1.0 Title: Computer Simulation on Mysteries of Easter Island Experiment2.0 Problem Statement: The problem statement is; In 1722 the Europeans discovered the Easter Island was abarren landscape with no tree over ten feet in height with the small number of inhabitants,around 2000, lived in state of civil disorder and were thin and emaciated. There is no animalbeside rats and the native lacked sea-worthy boats. The Europeans were mystified by thepresent of great stone statues as tall as 65 feet and weighing as much as 270 tons. Thequestion is how could such a people create, and then move such enormous structure? Theexperiment conducted based on the Easter Island’s ecological past, when the island is not abarren place.3.0 Objectives: 1. To know what is simulation 2. To study how to integrate the using of computer simulation in teaching and learning. 3. To conduct experiment by using STELLA software. 4. To investigate the relationship between population, coconut palms and statues on Easter Island based on the graph obtained by using three different parameters. 5. To study the effect on decreasing of population, coconut palms and statues on Easter Island based on birth rate.4.0 Introduction:4.1 What is simulation? Simulation is resembles the operation of real-world process or system overtime.Simulation is something about the development of model that would represent thecharacteristics or behavior of the selected physical or abstract system or process but in simplestway. The purpose of simulation is to improve student’s ability to apply particular concepts inproblem solving. In this method, teacher should choose a problem or issue interest or theopposite view, ensure that key elements of the problem or issue contained in the simulation,identify the concepts involved in the problem or issue, Specify the measures to be taken during
the simulation. These measures include how student behavior, role playing, and regulationsaffecting the student action. Student takes part in a simulation to play an individual or the partiesin accordance with rules or procedures established by the teacher. Simulation is also used inconjunction with the textbook method, discussion and questioning.4.2 What is computer simulation? A computer simulation is a computer program, run on a single computer, or a network ofcomputers, that attempts to stimulate an abstract model of a particular system. It have becomea useful part of mathematical modeling of many natural systems such as in physics,astrophysics, chemistry and biology, human systems in economics, psychology, social scienceand engineering. Simulation of a system is represented as the running of the systems model. Itcan be used to explore and gain new insights into new technology, and to estimate theperformance of systems too complex for analytical solutions. Traditionally, the formal modelingof systems has been via a mathematical model, which attempts to find analytical solutions toproblems which enable the prediction of the behavior of the system from a set of parametersand initial conditions.4.3 What is STELLA? STELLA is one example of the computer simulation. This type of simulation is a flexiblecomputer modeling package with an easy, intuitive interface that allows users to constructdynamic models that realistically simulate biological system. It is an ideal to interface withstudent investigative experiences. There are three steps involved in modeling STELLA;constructing a qualitative model, parameterizing it, and exploring the model’s dynamic. Thereare three steps to constructing a STELLA Model and the first step is we need to constructing amodel. During this first step, students are forced to consider what the essential elements of thebiological problem are, and how they qualitatively influence one another. Next, we need toparameterizing the model. During this second step, students quantify the relationship among theelement in their model. Lastly, we need to explore model dynamics. During this step, studentsshould explore the model output.
4.4 The integration of simulation in teaching and learning The integration of simulation in teaching and learning is very useful to illustrate acomplex situation, so that the student can get the picture about the lesson or activity to conduct.In simulation, the learners which is the student act, the simulation reacts and the learners learnfrom the outcome of the simulation. Teaching and learning that are being integrated with theapplication of modeling and simulation bring more benefits as for teachers and students. Forexample in biology subject, the structure and procedure is complex. This cause it is difficult tobe learned and taught (Mikropoulus et al, 2003). In biology also involved the study of microstructure which type of cells that can only be seen through microscope. To help the student tocope with such complex and difficult abstract concept, a mental model can be built as to providean opportunity among the student to conduct experiment get direct observation about the objectstudied in term of visualization (Mikropoulus et al, 2003).4.5 The advantages of using simulation in teaching and learning The simulation is best to be used in cooperative learning where is the teacher addedsome experiment activity in a lesson for better understanding on the concept of learning. Theinitiative that can be taken is by conducting the experiment using modeling and simulation. Incertain lesson, teacher needs to apply modeling and simulation because it can make thestudent easier to understand some complex topic. In other word, not all of the topics can beconducted by deliver lecture only. They need to be done by practical. Other than that simulationcan be done when the task given is difficult and dangerous for example the phenomenon ofvolcanic eruption which is such a dangerous experiment to be conducted. So, we need to usesimulation to replace the real situation which is more safe and easy to conduct. This applicationcan be used as to prepare the student to face with the real situation in term of decision makingskill, what parameters are going to be adjust and what option need to be explored. So, they canlearn to make decision without waiting any spoon to feed them.4.6 Disadvantages of using simulation in teaching and learningThere are also disadvantages of using simulation in teaching and learning. This is becausethere is some cases result of the wrong or inappropriate use of such programs such asSimulation concerns the manipulation of a number of variables of a model representing a realsystem. However, manipulation of a single variable often means that the reality of the system asa whole can be lost. Certain systems or components of a realistic situation are not transparent.
