Adding simulations to science lessons increases student engagement, understanding
- Using simulations in science and math course help improve learning by allowing students to interact with the data, writes Amador Valley High School (Pleasanton, CA) physics teacher Bree Barnett Dreyfuss for eSchool News.
- Simulations also help to promote critical thinking and help students better realize abstract concepts. "Many of my students would rather solve a calculation question than answer a conceptual one. Without a number backing it, they often don’t understand the proportions in equations," she said.
- In addition to the cognitive benefits of simulations, they are simply fun, which means student engagement and interest in the material is higher, potentially boding well for stacking a future employee pipeline into the workforce.
Project-based and interactive learning has benefits for students at al levels of the educational spectrum, not just high schoolers. As the needs of the workforce continue to evolve, and as schools continue working to prepare students for jobs that do not yet exist, simulations and other project-based assignments can promote a number of different skills in a cross-disciplinary approach. If done right, there's an opportunity to analyze informational text, collect data, problem-solve, preparing them to be not just the workers of the workers of the future, but thinkers as well.
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