling and Simulation (MODSIM) Demonstration School Project at Ocean Lakes High School. The purpose of this project is to use MODSIM as an instructional strategy within math and science instruction and to demonstrate ways to integrate math and science instruction through the use of MODSIM. This project was undertaken based on the recommendation of the Hampton Roads Modeling and Simulation Initiative. Below are some lessons that have been developed as part of the Demonstration School project. If you have lessons incorporating modeling and simulation that you would like to share, please post them here. The lessons featured in the video on the home page are:
Curve Fitting
In this lesson, students use an Excelet to explore the concept of curve fitting and r values. They also use a graphing calculator to analyze a set of data about alligators and make predictions based on the model generated by the data.
- Excelet for curve fitting
- Student handout to accompany curve fitting Excelet
- Graphing calculator exercise on curve fitting
- Additional curve fitting problems
Atomic Structure
This lesson uses the ExploreLearning Gizmo "Element Builder" to investigate the structure of the atom. Student handouts are designed to be able to use the Element Builder Gizmo as a part of a differentiated lesson.





Earth Science

Density

This lesson uses an Explore Learning Gizmo to explore density. Teachers can sign up for a free trial to use this Gizmo. The Gizmo used is called "Density."
Directions and questions to accompany the Gizmo.

Erosion

This lesson brings students to six different interactive web sites and simulations that study the role that gravity, wind, and ice play in erosion.
Student instructions, including links, for students.

Layers of the Atmosphere

This lesson uses online simulations to teach students about the layers of the atmosphere. Links are included in the documents.
This lesson is designed to be completed in class by students in small groups.
This lesson is designed to be done independently by students.

Lunar Lander

This activity uses the PhET simulation Lunar Lander to teach students about Newton's laws of Motion and about the Moon.
Directions and questions to accompany the Lunar Lander simulation.

Plate Tectonics

These two lessons lesson use interactive web sites and simulations to teach students about the earth's interior, learn about its tectonic plates and their movements, and discover how mountains, volcanoes, and earthquakes are formed.
Student instructions, including link, to guide students through the interactive site Dynamic Earth.
Student instructions, including web links, to visit seven different interactive web sites and simulations.

Rock Cycle

This activity reviews the rock cycle through the use of an interactive web site. Students take online quizzes throughout the activity, the results of which can be printed out. Link to web site is included in the document.
Student handout

Soil Exploration

This activity uses a series of visualizations to introduce students to soil and weathering.
Student directions and link to the visualizations used in the lesson.

Stars Online

This lesson reviews information about stars through the use of two on-line simulations. Links to the web sites are included in the student handout.
Stars online student handout

Weathering

Students learn about mechanical and chemical weathering through a series of animations. They then assess themselves by completing an online challenge. Links to web sites are included in the document.
Student handout

Oceanography

Coral Reefs

In this lesson, students will learn about coral reefs by completing a webquest and interacting with a coral reef simulator.

Deep Sea Exploration

In this lesson students learn about deep sea exploration with ALVIN using an interactive website produced by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. The URL is included in the student handout.
Student handout

Mapping the Ocean Floor

In this activity students use data to calculate ocean depth and plot these depths using an Excelet.
Excelet file
Student directions and questions
Student data sheet

Plate Tectonics

This lesson uses an interactive web sites to teach students about the earth's interior and to learn about its tectonic plates and their movements.
Student instructions, including link, to guide students through the interactive site Dynamic Earth.

Ocean Floor Topography

In this lesson students learn about the topography of the ocean floor and hydrothermal vents by usiung a series of interactive websites. All URLs are included in the student handout.
Student handout

Tides and Waves

These three lessons introduce students to the topics of tides, waves, and tsunamis through a series of interactive websites and web-based simulations. Links are included in each document.
Student directions and questions about tides.
Student directions and questions about waves.
Student directions and questions about tsunamis.

Physics

Atwood's Machine

This lesson uses a Physlet to conduct experiments with a simulated Atwood's Machine. A link to the Physlet is included in the student handout.
Directions and questions for Atwood's Machine simulation.

Circular Motion

This sequence of activities uses Interactive physics to guide students in learning about circular motion.
This is the student handout for the first activity in the sequence.
This is the student handout for the second activity in the lesson sequence.

Kinematics

This sequence of three lessons uses Interactive Physics to guide students through an exploration of kinematics. The lessons were designed to be taught in the following order: Final Velocity, Final Position, and Freefall.
Final Velocity lesson
Final Position lesson
Freefall Lesson

The Lunar Lander and Newton's First Law

This lesson uses a PhET simulation to illustrate Netwon's First Law. A link to the simulation is included in the instructor notes.
Instructor and student notes for Lunar Lander activity.

Masses and Springs

This lesson uses a simulation to guide students in the exploration of the physics of masses and springs. Simulation can be downloaded from the University of Colorado PhET web site.
Student handout to accompany the simulation.

Pendulum Story

This lesson uses a STELLA model to guide student exploration in the concepts of pendulum motion. This model can be viewed with either STELLA software or by using the free isee player which can be downloaded here.
STELLA model
Student directions for the Pendulum Story lesson.

President and Prime Minister

This lesson uses a STELLA model to guide student exploration of Newton's Law of Cooling. This model can be viewed with either STELLA software or by using the free isee player which can be downloaded here.
STELLA model
Student directions for President and Prime Minister lesson.

Virtual Bungee Jumping

This lesson uses a STELLA model to guide student exploration of the physics of a mass on a spring. This model can be viewed with either STELLA software or by using the free isee player which can be downloaded here.
STELLA model
Student directions for the Virtual Bungee Jumping lesson.