Easy Java Simulations for Inquiry Based Learning in STEM Disciplines
This is a schools community of ASPETE
In almost all the reform-based documents, models have consistently been recognized as one of the major unifying ideas that transcend disciplinary boundaries and pervade all scientific, mathematical, and technological fields. Hestenes (1987) describes a model as a representation of structure in a physical system.He also states that a model is a substitute object, a conceptual representation of a real thing. A number of science educators suggest that “models of simulations” offer considerable potential for the enhancement of the teaching of science concepts enabling students to modify rules and variables to explore the science of a model, to question and test hypotheses. When learners build “models of simulations”, there is an interplay between their current understanding of the target and the computational models they create. During the engagement with the model, there is an interaction between learners’ growing intuition and the underlying viewpoint of the simulation (Jonassen et al., 2005).
Easy Java Simulations is a software tool (java code generator) designed for the creation of discrete computer simulations.
A discrete computer simulation, or simply a computer simulation, is a computer program that tries to reproduce, for pedagogical or scientific purposes, a natural phenomenon through the visualization of the different states that it can have. Each of these states is described by a set of variables that change in time due to the iteration of a given algorithm.
EJS has been designed to let its user work at a high conceptual level, using a set of simplified tools, and concentrating most of his/her time on the scientific aspects of the “model of simulation”, asking the computer to automatically perform all the other necessary but easily automated tasks. Nevertheless, the final result, which is automatically generated by EJS description, can, in terms of efficiency and sophistication, be taken as the creation of a professional programmer.
In particular, EJS creates Java applications that are platform independent, or applets that can be visualized using any Web browser (and therefore distributed through the Internet), which read data across the net, and which can be controlled using scripts from within web pages.
In this Community, applications in STEM disciplines will be developed using EJS including tasks, like:
· formulating the STEM problem in a way suitable for simulations
· choosing an efficient computational algorithm
· writing and testing computer code
· running the simulations and collecting numerical data
· analyzing and visualizing the data obtained
· extracting the solution of the physics problem
applying the featues of Inquiry Based to construct didactic scenario for High school and Tertiary level