Science in Residence and Planet Texas

By Erick C. Jones Jr.

July 19, 2018

I participated in the University of Texas Grand Challange Planet Texas 2050 and the Science in Residence program. Through this experience I developed various lesson plans for K-12 students.

Planet Texas 2050 is an eight-year sprint to find solutions that will make our communities more resilient and better prepared. To do that, we’re bringing together architects, archaeologists, city planners, public health experts, geologists, engineers, computer scientists, artists — and more.

The University of Texas at Austin Scientist in Residence (SciRes) Program is an innovative partnership between graduate students and K-12 science teachers to bring current and innovative research to the classroom. As role models, the graduate students engage K-12 students in the excitement of scientific discovery.

As part of Planet Texas 2050 involvement with the Science in Residence program, I created various activities and lesson plans related to the core tenants of Planet Texas 2050. These activities are available at the website below.

I also created quite a few games for this physics class using basic economics concepts. The lessons plans on the GitHub page are really just a giant list of activities.

The best activities were the light trading competition (where students had to buy and sell industries associated with the light spectrum i.e. cell phones, TV, etc.), the city building game, flotilla, and the simple card based economics game.

The flotilla game uses my monocentric model in R and adjusts inputs based on what the different groups invest in. It is available in Github and this online R notebook. It clearly illustrates how carbon taxes, traffic, parks, etc. affect a cities growth and carbon footprint.

The card based supply and demand game I got from CMU and it elegantly introduces students to the ideas they need to play most of my games.

Check out the games and lesson plans via the GitHub Link below.

Posted on:
July 19, 2018
2 minute read, 310 words
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