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How Did En-ROADS Get 755,000 users? Lessons on Modeling, Interface Design, and Facilitation

How Did En-ROADS Get 755,000 users? Lessons on Modeling, Interface Design, and Facilitation

Achieving widespread engagement is a significant challenge with a System Dynamics model. Yet, En-ROADS, the climate solutions simulator co-developed by Climate Interactive and MIT Sloan, has captivated hundreds of thousands of users globally. In this webinar led by Andrew Jones, John Sterman, and Florian Kapmeier, the team shared how their commitment to System Dynamics modeling principles, innovative interface design, and thoughtful facilitation created a global movement. The lessons learned are relevant for all System Dynamics modelers seeking to make a greater impact in their fields.

1. Modeling: Build Trust and Ensure Accuracy

“You have to have a rigorous, evidence-based model that is fully documented and tested every which way.” John Sterman

En-ROADS’ impact is built on a robust modeling foundation that adheres to rigorous standards of transparency and continuous testing. John Sterman underscores the importance of rigorous validation: “You have to have a rigorous, evidence-based model that is fully documented and tested every which way,” he states, highlighting the necessity for clear, accessible documentation that allows users to understand and trust the model’s operations.

The En-ROADS team enhances model reliability by calibrating past model behavior against historical data (by, e.g. Lazard, the IEA, etc.) and comparing future model behavior against the behavior of climate models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), identifying discrepancies not only to prove correctness, but also to pinpoint areas needing improvement. Andrew Jones elaborates on this process: “We compare the model against historical data to understand where the discrepancies are and how we can improve. It’s not about proving the model’s correctness but about identifying areas for growth and improvement.”

For System Dynamics modelers looking to build confidence in the model, these practices are essential. Providing full transparency through comprehensive documentation and continuously validating models against industry benchmarks are crucial steps in establishing credibility. By adhering to these principles, modelers can ensure their models are technically robust and able to support decision-making.

2. Interface Design: Guide Users to Key Insights

“We designed the interface to lead a user to discover our modelers’ top insights without support.” Andrew Jones

En-ROADS’ interface is designed to ensure users reach key insights intuitively. Andrew emphasized the goal: “We designed the interface to lead a user to discover our modelers’ top insights without support.” The interface offers both a beginner mode for quick understanding and an advanced mode for users with more technical skills, providing detailed charts and additional assumptions. Dynamic visuals and animations transform static data into a narrative, making complex concepts accessible and engaging.

Within a few minutes exploring the En-ROADS interface, new users quickly grasp three critical insights:

  1.  “It’s still possible” – to bend the emissions curve and reduce average temperature increase.
  2. “There’s no silver bullet”, highlighting that no single solution can solve the climate crisis.
  3.  “Many solutions together”, emphasizing that combining multiple climate solutions is necessary to mitigate the climate crisis.

An interface designed around key insights helps users understand complexity. The ease of engaging with a new innovation—trialability—is crucial for initial adoption and fostering word of mouth. Yet, negative experiences can lead to adverse feedback, potentially stifling the adoption and diffusion of the model. Sterman emphasized: “if people try something and have a bad experience, they will generate unfavorable word of mouth that can squelch the adoption and diffusion of your model.”

John Sterman emphasizes the consequences of neglecting interface quality: “Suppose you have the world’s greatest model, but a terrible interface. Nobody learns anything, nothing will change, and you and everyone have wasted precious time and resources. That’s a failure mode.”  But he warns, “The opposite, though, is far more dangerous: a great interface with an underlying model that lacks integrity and hasn’t been carefully tested means you’re helping people learn things that are wrong and possibly downright harmful far more effectively than ever before.”

By focusing on intuitive design and rigorous validation, En-ROADS ensures that the simulation is insightful and reliable for understanding possible climate solutions. This strategy serves as a reference for those aiming at making their models both informative and influential. As a System Dynamics Modeler, which 2-3 key takeaways would you like users to learn from your model?

3. Facilitation: Create a Safe Space for Learning

Make sure that you create a safe room where participants can share and challenge their mental models to allow them to engage deeply and learn together.” – Florian Kapmeier

Facilitation is critical to En-ROADS’ global impact. Through experiences like the interactive En-ROADS Climate Workshop and the roleplaying game Climate Action Simulation Game, Climate Interactive effectively conveys the insights of the model by fostering environments that encourage deep learning and reflection. Florian Kapmeier emphasized the importance of these settings: “Make sure that you create a safe room where participants can share and challenge their mental models to allow them to engage deeply and learn together.” This approach allows participants to openly test their assumptions and understand the underlying dynamics of climate change.

