You are on page 1of 10

What is modeling? From Webopedia, modeling is the process of representing a real-world object or phenomenon as a set of mathematical equations.

More specifically, the term of modeling is always used to describe the process of representing 3-dimensional objects in a computer. All 3-dimensional applications, including CAD/CAM and animation software, perform modeling. While the meaning of computer modeling is the process of creating an abstract model to stimulate the behavior and response of wide range of system and prototype. It s used in various field such as physical science, medicine, and architecture as an aide to design the process. There are three primary aspects to any computer modeling that is processing power, multiple dimensions and simulation logic. Computer modeling software requires significant memory, processor, and capacity.

What is simulation? According to Wikipedia, simulation is the imitation of the operation of a real-world process or system over time. The act of simulating something first requires that a model be developed; this model represents the key characteristics or behaviors of the selected physical or abstract system or process. The model represents the system itself, whereas the simulation represents the operation of the system over time. Simulation is used in many contexts, such as simulation of technology for performance optimization, safety engineering, testing, training, education, and video games. Training simulators include flight simulators for training aircraft pilots to provide them with a lifelike experience. Besides that, Simulation is also used with scientific modeling of natural systems or human systems to gain insight into their functioning. Simulation can be used to show the eventual real effects of alternative conditions and courses of action. Simulation is also used when the real system cannot be engaged, because it may not be accessible, or it may be dangerous or unacceptable to engage, or it is being designed but not yet built, or it may simply not exist. Wikipedia state that a computer simulation, a computer model, or a computational model is a computer program, run on a single computer, or a network of computers, that attempts to simulate an abstract model of a particular system. Computer simulations have become a useful part of mathematical modeling of many natural systems in physics (computational physics), astrophysics, chemistry and biology, human systems

in economics, psychology, social science, and engineering. Simulation of a system is

represented as the running of the system's model. It can be used to explore and gain new insights into new technology, and to estimate the performance of systems too complex for analytical solutions.

What is STELLA? STELLA is a flexible computer modeling package with an easy, intuitive interface that allow users to construct dynamic models that realistically stimulate biological system. STELLA is targeted more toward educational and research. More experiment can be conduct using this software. STELLA system is ideal to interface with student investigative experience for given the combination of ease of use and modeling power. Actually, modeling in STELLA proceeds in three steps that is constructing a qualitative model, parameterizing it and exploring the models dynamics. According to Dennis Meadows, Co-author Limit To Growth, STELLA gives us an enormously powerful and flexible tool for creating environments that allow people to learn by doing By using STELLA software, we will find out various field can be applied including literature, physics, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Business and many more. We can see the relationship between the parameter we want to connect. From isee system, STELLA is used to stimulate a system over time. Besides that, it jump the gap between theory and the real world. It also enable students to creatively change system and teach students to look for relationships. In addition, STELLA software clearly communicate system input and output and demonstrate outcome. STELLA present four model of building blocks that are used in modeling process. The model building block is stock, flows, connectors, and converters.

Stocks: The basic building block is the stock that is used to represent anything that accumulates (populations, biomass, nutrients, water). These are tangible, countable, physical accumulations. You can also use stocks to represent the degree of non-physical accumulations such as knowledge or fear. Flows: Flows are used to represent activities that lead to inputs and outputs to stocks. Flows include births, migration and nutrient or biomass transport. These activities will change the magnitude of stocks in the system. Connectors: Connectors transmit information to regulate flows. Connectors can connect into flows or converters but never into stocks. Only flows affect the magnitude of stocks. However, connectors can affect both input and output flows. Converters: Converters contain equations that generate an output value during each time interval of a simulation. Converters often take in information and transform it for use by another variable in the model. They are also handy for storing constant values.

How STELLA software motivates helps the student in motivate and predict? To explain how STELLA software helps the student in motivate and make the prediction, I choose Simple Natural Selection as an example of STELLA software. Natural selection is one of the cornerstones of modern biology. The term was introduced by Darwin in his influential 1859 book On the Origin of Species, in which natural selection was described as analogous to artificial selection, a process by which animals and plants with traits considered desirable by human breeders are systematically favored for reproduction. The meaning of Natural Selection is the process in nature by which, according to Darwin's theory of evolution, only the organisms best adapted to their environment tend to survive and transmit their genetic characteristics in increasing numbers to succeeding generations while those less adapted tend to be eliminated. From the meaning of natural selection student will be able to think the thing occur in their surroundings. Variation exists within all populations of organism. This occurs partly because random mutations cause changes in the genome of an individual organism, and these mutations can be passed to offspring. Throug hout the individuals lives, their genomes interact with their environments to cause variations in traits. This simulation will motivate student in thinking and predict what will happen when we change the parameter. According to Darwins theory, organisms best adapted to their

