Wednesday, March 22, 2017

For Immediate Release

Computer Modeling Comes to MITS

For the first time in its history, the Museum Institute for Teaching Science (MITS) will offer a one-week Computer Modeling Summer Professional Development Institute. In partnership with MIT Scheller Teacher Education Program, the July 31 – August 4, 2017 institute will provide middle and high school educators with an opportunity to use StarLogo Nova’s block programming platform to create computational models or simulations.

Entitled, “Computer Modeling Can Do What? Meeting Your Curriculum Goals with Imagination Toolbox 2017”, this institute will highlight some of the classroom-applicable aspects of coding. Educators will learn to create models by connecting visual blocks, using a style of computer programming that does not require memorization of code or even prior coding experience. By testing out the roles of navigator and driver and experimenting with the technology to devise their own projects, participants will learn strategies for actively involving students in building classroom coding models.

Educators will engage in the Science and Engineering Practice of Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking by distinguishing patterns to create rules. While gaining an understanding of how computer simulations are used to research and understand real-world phenomena, educators will identify ways teaching computer programming meets the 2016 revised MA Science and Technology/Engineering Standards and the Massachusetts Digital Literacy and Computer Science Standards. They will access a library of technological resources in order to plan a lesson that prompts students to use, modify or create a programmed model or game.

What sorts of student projects can be created with computer programming? Examples of student StarLogo Nova uses include modeling the effects of habitat change on populations, illustration of the historical spread of ideas, and bringing a scene from literature to life. During this novel summer institute, educators will experience coding as an interdisciplinary tool to engage students’ reasoning for creative, minds-on projects.

MITS is grateful to the Llewellyn Foundation for providing partial support for this program. For more information about this unique summer 2017 opportunity, visit


The Museum Institute for Teaching Science specializes in providing hands-on, minds-on, inquiry-based STEM professional development for formal and informal educators.  For more information, visit or call 617-328-1515.