The integration of modeling and simulation into mathematics, science, and the social sciences succeeds or fails for the same reasons most other educational strategies succeed or fail. To learn effectively, students must be invested in the topic under study. It helps a great deal if students believe the subject is of importance or interest to them personally. It is easier to draw in marginally interested students by compelling, hands-on activities than by lectures and assigned readings. As Spitulnik, Krajcik, and Soloway state in Chapter 3 of this book, “Model building becomes a powerful activity for engaging students in doing and thinking about science. Science is no longer something that is read about in a book, but rather becomes an activity through which phenomena are studied, manipulated, sometimes controlled and perhaps even acted upon.”
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