Florian, referred to Andrew’s Top 10 Tips to Engage People with a System Dynamics Model,  highlighting one key aspect: By asking participants  to mentally the likely impact of a climate solution on the temperature before running a scenario in En-ROADS, participants reveal their existing mental models and learn more effectively by comparing their understanding with model results. “Learning happens when the theory of thinking is laid out and people have to make a choice.”

The commitment to creating a secure and open space for dialogue is foundational to the success of the engagements with En-ROADS. This facilitation strategy enhances the participants’ ability to understand complex concepts, and encourages them to apply these insights in practical and impactful ways. By ensuring that each session serves as a safe space for exploration and challenge, Climate Interactive fosters an environment where transformative learning and genuine understanding can occur.

Climate Action Simulation for IKEA, Australia

Community & Policy Engagement

Community building has been fundamental to extend En-ROADS’ reach globally. Thousands have completed the Mastering En-ROADS training program, which empowers facilitators to engage diverse audiences. The En-ROADS Climate Ambassador program further nurtures hundreds of facilitators who provide En-ROADS Workshops and Climate Action Simulations worldwide, ensuring a unified network of like-minded advocates. This well-structured support system ensures that these facilitators are equipped to spread their knowledge effectively, fostering a collaborative and impactful community.

In addition to training and support, Climate Interactive’s team emphasized the importance of engaging with policy makers, adapting communication to meet where they are in terms of climate change understanding. Presenting complex model data in an accessible manner is crucial for meaningful engagement. This strategy ensures that decision-makers receive information and are equipped to act on it.

The Power of System Dynamics

“System Dynamics is the most powerful way to engage other people in ways to improve system performance.” – John Sterman

The success of En-ROADS hinges on a commitment to the core principles of System Dynamics, paired with innovative interface design and effective facilitation strategies. This approach has educated a global audience on climate solutions and empowered them to act. John Sterman, reflecting on the broader implications, asserts, “System dynamics is the most powerful way to engage other people in ways to improve system performance”, underscoring the potential of System Dynamics to facilitate meaningful discussions and drive change across various domains.

Sterman reminded the audience that the discipline’s strength lies in its ability to convey complexity in a way that decision-makers can understand and act upon: “System Dynamics modelers need to invite people into the conversation, to join the collective effort and improve system performance together.” This collaborative spirit is reflected in the global network of facilitators, policymakers, and climate advocates brought together by En-ROADS.

As System Dynamics modelers, the challenge is to not only build robust models but also to design engaging interfaces, facilitate participatory workshops, and nurture a community of like-minded advocates. By doing so, modelers can extend their influence beyond their field and create meaningful change in the world.

Watch the recording below

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A Leverage Point: Systems Thinking in Pre-Service “Teacher Training” Education

Dear Colleagues,

We are excited to invite you to our free webinar entitled ‘A Leverage Point: Systems Thinking in Pre-Service “Teacher Training” Education’ on Thursday, February 29, at 12:00 noon EST.

We consider courses that train pre-service precollege teachers to be one of the most critical places impacting in the formation of system citizens. The professors teaching these courses ultimately determine the criteria for topics and methods to be included within the curriculum and the criteria for student academic success.

The infusion of systems thinking in courses that train pre-service precollege teachers has the potential to be one of the most influential points on Donella Meadows’ list of places to intervene in a system, that is, the purpose of the system.

In this webinar, the experiences gained from the experiments carried out in precollege pre-service teacher training courses in Türkiye since 2019, the work done and plans for the future will be shared and a collaborative discussion environment will ensue where the presenters offer suggestions for those who want to undertake similar projects.

Timeline of courses where systems thinking is/was taught as a separate course (circle) or used as a tool in another course (triangle) by professors of education in Türkiye.

We strongly encourage you to come prepared with questions, contributions, suggestions, and ideas. Your insights will not only enrich the discussions but also provide a platform for collaborative learning and exploration.

We look forward to your active participation in this webinar. Let’s explore the world of systems dynamics together and uncover innovative ways to enhance education.

Best regards – the SIG leadership team.

