Abstract for: Teaching Students to Create Original Models in a Ten-Week Course

This workshop is for instructors who want to incorporate a System Dynamics (SD) model building component into their curriculum, for their students, but do not have the luxury of spending an entire academic year or even an entire academic semester trying to build up the skills students need to in order to build a relatively small original model that has somewhat interesting dynamics. This workshop will provide a sequence of topics that have worked well for a ten-week environmental science modeling course scheduled in a computer lab twice a week, for 110 minutes each time. Students enter the course with no background in System Dynamics modeling. The course is an undergraduate junior level (3rd year) course for students from any discipline. Students (in pairs) are expected to select a dynamic problem to study in the 5th week of the term, build a working model, write a relatively short technical paper, and present the model to the class by the end of the ten-week term. The approach could be used as a course on SD model building in a particular discipline or as part of a course for which SD model building is designated as a significant component.