The Geometry Unit is designed to introduce elementary school students to the ViMAP programming language through shape drawing activities. In this unit, students begin by "role-playing" as agents and develop an embodied understanding of programming commands. Then, using ViMAP, they develop geometric and multiplicative reasoning by modeling (programming + graphing) regular and irregular polygons.
Download the One Turtle Software on our Github site: Click Here
This unit is designed to help students develop a deep understanding of what it means to move at a “constant speed” or at "constant acceleration" by measuring and comparing the distance traveled by moving objects in equal intervals of time. Students conduct modeling activities both "in the real world", as well as using ViMAP. They model their data collected in the real world in ViMAP to produce models of motion.
The Wild Tracks unit is designed to scaffold students’ understanding of motion as a process of continuous change. Framed around an initial lesson on animal tracks, students leave ink footprints on banner paper and use this artifact to develop measures of distance (their ‘step size’). Students then use their 'step size data' to derive a specific equation for measuring distance (Distance = Number of Steps x Step Size) which is later generalized to the more recognizable formula of Distance = Speed x Time. Ideas of prediction, approximation and models as forms of mathematical evidence are also explored in this unit.
The Bird-Butterfly unit was designed to scaffold students' exploration of inter-agent and agent-environment relationships through an embodied modeling activity of butterflies foraging for nectar. In this unit, students create graphs of their energy gains and losses, record their foraging behavior on maps and program the behavior of individual butterflies in a multi-agent version of ViMAP.
What triggers the ant to move forward? (the other ants taps its legs with its antennae)
How does that affect the speed of the first ant? (slows it down)Why do you think the follower ant smells to the left and right of the path? Why doesn’t it just stick with the teacher? (looking for land marks)
Day 9: Sand Boxing
Design and create your own programming commands using text-based programming, and in the process, learn more deeply about:
research papers on ViMAP and computational thinking and modeling in K12 science classrooms
Researcher (Until Fall 2015)
Current: PhD student, Learning Sciences, Northwestern University
Middle school teacher
Current: PhD student, Learning Sciences, Vanderbilt University
Middle school teacher (2012 - 2013; current); ViMAP Researcher (2013- 2014)
Consultant; Research Assistant Professor, Northwestern University
Lead Developer, 2010- 2014; Current: PhD student, Computer Science, University of Michigan
Current: Software Developer, Reax.io
Funding: National Science Foundation
Early CAREER Award (ACI 1150230); PI: Pratim Sengupta
The development and research activities reported on this website were supported by NSF Early CAREER Award (ACI #1150230). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
CCL @ Northwestern
Home of NetLogo
ViMAP uses NetLogo as its simulation and graphing engine; and therefore, derives it's generative power ("low threshold high ceiling") from NetLogo. Many many thanks to Prof. Uri Wilensky and his wonderful group at the Center for Connected Learning at Northwestern!
Previous home of ViMAP
From 2009 - 2015, Vanderbilt was home to ViMAP.
University of Calgary
Home of ViMAP
Since Fall 2015, the PI (Pratim Sengupta) has moved to the University of Calgary as a professor of Learning Sciences.