Diana Fisher
Ülkem Yararbaş
Burcu Güngör Cabbar
Chang-Kwon (Benjamin) Chung
Donald DeLand
Ed Gallaher
Emre Göktepe
Gaye D. Ceyhan
Matilde (Lin Ya) Hong
Meltem C. Alibeyoğlu
Prof. Dr. Min-Ren Yan
Özgün Kurt Çetinkaya
Sena Yıldız Değirmenci
Steven Roderick
Şebnem F. Gezer

 

 

Burcu Güngör Cabbar

Dr. Burcu Güngör Cabbar studied Biology Education at Balikesir University. She took her Ph.D. in Biology Education at the same University. Cabbar worked as a biology teacher, research assistant, senior educator, and project coordinator at different NGOs. Since 2018, she has been working as an assistant and is now an associate professor at Balikesir University. She is a creative drama leader and P4C educator. She is a member of the Systems Thinking Association in Türkiye and many non-governmental organizations where she has been involved in the establishment and work. She is actively working in her organization and has courses about systems thinking at the faculty of education.

Gaye Ceyhan

Dr. Gaye Defne Ceyhan is an Assistant Professor of Science Education at Bogazici University. After working as a middle school science teacher for eight years, she received her Ph.D. in Science Education from Syracuse University. Her research focuses on STEM and climate change education, exploring innovative ways to teach STEM and emphasizing systems thinking, sustainable living, and climate change awareness. Dr. Ceyhan has been involved in several projects and has written academic papers to improve climate change education. Her academic endeavors aim to bridge the gap between scientific understanding and practical application in addressing environmental challenges.

Hasret Nuhoğlu

Dr. Hasret Nuhoğlu is a Professor of Mathematics and Science Education at Maltepe University. She received her Ph.D. in Science Education from Gazi University. Her Ph.D. thesis is a pioneering study in Türkiye concerning implementing system dynamics in K12 science education. Dr. Nuhoğlu has been involved in several projects and has written academic papers to improve Systems Thinking in Science Education, STEM Education, Systems Thinking in IB Program, and Science Education for Gifted Students. She is a founding member of Maltepe Children University, where she oversees workshops centered on “STEM in Nature.” She is a member of the System Thinking Association. Nuhoğlu believes that nature is the best teacher, and continues her learning journey by meeting with children and adults of all ages in nature.

Meltem Ceylan Alibeyoğlu

Meltem Ceylan Alibeyoğlu studied Mathematics at Middle East Technical University. She defended her Ph.D. thesis in environmental sciences at Boğaziçi University, İstanbul. Alibeyoğlu worked as a mathematics teacher, project coordinator, PYP Coordinator, and middle school academic coordinator at Darüşşafaka Educational Institutions. Since 2022, she has been working as a Research and Development Coordinator. She is a part-time instructor at boğaziçi University, MEF University. She is a member of the Systems Thinking Association in Türkiye and many non-governmental organizations where she has been involved in the establishment and work. She is actively working in her organization and the Association to develop the applications of systems thinking in education.

 

Problem Resolution com System Dynamics: Energia e Ensino

Apresentaçao 1:
Fernanda Dayse Ferreira Rogerio
Título apresentação:Análise do Sistema Energético de Minas Gerais utilizando Dinâmica de Sistemas:
Assunto discutido: previsão do consumo de energia e das emissões de CO2
Bio Fernanda : Mestra em Engenharia e Gestão de Processos e Sistemas, Especializada em Engenharia Multimodal (Ferrovia, Portos e Terminais), MBA em Gestão Avançada de Projetos Complexos, Especializada em Gestão Negócios e Graduada em Ciência da Computação. Ao longo da minha carreira profissional, adquiri sólida experiência em Suprimentos e na Coordenação de Serviços de Tecnologia, como docente ministro disciplinas sobre metodologias ágeis.

Apresentaçao 2:
Prof. Roberto Max Protil, PhD
Assunto discutido: ENSINO DE DINÂMICA DE SISTEMAS: TEORIA E PRÁTICA EM UM CURSO DE GRADUAÇÃO.
Bio Roberto: Engenheiro Agrônomo, M.Sc. em Administração e Ph.D. em Economia de Empresas. Professor e pesquisador da Universidade Federal de Viçosa na área de Agronegócios. Coordenador do Laboratório de Desenvolvimento Gerencial onde desenvolve atividades de ensino, pesquisa e extensão utilizando a abordagem do Pensamento Sistêmico em conjunto com a metodologia de Dinâmica de Sistemas.