environment tend to survive, those who not will be eliminated. From this experiment, organism is referring to the rabbit. Faster rabbit will survive and safe from being the foods of foxes while the populations of rabbit who run with average or slow speed tend to become the food for foxes. Lastly, the population of average and slow rabbit will be eliminating. The faster the rabbit, it will save themselves from become the food of foxes. There are 5 graph describe the flow of natural selection of rabbit. The parameter in this experiment is change in speed bias. In figure 1, student will know the pattern of simulation if they put the change in speed bias to 0. The pattern show there is no change in average of speed per rabbit. We can see the first graph that we run with 0 show the straight line. This is the guide for the student for the initial experiment. Student will more excited and curious in what happen when the change in speed bias is put in other number. Then, the change in speed bias is set to 12. The result shows in figure 2. There is little bit increasing of average speed per rabbit. Students will more curious what happen next if the change in speed bias is added. They will think either the graph still more increasing or vice versa. This simulation make student exited to explore and prevent them from boring. They always thinking and make the prediction on this situation. This show the student applied the inquiry approach in their learning. The simulation makes them to built question for higher order thinking level. After make the changing in speed bias for 3 times, student will make their prediction on what happen to the graph of average speed per rabbit if the speed bias increasing again. They can make a conclusion for the pattern shows if the changing in speed bias increase will increase the average speed per rabbit. Student can see the changes by their own eyes without teachers explain. Furthermore, student can repeat the experiment many times and they can choose to change the parameter using their own decision. With the many time testing, students themselves can predict and thinking with their own style. By using this software, it can help to motivate student to think deeply. If they not understand, they can click the question button to give some idea to student. The run, pause, stop and reset button also help the student to learn with meaningful understand. Using STELLA software, student first get overall story about the lesson because there is partition on the background of experiment. There is a lot of directive button that help the student to understand and explore by themselves.

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3

Figure 4

Figure 5

What are the advantages of using STELLA? One of the advantages of using computer simulation like STELLA software is it offers the opportunity to experiment with phenomena or event, which for a number of reason, cannot normally be experimented in traditional way. Bork (1981) points out: simulations provide students with experience that may be difficult or impossible to obtain in everyday life. Compare to traditional way, the only thing teacher can do is to discuss the nature and content of the system without experiencing themselves. It is certain that experimenting be useful because this is generating an insight into the functioning of economic system. Other than that, computer simulation can be used in education to give the student more feeling for reality in some abstract fields of learning. From Foster (1984), simulations can be entertained because of dramatic and game-like components. Besides that, bonus for the teacher to explain a difficult interrelationship such as hybridization experiment with fruit flies. It is difficult to explain in traditional way that will fail for student to understand better. Execution of the real experiment is impossible because this would take a number of weeks and cannot be integrated as such within a lesson. By using a

simulation experiment, it is a chance for student to understand better the relationship such as hybridization experiment. Simulation is especially useful if changes in an existing system are to be made, and the effects of the changes should be tested prior to implementation. Trying out the changes in the real system may not be an option, because the system does not yet exist, the costs are too high, there are too many scenarios to test, the test would take too much time (weeks, months, years), the changes are not legal, etc. In all these cases, a simulation model allows to test various scenarios in often only a couple of minutes or hours.

What is the disadvantages using STELLA Simulation software also brings us to disadvantages. A first advantage is simulation error. Any incorrect key stroke has the potential to alter the results of the simulation and give the wrong result. The programming using theories not often 100% correct. In order for the simulation to be accepted in general community, it must have to take experimental results and stimulate them. If two data sets compare, any simulation already design will have some credibility. Another disadvantage is that it can be quite expensive to build a simulation model. First, the process that is to be modeled must be well understood, although a simulation can often help to understand a process better. The most expensive part of creating a simulation model is the collection of data to feed the simulation, and to determine stochastic distributions for example in processing times, arrival rates and others. In addition, disadvantage for simulation in comparison to exact mathematical methods is that simulation cannot naturally be used to find an optimal solution. There are methods which long to optimize the result, but simulation is not inherently an optimization tool. Simulation is often the only means to approach complex systems analysis. Many systems cannot be modeled with mathematical equations. Simulation is then the only way to get information at all.

Can STELLA software use for teaching and learning in school STELLA software can be use for teaching and learning in school because it provide a fertile learning environment for students. The use of simulated activities in education is widely

becoming recognized as an important tool in schools. One of the reason why STELLA software can be use in school is it is easy to construct. Besides that, simulation can be paused, whereas real life cannot. Pausing allows more time for students to assess whats going on and they can think on what happen. Although to build simulation software need a lot of money but it often cheaper to create than their real life counterparts. Installing flight simulation software is cheaper than buying a practice jet for each school. Students interest more toward element of graphic and dynamic. Simulation is very suitable to attract students to learn something. Other than that, it encourages student to be trigger to learn especially in science. They will get an experience by itself through simulation without the need to watch the real thing. With STELLA software, student can try a lot of experiments in many times over. They can adjust the parameter and see the pattern of the experiment. Simulation increasing the student interest in learning the lesson. Student will more excited and always want to know on what happen. They also can do the experiments that are impossible to do in real experiments. In addition, the bonus for school that have simulation software because they are not necessary to buy an expensive experiment tools. Teachers just teach the student by using the STELLA software. It is because some of the experiment tool is very expensive and sensitive. It expose to damage. Student will not bored if the experiment if fail because with STELLA software they just reset and run again.

Conclusion Stella software makes the learner learn with interesting and meaningful learning. An attractive, dynamic and can run easily makes the learner more excited to explore with this simulation software. I think it is one of the other alternatives to attract the student to learn in many subject especially for science subject that required thinking critically and make the relationship with each other. By teach using STELLA software, teachers can focus on the learning objective and the content. Students also use the inquiry and constructivism approach and at the same time it

fulfilled the requirement by government that brings forth good students in critical thinking capabilities. Reference Retrieved from on March 21, 2013 Retrieved from on March 21, 2013 Jegner (2011). STELLA Modeling Software. Retrieved from on March 20, 2013 (2011). Educational Simulation.Retrieved from on March 22, 2013 Rik Min (2003). Advantages and disadvantages from of model-driven computer



papers/simAdv.html on March 22, 2013.