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Modeling Dynamic Systems 
Third Edition
By Diana Fisher

Diana Fisher's Modeling Dynamic Systems: Lessons for a First Course, the follow-up to her popular Lessons in Mathematics: A Dynamic Approach, provides a set of tools that enable educators at the secondary and college levels to teach a one-semester or one-year course in System Dynamics. Developed for beginning modelers, the lessons contained in this book can be used for a core curriculum or for independent study.

The Third Edition incorporates the latest material that Diana uses to teach her own students. The following lessons are new to this edition:

  • Explaining a Feedback Loop
  • Transfer of Loop Dominance
  • Class Demonstration of News Article
  • Specifying Units
  • Introduction to Oscillations
  • Pollution Model introducing:
    • Sector maps (high-level feedback loop diagrams)
    • Extreme value testing
    • Systematic parameter testing
  • Starting a Model in Equilibrium
  • Using the Storytelling Feature of STELLA

Course materials meet National Science Education Standards (NSES) and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) standards and are out-of-the-box ready for use in your classroom today.

Enable students to understand the unintended consequences of real world problems systemically.

Click to Enlarge Screenshot 

Click to Enlarge Screenshot 
Study the structures of complex world processes to understand the subsequent behavior. Immediate visual representations of behavior over time supports diverse learning styles.
Sample Content
$99.00 Add to Cart
The package includes:
  • A Teacher’s Guide
  • A CD containing:
    • Student Lessons (with unlimited copying rights)
    • Models associated with the Teacher’s Guide
    • STELLA v10 software (save disabled)
"This text provides clear and engaging activities to help students understand basic science concepts systemically, leading to a greater understanding of more complex topics."
  —Sarah Strack
Environmental Systems Teacher
Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT
Why Teach Systems Modeling
Modeling has been used for years to help scientists and policy makers find solutions to complex problems. It is one of the most valuable and useful applications of mathematics. However, most models are difficult to understand and require significant mathematics to interpret.

Systems Thinking software like STELLA offers an opportunity to create visual models that actively engage students to study a wide variety of problems. Creating a model, allows for “real-time” analysis and a more stimulating environment to glean insights. Modeling Dynamic Systems: Lessons for a First Course provides an easy-to-use set of teaching materials that are paced gently enough for students to learn to create dynamic models using STELLA software.

Read Diana's thoughts about teaching systems modeling

About the Author
Diana Fisher received her bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Texas, El Paso and her master's degree in mathematics from the University of Montana. A teacher since 1969, she is currently teaching Advanced Algebra, AP Calculus, C++ and Java Programming, and Modeling Dynamic Systems at Wilson High School in Portland, Oregon.

In 2011, the System Dynamics Society presented Diana with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her work bringing system dynamics to K-12 education. She was just the second recipient in the history of the System Dynamics Society to receive this prestigious award.

She has presented at the International System Dynamics Conference since 1994, presenting plenary papers in 1998, 2000, and 2003. In 1995 she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching for the state of Oregon. In 1996 she was first-place co-winner of the Intel Innovations in Teaching Award for the state of Oregon. She was the director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) CC-STADUS (Cross-Curricular Systems Thinking and Dynamics Using STELLA) grant (1993-1996) and also co-directed the NSF CC-SUSTAIN (Cross-Curricular Systems Using STELLA: Training and In-service) grant (1997-2000).

Diana published Lessons in Mathematics: A Dynamic Approach in 2001 and Modeling Dynamic Systems: Lessons for a First Course in 2005. She has worked in industry as a software engineer and co-authored (in the 1980s) three programming textbooks published by Computer Science Press.


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