Economics in K-12 Education Roundtable

We would like to invite you to attend our free webinar entitled Economics in K-12 Education Roundtable on Thursday, May 25, at 11:00 am EST. Our panel participants will be:

Murat Gökalp – Teacher of Mathematics and Economics in DP & MYP and TOK, Shanghai Community International School, Shanghai, China
David Wheat – Emeritus Professor of Economics and SD, University of Bergen, Norway
Erda Gerçek – Senior Lecturer in Economics and Strategic Thinking at Koç University, İstanbul, Türkiye
Khalid Saeed – Professor of Economics and System Dynamics at WPI, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA

We will discuss some the following questions:

  • What might be the fundamental stocks in an economy?
  • What might be the fundamental flows and flow cycles in an economy?
  • What might be the fundamental causal loops in an economy?
  • Which economic theories should be introduced, in which order?
  • Can a historical approach (starting from hunter gatherers) be used in teaching economics?
  • How can value, money, price, fiat be taught?
  • Which approach should be used when teaching economics? What are the pros and cons of each approach?
    • from micro to macro
    • from macro to micro
    • in paralel – a spiral education
  • Should modeling accounting identities be introduced? If yes, how?
  • Alternatively, Should Accounting System Dynamics be introduced? If yes, how?
  • How should interconnectedness of economy and ecology be taught?
    • circular economy, green economy, sustainability, new economy…
  • What is or should be the goal of an economic system?
  • What is or should be the function of an economic system?

We hope you will join us for this webinar.

Teaching Social Studies with Systems Thinking

Pre-College SIG Seminar Series consists of periodic online meetings on K-12 education to the Systems Thinking and System Dynamics communities. These virtual activities cover a wide range of topics on K-12 education from many subjects while bringing together academics, teachers, and students together for learning and lively discussion. Our seminars aim to promote and improve skills to effectively apply systems thinking and dynamic computer simulation to K-12 education. All seminars and recordings are free for both members and the general public.


Revolutions

A number of years ago I was invited to work with school teachers incorporating systems mapping and modeling in their classes. The elementary school people wanted a model or map of “revolutions”. They were frustrated. Apparently, that was a unit in their curricula at the time, and no one would help them build one. So we spent the first day with both elementary school and high school teachers evolving together a pretty good map of stocks and flows and feedback loops in a generic view of revolutions. The second day, the high school teachers wanted us to build a simulating model of what we had done the first day. So we did, together. This presentation will retrace the work in both days. I’ll try to show how we did it, as well as what we produced.

George P. Richardson

George P. Richardson is Professor Emeritus of public administration, public policy, and information science at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the State University of New York at Albany. He earned his doctorate under Jay Forrester at MIT and is the author of Introduction to System Dynamics Modeling with DYNAMO (1981) and Feedback Thought in Social Science and Systems Theory (1991), both of which were honored with the System Dynamics Society’s Forrester Award.
George has played and sung acoustic folk music for sixty years. He has ridden a motorcycle cross-country from NY State to Seattle, the Olympic Peninsula, and down to Portland. He’s also ridden round-trip the fabled Dalton “Highway” from Calgary to Deadhorse, AK, and Prudhoe Bay, 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Both trips took less than sixty years.


Improving Context and Content in History Classes

History is the science of behavior over time. It is, by definition, an indigenous subject of system dynamics, thus systems thinking. In this presentation, we will give primary and middle school examples of using systems thinking tools in Turkey’s War of Independence. The lessons are based on outcomes from the curriculum of the Ministry of National Education in Turkey. Systems thinking tools are embedded in the lessons to put events in the context of a time frame starting from 1300 CE with Behaviour Over Time Graphs and to deeply analyze and discuss the events using Stock-Flow Maps (conceptual Stock-Flow Diagrams).

Özgün Kurt Çetinkaya

Özgün Kurt Çetinkaya earned her Master’s Degree from Dokuz Eylul University in Izmir,Turkey on Primary School Teaching. She worked as a PYP Class Teacher for 6 years in Işıkkent Primary School. She is preparing to start a PhD program and her research interest is Systems Thinking Approach in primary years.


