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  Feature Name: Heat Flow Simulation
Author: Erika Tate

Category: Visualization Tools (pre-designed): Simulations

Subject: Physical sciences

Kind: Element/Applet

 Elementary School
 Middle School
 High School
 Higher Education
 Teachers & Principals


Software URL: Heat and Temperature Simulation

Created by: Doug Clark

Reference URL

This Feature is connected to (2) Principles
  • Provide knowledge representation and organization tools
  • Enable manipulation of factors in models and simulation
    Feature in Visual Map
    This simulation was written in Flash. It illustrates a generic room with table and a hand, where the hand corresponds to the students felt temperature. Students can manipulate the temperature of the room as well as the initial temperature of objects sitting on the table, the size of the objects, and whether those objects are touching each other. Studnets begin an animation of heat flow, which corresponds to time running. The animation shows rate of heat flowing into or out of objects as illustrated by intensity of color and size and direction of arrows. Audio and visual feedback are provided corresponding to the students felt temperature.
    The Rationale Behind the Feature (Specific Design Principle):
    To help students understand heat flow through the manipulation of a model that connects to real world experience or phenomena
    Context of Use:
    WISE Probing Your Surroundings Project for Middle School Physical Science This project helps students understand the concept of heat flow and thermal equilibrium.
    Field-based Evidence:
    This animation was included in Doug Clarks dissertation study. When added to the existging probing your surroundings project, it helped students by providing visualizations of heat flow and allowing them to control parameters within the model. Clark collected observations of student interactions during the project and also analyzed students written work to evaluate their conceptual learning.
    Clark, D. 2001 - unpublished doctoral dissertation
    Clark, D. B., & Linn, M. C. (2003). Scaffolding knowledge integration through curricular depth. Journal of Learning Sciences, 12(4), 451-494.