Abstract for: Pre-College Student Understanding of Accumulations: An Experiment at a WPI Summer Workshop for Students

This paper will present the results of a pre- and post-test assessment given to 18 students ages 14 to 17 years who participated in a WPI Sustainability Workshop in the summer of 2014, where systems thinking and system dynamics modeling were the primary tools used to study environmental issues. The pre- and post-test were designed to assess the students' ability to determine simple dynamic behavior of phenomenon when the rate of change of the phenomenon was given in text, pictorial, or graphical form. The assessment determined that students have a reasonably robust intuitive ability to determine simple dynamic behavior from text and pictorial descriptions but not from graphical descriptions.