Visualizing History and Economics

Using Systems Thinking tools with my students allows me to visualize how my students are thinking about and processing complex issues related to history and economics. ST tools also facilitate small group conversations among students who are collaborating on solutions to social problems related to their lives. I will be presenting some of my favorite Systems Thinking related tools and lessons I have used in the classroom with students, including Behaviour Over Time Graphs, Causal Loop Diagrams, the Iceberg model, and a systems thinking mapping activity.

Brett Goble

Brett Goble Is the District Leader for Academic Assurance for CITY Center for Collaborative Learning, a non-profit organization in Tucson Arizona that operates three, small, public charter schools, including City High School, which opened in 2004 Mr. Goble is a co-founder of City High School, a school where each student is well known, honored for their unique talents and learning styles, offered challenging academics, and given opportunities to engage in authentic education through community connections. Mr. Goble served as City High School’s principal from 2015 to 2020. Prior to that, Mr. Goble taught English, history, government and economics at City High School. In 2011, Mr. Goble achieved a National Board Certification in the area of Social Studies/History for Adolescence and Young Adulthood.

T-SIG lecture series : Qualitative modelling as a participatory approach to transport system analysis

The second lecture is Applications of SD in supporting Transport Strategies for Net-Zero Systems by Design, presented by Mariana Mirabile (OECD). Mariana is an economist with a passion for improving systems based at the OECD Environment Directorate. Mariana has over 10 years of experience in policy analysis on climate change, and expertise in economics, communication, and systems thinking. She has co-developed with OECD colleagues the process Systems Innovation for Net Zero, designed to help countries identify transformative policies able to shape systems that work for people and the planet. Mariana is a partner of Systems Innovation, a community of systems innovators, and before joining the OECD she worked at the World Food Programme supporting the implementation of school feeding programs in developing countries.

Human Body Systems in K-12

Pre-College SIG Seminar Series consists of periodic online meetings on K-12 education to the Systems Thinking and System Dynamics communities. These virtual activities cover a wide range of topics on K-12 education from many subjects while bringing together academics, teachers, and students together for learning and lively discussion. Our seminars aim to promote and improve skills to effectively apply systems thinking and dynamic computer simulation to K-12 education.  All seminars and recordings are free for both members and the general public.

How Sweet Is Sugar?

Obesity, although being preventable, is currently a global epidemic. According to the World Health Organization’s data worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975. Since obesity and sugar consumption are closely linked, we aimed to design an activity plan using SD/ST tools on dietary sugar consumption in 2015. Since then the activity is updated every year and became a two- week program including more than ten activities.

In this presentation we want to introduce the main parts of this activity plan.

Ülkem Yararbaş

Ülkem Yararbaş, a professor of nuclear medicine, serves on the medical faculty at Ege University. She is one of the founders of the Systems Thinking Association in Turkey. In addition to the elective systems thinking courses she gives to medical school students, she voluntarily supports the activities for the infusion of ST/SD in the education system conducted by System Thinking Association-Turkey.

Human Body Systems

Since life needs energy, all living things contain various mechanisms that transfer energy to their cells to survive. We used system thinking in the 6th Grade Science Curriculum to teach how the human body systems work, including digestive, circulatory, respiratory, urination and defecation. Conceptual and numerical models were used in the lesson plans and learning materials by using SD/ST tools. Lesson plans were implemented in Darussafaka Middle School during the 2021-22 Academic Year. It will be updated and used in the new academic year.

In this presentation, we would like to share the design of the lessons and learning materials related to six human body systems.

Türkan Önal

Türkan Önal graduated with elementary science education, and she has been a teacher since 2017. She has worked for five years in Darüşşafaka where she met the Systems Thinking Association in Turkey. Last year she worked in Darüşşafaka to implement a system thinking approach into the middle school curricula via numerical modeling in 6th grade.

 HPV and Adaptive Immunity 

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most commonly transmitted sexually transmitted diseases which can lead to high rates of cervical and other cancers in infected individuals. The Gardasil vaccine prevents HPV infections. Students use the HPV and Adaptive Immunity simulation I created to understand how the adaptive immune system works to produce antibodies and the importance of vaccines in preventing and transmitting infectious diseases. Students compare the accumulation of antibodies in the blood after an HPV infection to understand the immune response. Additionally, students identify the positive and negative feedback loops in the model. The goal of the model is to help students understand the importance of being vaccinated to prevent the spread of HPV and the cancers it can generate.

