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Computational Modeling in Physics with Bootstrap

Computational modeling is widely recognized as an essential skill for the future workforce and success in STEM. These curricular materials are the result of the "Computational Modeling in Physics with Bootstrap" project, a collaboration between the AAPT, AMTA, Bootstrap, and STEMteachersNYC. It engages teachers in professional development to plan and implement classroom instruction in algebra-based Physics First courses that integrates computational modeling (one aspect of computational thinking) through two existing, widely used approaches - Modeling Instruction for physics and Bootstrap for computational modeling. This program is especially focused on combating many equity concerns associated with student access to physics sand computer science. Working with Physics First teachers will allow this project to impact student populations which will be demographically more diverse than students historically enrolled in standalone computer science courses or upper-grade physics courses. Read more about "Why Computational Modeling in Physics."

The following are resources developed through the collaboration of 30 master Modeling Instruction in Physics teachers in summer workshops held in 2016 and 2017, and used in a series of dissemination workshops in 2018. Please contact Rebecca Vieyra at rvieyra@aapt.org to request permission from the project partners to use any of these materials outside of your own classroom.

Unit 1: Qualitative Energy Model

Unit 2: Constant Velocity Model

Unit 3: Uniform Acceleration Model

Unit 4: Balanced Forces

Unit 5: Unbalanced Forces

Bug Reports


Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License by the American Association of Physics Teachers, American Modeling Teachers Association, Bootstrap, and STEMteachersNYC.

This project is supported by funding through NSF #1640791 and 100Kin10. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in these materials are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation or 100Kin10.

Please contact Rebecca Vieyra, AAPT K-12 Program Manager, for additional information: rvieyra@aapt.org.