InTeGrate Modules and Courses >Systems Thinking > Community > Visualizing Systems
 Earth-focused Modules and Courses for the Undergraduate Classroom
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These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The materials are free and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
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« InTeGrate: Systems Thinking Discussions

Visualizing Systems  

In 2017, I started using the free online tool Loopy, which helps students visualize systems. The graphical interface is easy to use and promotes student creativity. While it's not quantitative, my students started playing around with the length (and number) of flux arrows between reservoirs to approximate some of the relationships in a relative way. Lots of fun!

Give it a try: https://serc.carleton.edu/teachearth/activities/191100.html

12479:34553

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I enjoyed your overview of this Systems Thinking module during the webinar on December 8, 2017. Thanks for the pointer to Loopy. I'm very interested in simulations that represent the parameters graphically; for example, displaying lots of bunny and fox icons in a predator-prey simulation. I have no data, but wonder if a graph of population counts in a STELLA model of a predator-prey system (for instance) is too abstract to really sink in for some students; whereas seeing lots of bunny icons take over the screen is more memorable. I mentioned PhET's collection of visual simulations as an example; it is a resource out of U. Colorado-Boulder's physics department (they've branched out from physics into other science disciplines, including geosciences) - https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulations/category/earth-science

12479:34575

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Thank you for your feedback. I do think there is value for students to experience both the visual impact of bunnies taking over a screen and also to be able to generate and interpret graphs of populations -- especially as interactions become more complex than one predator and one prey. Thanks also for sharing the PhET collection link. Looks like a useful resource set!

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These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The collection is freely available and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
Explore the Collection »