Jon Darkow

Jon Darkow has taught a variety of biology courses at the high school and college level for the past 18 years at Seneca East High School in and through Bowling Green State University. Currently, Jon teaches AP Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, Biology, and Physics. Jon has diverse academic training with a B.A. in Sociology from Ohio State University in 2000. He has a post-bachelor in Life Science Education and an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Ashland University. Additionally, Jon has been completing graduate courses in the Department of Biological Science at Bowling Green State University. Jon has developed a  robust set of online system dynamics models for students to explore biology and ecology at www.jondarkow.com.

 Glucose-Insulin Homeostasis

A lesson about glucose and insulin homeostasis was used with three high school Anatomy and Physiology classes. The lesson incorporated systems thinking and system dynamics (SD) tools. The presentation will highlight the sequence of the lesson and show several versions of the SD model. This classroom lesson was facilitated by Diana Fisher and Ed Gallaher. It was one lesson of four dealing with homeostasis that was used with the A&P students. The other three lessons involved body temperature regulation, calcium homeostasis, and the homeostatic response due to decrease in oxygen in red blood cells.

Dr. Diana M. Fisher

Teacher of mathematics for 30+ years and System Dynamics (SD) Modeling for 20 years, at the secondary school level. She has taught mathematics and SD modeling courses at the university level and teaches 3 online SD modeling courses for instructors each year.
She provided a NASA sponsored, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) workshop entitled “Modeling, Analysis and Simulation in Mathematics Using System Dynamics” (2008) and a two-week MODSym (Modeling and Simulation) course (2013), both for secondary school Mathematics teachers and both in Langley, Virginia.
Dr. Fisher has written and directed two National Science Foundation grants. The first grant was entitled Cross-Curricular Systems Thinking and Dynamics Using STELLA (CC-STADUS) from 1993 – 1997. The second grant was entitled Cross-Curricular Systems: Training and In-service (CC-SUSTAIN) 1997 – 2001. In each of these grants secondary school teachers from the disciplines of math, science, and social science were trained in the design of SD models and they wrote curriculum for their classes during the three-week summer training. She has written two books containing System Dynamics modeling lessons published by isee systems, inc.

 

New Simulations from Forio

REGISTER HERE

New Simulations from Forio

Forio‘s team of simulation designers and developers have created several new simulations on leadership, teamwork, and negotiations in 2022 that are now available for use in our simulation store.

In this webinar, we will review the latest simulations running on Forio Epicenter, demonstrate examples of each, discuss how these simulations benefit learners and identify when it is appropriate to use each kind.

Using these simulations you can:

  • Leadership
  • Team Building and Strategy Forming
  • Communication
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Group Dynamics
  • Group Decision-Making
  • Negotiations
  • Leading Through Uncertainty
  • Crisis Management

Forio is a System Dynamics Society sponsor. Donate now and help us expand the field.

Focus on Climate Change

Pre-College SIG Seminar Series consists of periodic online meetings on K-12 education to the Systems Thinking and System Dynamics communities. These virtual activities cover a wide range of topics on K-12 education from many subjects while bringing together academics, teachers, and students together for learning and lively discussion. Our seminars aim to promote and improve skills to effectively apply systems thinking and dynamic computer simulation to K-12 education.  All seminars and recordings are free for both members and the general public.

Now What?

How an environmental science course was developed at IACS high school, some of the lessons used, and how the tools of system dynamics were integrated. I will quickly cover a few examples of how systems thinking and system dynamics tools were applied to other topics, especially in middle school.

Al Ticotsky

Retired middle school science teacher. Systems thinking and system dynamics modeling mentor at Carlisle Elementary School and Innovation Academy Charter School. Author/Co-Author of The Shape of Change, Now What? A Call to Action, and four other books on science education. Plans to establish a blog on the Creative Learning Exchange website that will address environmental systems, current events, K-12 systems education topics, and generally provide a platform for sharing work on systems thinking and system dynamics. His goal is to post about two entries per month and to include others’ work to build up our network, as well as keeping Now What? as current as possible..

Exploring Climate Change with System Dynamics

Climate change is largely being driven by the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. System dynamic modeling is an excellent way to represent the imbalance in the carbon cycle produced by industrializing human activities. In this presentation, I will demonstrate a simple system dynamics model I have students create and explore questions about possible interventions. I always start with this model to introduce my students to system dynamics modeling, so I use this opportunity to not only have students learn about climate change but also learn the very basics of system dynamics modeling.

