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    • #27955
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      Hi – I’m going to play about with the following software:

      This is prompted by a physics specialist I support asking the best way to teach a topic that includes an equation, such as speed. So I’m looking for something that would be accessible for 14 year-olds (year 10) of all abilities, and would support their understanding of both the physics and the maths. This partly came from a discussion a while ago about equation triangles: https://www.talkphysics.org/mod/groups/topicposts.php?topic=35694&group_guid=13617 .

      Anyone want to join me? Any other software to suggest trying out?

    • #27956
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      Depends on whether you want

       

      a) intuition developing – so simulations-> Algodoo, or want to model – that is being able to write the rules of your imagined world…

      b) assume or hope to develop algebraic competence – >Modellus

      c) pre-algebra, but semi-quantiative -> VnR

       

      For this target audience you ought o also consider StarLogo, or Scratch. More to follow on both.

       

      Geogebra is focussed on constraint relationships, rather than time-evolution, so I guess best not used here…

    • #27957
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      This seems a good place to start a conversation about the upcoming Rugby workshop…so I’ll do that.

    • #27958
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      Here are a few models, in case we get stuck.

      modelsforrugby.zip

    • #27960
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      Rubgy Workshop 2013 – descriptor

      # Computational modelling workshop

      Learning physics is quite hard, yet physics is rather simple.

      We ask children to:

      • Imagine challengingly simple worlds into existence.
      • Express the rules that govern these worlds explicitly.
      • Notice how the worlds evolve.
      • Compare the lived-in world with these imagined worlds.

      Creating explicit computational models with children provides resources to support each of these phases, so lightening the load.

      Wider benefits include creating intellectually valuable entities and insights into the essential limitations of modelled forecasts.

      In the workshop you will:

      • Select building blocks for particular tasks
      • Construct models from these blocks
      • Evaluate the models and the opportunities

      I’ll be open to continuing the conversation on TalkPhysics.

    • #27961
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      So here I am…conversing with myslef, as ever

    • #27962
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      Programming And Modelling

      BCS national curriculum demands…

      Design and write programs that include

      o Sequencing: doing one step after another.

      o Selection (if-then-else): doing either one thing or another.

      o Repetition (Iterative loops or recursion).

      o Language constructs that support abstraction: wrapping up a computation in a named abstraction, so that it can be re-used. (The most common form of abstraction is the notion of a “procedure” or “function” with parameters.)

      o Some form of interaction with the program’s environment, such as input/output, or event-based programming.

      Find and correct errors in their code.

      Pretty much all of these are naturally a part of modelling.

    • #27963
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      However, this is not quite the kind of thing?

      Newtoncooling Lua

      Lua

      T0 = 100

      TR = 20

      k = 0.07

      delta_t = 2, 5, 10

      n = 100

      NewtonCooling = function( t ) return -k * ( t – TR ) end

      function Euler( f, y0, n, h )

      local y = y0

      for x = 0, n, h do

      print( “”, x, y )

      y = y + h * f( y )

      end

      end

      for i = 1, #delta_t do

      print( "delta_t = ", delta_t[i] )

      Euler( NewtonCooling, T0, n, delta_t[i] )

      end

    • #27964
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      Javascript would seem to be commonly available, and a runner:

      You could have the core of a model like this, which looks more or less intelligible:

       

      var force;

      var mass;

      var acceleration;

      var position;

      var velocity;

      var timeonClock;

      var timeInterval;

       

      function accumulate(AccumulatorValue,QuantityValue)

      {

      return QuantityValue = QuantityValue + AccumulatorValue*timeInterval;

      }

       

       

      // set initial values

       

      force = 3;

      mass = 5;

      timeInterval = 0.01;

      position = 0;

      velocity = 0;

      timeonClock = 0;

      WallLocation = 7;

       

       

      // find acceleration

       

      acceleration = force/mass;

       

      // set condition

      while (position<=WallLocation){

       

      // do the accumulations

      timeonClock = accumulate(timeInterval, timeonClock)

      velocity = accumulate(acceleration, velocity)

      position = accumulate(velocity, position)

       

      // store these results

       

      PlotThis+= AddPoints(timeonClock,position);

       

      }

       

       

       

    • #27965
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      The difficulty is that none of the charting functions commonly available seem to be easily tweakable[1] to operate with computed data – they rather assume that the data exists in the data table at the time of the interpretation of the document – otherwise we’d have a modelling environment in every javascript-enabled browser…

       

      [1] That is, to seems likely that you’d have to write the data out to a file and then read it in again….

    • #27966
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      The code generates a datatable, which can then be pasted into a web page, resulting in:

       

      <iframe name=”SPTframe” src=”https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/11977706/ModellingTrials/chartfromlocaldatatable6.html&#8221; frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”yes” width=”680″ height=”506″ marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ ></iframe>

    • #27967
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

    • #27968
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      Or you can put things into the nearly-great jsfiddle:

    • #27969
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      Which works fine for data-tables, but not for computed data – something to do with the DOM….

    • #27970
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      And of course, you can simulate on the Canvas, it being HTNML5:

       

    • #27971
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      So I suppose we could hack out a graph from primitives on the Canvas…but that rather depends on people being interested in doing modelling…using Javascript. Is it intelligible enough? Helpful to make the link with coding?

    • #27972
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      As here is the BCS suggestion for coding:

       

      BCS national curriculum demands…

       

      Design and write programs that include 

      o Sequencing: doing one step after another. 

      o Selection (if-then-else): doing either one thing or another.

      o Repetition (Iterative loops or recursion). 

      o Language constructs that support abstraction: wrapping up a computation in a named abstraction, so that it can be re-used. (The most common form of abstraction is the notion of a “procedure” or “function” with parameters.) 

      o Some form of interaction with the program’s environment, such as input/output, or event-based programming. 

       

      Find and correct errors in their code.

       

      Pretty much all of these are naturally a part of modelling.

    • #27973
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      maybe what’s needed is a way of keeping what we’re doing in focus… however its implemented:

      overview.png

    • #27975
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      Effectively a guide for action. And this could be assembled from sub-bits, all of which are tested (Physics as bricolage: aka physics is simple – we keep on using the same bits over and over).

       

      In fact the mapping from this to the Javascript model, embedded above, looks rather direct…

       

      So sequencing, abstraction, repetition, decision-making..not so hot on the event-based input for this model.

    • #27976
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      Hi Ian – sorry, I’d opted to take a step back from this when I realised how much I’d taken on with the evidence-based teaching stuff for the IOP National Teachers CPD Conference 2013. 

       

      I tried to take a look at your attached models above (modelsforrugby.zip), but I’m blocked from accessing zip files whilst in the IOP offices. Which software are they for, or are they for a range of the software you mention above? 

    • #27977
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      Well, rather than starting a new group(!) I’ve started a conversation with myself ahead of the Rugby meeting in June, where I’ve got asked to run a workshop on modelling. The plan is to continue the conversation here after that event.

       

      A pair of models is for VnR and a pair for Modellus, but there’s nothing very clever there – they’re just  as a bit of scaffolding, in case….

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