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How to Use Stella

Initial Publication Date: December 21, 2006

The list below has been selected as excellent resources from the tremendous amount of information available to help beginners start using the Stella modeling environment. The first three are hands-on interactive activities designed to help one learn Stella and some of the basic principles of System Dynamics.

  • STELLA Tutorials: These flash tutorials demonstrate how one would use STELLA to construct a Population model showing the dynamics between population size and available natural resources.
  • Demo Dozen at Creative Learning Exchange is a module for introducing yourself to systems thinking and Stella II.
  • System Dynamics in Education: The First Steps A 59 page PDF format tutorial covering basics of systems dynamics and the use of Stella II software with lots of pictures. "The following tutorial is meant to serve as a hands-on introduction to system dynamics and learner-centered learning for educators and others interested in learning the basics of system dynamics through computer modeling." (Quote from abstract) This is a great resource for getting started with Stella II. It is part of Road Maps: a guide to learning system dynamics
  • Beginner Modeling Exercises (pdf) This is also written by Leslie Martin and is part of Road Maps: a guide to learning system dynamics and is a good second step.
  • Exploring the Dynamics of Earth Systems (more info) :a guide to constructing and experimenting with computer models of Earth systems using STELLA. By: Dave Bice Dept. of Geology Carleton College. This is a great resource for geoscience educators.
  • HPS, 1997. "An introduction to Systems Thinking" Published by High Performance Systems, Inc. HPS. High Performance Systems also has information regarding materials and workshops for educators. (Click through to the book section of the HPS Store.)
  • MIT System Dynamics in Education Project (SDEP) ( This site may be offline. ) is the home of Road Maps which has nine learning modules for those wanting a detailed self guided instruction of System dynamics.
  • Road Maps at the System Dynamics in Education Project has lots of information on learning systems dynamics with Stella II, good articles and some textbook chapters in PDF format.

If you purchase Stella II from High Performance Systems the CD comes with good help and tutorials documentation.

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