Jon Darkow has taught a variety of biology courses at the high school and college level for the past 18 years at Seneca East High School in and through Bowling Green State University. Currently, Jon teaches AP Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, Biology, and Physics. Jon has diverse academic training with a B.A. in Sociology from Ohio State University in 2000. He has a post-bachelors in Life Science Education and an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Ashland University. Additionally, Jon has been completing graduate courses in the Department of Biological Science at Bowling Green State University. Jon has developed a robust set of online system dynamics models for students to explore biology and ecology at www.jondarkow.com.

 Environmental Education with Systems Thinking and the World Climate Game

An educational programme, which applied systems thinking methodology on climate change and environmental education whilst also using the simulation game “World Climate” as a tool will be presented. The programme was implemented in three parts from September to December 2021 with the participation of eighth grade students as an after-school programme. The first part was introduction of population, migration, economy and greenhouse gas emissions dynamics at both country and global levels aiming to prepare students for their roles that they will be playing in the second part. In the second part, students played the “World Climate” simulation game developed by Climate Interactive. In the third and final part of the programme, systems thinking tools were be used to see the foundational structures that create the problem.

Sena Yıldız Değirmenci earned her Master’s Degree from University of Oulu, Finland on Learning, Education and Technology. With a physics teacher background, she worked as a science teacher in Darüşşafaka Middle School. A teacher and learning specialist, her research interests are systems thinking and learning through technology. 

 

You can watch the recording here

Systems Thinking for Pre-College Education

Pre-College SIG Seminar Series consists of periodic online meetings on K-12 education to the Systems Thinking and System Dynamics communities. These virtual activities cover a wide range of topics on K-12 education from many subjects while bringing together academics, teachers, and students together for learning and lively discussion. Our seminars aim to promote and improve skills to effectively apply systems thinking and dynamic computer simulation to K-12 education.  All seminars and recordings are free for both members and the general public.

“A Strategy for Infusing Systems Thinking into K-12 Education”

In this short presentation, two models for infusing Systems Thinking into K-12 Education will be presented. The first model is a simple numerical simulation of infusion of systems thinking into K-12 education in Turkey. Based on this model a generic conceptual model will be introduced. This generic model is expected (actually hoped) to start a discussion on infusing systems thinking in pre-college education in the world. Both of the models show only the physical and institutional structure of the system we are trying to build. They lack the decision rules of the agents. The policies of the models will be presented as a separate layer over these models. Fundamental principles of policy levers are that the ST/SD infusion should: be open, free to teachers and schools, teacher oriented, curriculum adaptable, stock-flow based, with iterative learning. Policy levers will be discussed with examples from Turkey.

Emre Göktepe is a retired Industrial Engineer working for infusion of ST/SD into K-12 education. He is one of the founders of the Systems Thinking Association in Turkey. Beginning in 1988, his knowledge of systems thinking and system dynamics are mostly self-taught.

 “Strategy Implementation for Schools in Turkey”

The System Thinking Association in Turkey has worked to infuse the systems thinking approach into K-12 education since 2014 across different subjects. The strategy developed for infusion is applied by using an iterative approach. In the presentation the systems thinking infusion cycle, as well as lessons learnt from the cycle (which includes teacher training and mentoring, curriculum development and implementation, and experience sharing) will be introduced.

 


Meltem Ceylan Alibeyoğlu studied mathematics and she became a teacher. After working 5 years as an academic coordinator, she is now working in the same school as the R&D Coordinator for the middle and secondary school. She is a Ph.D. candidate in environmental sciences at Boğaziçi University, İstanbul. She is working in her school to implement a system thinking approach into the middle school curricula via numerical modeling. She is a member of the Systems Thinking Association in Turkey.

“Strategy Implementation for Faculties of Education in Universities in Turkey”

Within the strategic plan of the System Thinking Association – Turkey, one critical part is the inclusion of systems thinking courses in the education teacher training programs of education faculties at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
In this section of the webinar, a systems thinking course designed and implemented for three years in an M.A. program in Learning Sciences will be introduced.


Ülkem Yararbaş, a professor of nuclear medicine, serves on the medical faculty at Ege University. She is one of the founders of the Systems Thinking Association in Turkey. In addition to the elective systems thinking courses she gives to medical school students, she voluntarily supports the activities for the infusion of ST/SD in the education system conducted by System Thinking Association-Turkey.

 

You can watch the recording here