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Simulation and Modeling
An option for the Internal Assessment Individual Project is to use data from a computer simulation or model rather than from a traditional "hands-on" experiment in which there's actual physical interaction with equipment, materials, and specimens. This page has links to websites with opportunities for simulations and modeling in all areas of the life sciences.
Gale Interactive: Science
Links to Simulation Websites
Simulation is a technique of studying and analyzing the behavior of a real world system or process by mimicking it on a computer application. A simulation works using a mathematical model that describes the structure, then one or more variables of the mathematical model are changed. Users can observe the resulting changes in the other variables, enabling them to predict the behavior of the real world system being studied. An example would be a Johnson Labs simulation of mitosis (a link from Online Labs in Biology) that explores the ways in which a person's cells decide if and when they will divide. In the simulation the user investigates how different cells make the decision to divide by first selecting a particular,tissue and then alters the conditions to which that tissue is exposed. The user then monitors the intracellular chain of events that leads to cell division.
Online Labs in Biology
A list of freely available online biology lab resources, including simulations and virtual labs, in the fields of :general biology; anatomy, physiology and dissection; microscopy, cells and microbiology; genetics and DNA; health, medical treatment and blood types; population biology and dynamics; and animal behavior, evolution and life science.
PhET Interactive Simulations - Biology
Free, interactive, research-based simulations in biology. The simulations are written in Java, Flash or HTML5, and can be run online or downloaded to your computer. Tools in the simulations provide an interactive experience - Click and drag to interact with simulation features; Use sliders to increase and decrease parameters; Choose between options with radio buttons; Make measurements in your experiments with various instruments – rulers, stop-watches, voltmeters, and thermometers. Presented by University of Colorado, Boulder.
Links to Modeling Websites
Modeling involves the creation of a representation of an object, process, or phenomenon with all (or a subset of) its properties. Scientific models can be mathematical or computational, and can be designed to be exactly the same as the original system or to deviate from it in precise ways. An example of this would be one of the models in the NetLogo library that illustrates the growth of a tumor and how it resists chemical treatment.
This site provides links to examples of both models and simulations that allow students to manipulate variables, take control and observe datasets forming.
NetLogo is a programmable modeling environment that can be downloaded free of charge, developed by researchers at Northwestern University. NetLogo comes with a large library of sample models, including many related to life science.