Computational Modeling with VPython

The second session I led at the DuPage County Science Institute was on Computational Modeling with VPython.

I tried to explain what computational modeling is and how it is more than just programming. I then encouraged teachers to use computational modeling in their classroom and shared why I think it improves student learning.

We used [VPython]( and the [physutils package](

We started with [John Burk’s]( [ example]( I then asked each teacher to modify the model in some way and observe the results.

I then presented [several starting examples]( that I created for my AP Physics B class and shared how students built upon these examples to solve everything from homework problems to their [projectile motion lab practicum](

I left lots of time for teachers to explore these starting examples and help each other and get help from me. I saw teachers unfamiliar with Python create some pretty cool models in very little time.

Here are the slides I used to introduce computational modeling:

Download (PDF, 4.05MB)

Here are the links to the resources that I displayed at the end of the session:

* [Georgia Tech PER Group](
* [my GitHub](
* [John Burk’s blog](
* [Integrating Numerical Computation into the Modeling Instruction Curriculum]( by Caballero, Burk, et al.

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