To view these projects, you need to download MicroWorlds Web Player
These Logo simulation projects were created as models for students to learn how to develop their own simulation projects. The projects are multimedia presentations with the simulations being one aspect of the topic overview. These two simulations present different levels of difficulty in science and programming.
The Ants Simulation : General research about ants covers information about their living environments, anatomy, social lives and interesting facts, such as following each other in a food trail. This phenomenon, which computer scientists tried to follow for its promising characteristics in optimizing internet communication flow, is simulated here as it happens in ant colonies. Building such simulations requires isolating the problem, identifying and following the variables as they change in the course of the simulation, programming the solution and testing. The assignment, although interesting, is quite complex and difficult for students in fourth and fifth grades. However, it helped them get curious about other insects and made them look for other interesting phenomena they could study and simulate.
The Moonphase Simulation : The Moonphase simulation tries to clarify how the moon’s phases change throughout the month. It creates two simple simulations that demonstrate the same thing in two different ways. These simulations are relatively simple to create because they don’t use or manipulate any variables. However, they help students visualize phenomena that otherwise could be only witnessed in space.
As the name indicates, the simulations were done with LCSI’s MicroWorlds, which I consider to be a productivity tool that combines both multimedia and Logo programming capabilities. The application supports a diverse range of media types with the clear advantage of allowing animated objects or interactivity through its Logo programming interface. The programming is quite simple and students find it easy to understand.
In these simulations students employ Discovery Learning by investigating the phenomenon and constructing their understanding of how it works. Students are engaged in Constructionist Learning as they independently lead their investigation towards the creation of a simulation and record it all in a multimedia presentation. The outcome is a finished computer-based product that the child has created from beginning to end and it serves as a source of accomplishment, control and pride.