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ERIC Number: EJ760179
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jan
Pages: 21
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0022-4308
SodaConstructing Knowledge through Exploratoids
Svarovsky, Gina Navoa; Shaffer, David Williamson
Journal of Research in Science Teaching, v44 n1 p133-153 Jan 2007
In this article, we describe a preliminary study that integrates research on engineering design activities for K-12 students with work on microworlds as learning tools. Here, we extend these bodies of research by exploring whether--and how--authentic recreations of engineering practices can help students develop conceptual understanding of physics. We focus on the design-build-test (DBT) cycle used by professional engineers in simulation-based rapid modeling. In this experiment, middle-school students worked for 10 hr during a single weekend to solve engineering design challenges using SodaConstructor, a Java-based microworld, as a simulation environment. As a result of the experiment, students learned about center of mass. Our data further suggest that in the process of simulation-based modeling, rapid iterations of the DBT cycle progressively linked students' interest in the design activities and understanding of the concept of center of mass. We suggest that these rapid iterations of the DBT cycle functioned as exploratoids: short fragments of exploratory action in a microworld that cumulatively develop interest in and understanding of important scientific concepts.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Indonesia