Some factors have a lot of influence on the whole, but they have indistinct relations in the wholeand can therefore not be represented in a model. These factors, however, cannot be forgottenin the learning process. Computer simulation cannot react to unexpected sub-goals which thestudent may develop during a learning-process. Often a computer simulation program cannot beadapted to take into different student levels into account within a group or class. A computersimulation program can certainly be made to adapt to different circumstances if the designerbears that in mind; however, for many computer simulation programs this has not happened.4.7 The experiment that I choose by using STELLA Conduct an experiment by using simulation would give students something that mimicthe real situation. I choose the mystery of Easter Island experiment. This is because thisexperiment helps us to see clearly the relation between population and the sources around. Thefactor that I choose as to relate with the three parameters is birth fraction. This program doreally helps the student for easier to adjust the birth fraction and other factors. This is because,in the real life, it is impossible to adjust the birth rate and change the factors on the spot. Thestory behind the Island is so interesting and enables to grab student attention to take part in theteaching and learning process. Apart from that, this experiment is totally different from the otherexperiment and would give such a new experience to the student for handling a new situation ofexperiment. Other than that, the situation on that Island can make the students to predict whatwill happen to the population if there is change in vital resources. The unique of this experimentis there is parameter on the number of statues involved which is one of the greatest buildingsmaterials on the island. These parameters would give the student a new challenge to give outtheir ideas on what is happening on the island based on the problem statement and predict whatwill be in the future.
5.0 Results: Graph 1: The origin value Graph 2.0
6.0 Discussion:How to conduct the experiment In this experiment, there are three types of parameter are being used such aspopulation, statues and coconut palms that were found on that island. All those parameters aremeasured and analyzed by using the factor of birth rate and the values are representing ingraph form. The using of birth rate factor could grab student interest because they will interestedwith the possibilities occur when the birth rate increased or decreased. Thus they can comparethe graph and discuss among their friends. Apart from that they could do some prediction basedon the graph pattern with some value of birth fraction. Thus, with the help of this simulation, itcan polish student prediction skill about the future and give some idea to find ways to overcomethe adverse effect. Next, teacher will ask the student to get into groups. After that, teacher will discuss withthe student about the mystery of the island and the student will respond to the question thatteacher would ask them or to predict why the island is so mystery. This type of experiment canbe conducted by using STELLA simulation program. This is because, we need to invest moremoney if we want run the experiment on the real situation as the island is too far from us andunsafe. So it could give the new problem of experiment to the student apart from they can savemoney. This new situation enable to increased student inquiry. After the teacher explanation, the students are asked to perform an experiment basedon the island problem. Before that, they need to set up the computer based of simulation. All thegroup member cooperate to set up the simulation while teacher act as instructor and ask them ifthere any problem with the simulation. Before they conducted the experiment, teacher willremind them about the safe and precaution while handling the experiment and avoid from losingdata by save all the data obtained in the thumb drive. The students enable to learn on how toset up the simulation apparatus and this is a bit different if we conduct the experiment manuallybecause this time we are using computer. Apart from that they will learn how to adjust theparameter and on how to get the data from computer.How simulation can motivate students By using this simulation in teaching and learning, it can motivate students by keepingthem actively engaged in the learning process through requiring problem solving and skill onmaking decision be used to make the simulation run. As the simulation runs, it is modeling a
dynamic system in which the learner is involved. Apart from that, Students can participate in thesimplified system and learn how the real system operates without spending the days, weeks, oryears it would take to undergo this experience in the real world. By the using of modeling andsimulation, it can provide the opportunity for students to collect their individual experiences,discuss the general principles or ideas contained in the simulation and relate these ideas to thereal world situation. So, it is important for having discussion during and after the simulationprocess. As the students start their experiment, the teacher would observe each group while theyare handling the experiment and ask them what represent the data pattern. For every graph, themember from the each group should give the opinion about the graph pattern and they will givetheir ideas. After that, teacher would ask them to make some predict about the outcome basedon the graph pattern that would happen in the future. Teacher will construct the idea back andthen discuss the result obtain after the experiment. Other group of students can also give theiropinion. Students are able make observation about the graph pattern based on the 0.05, 0.03,0.07 and 0.10 of birth fraction. When the all the data are presented in the form of graph, it iseasier for the student to make the observation on the changes occurred if the birth ratedecreased, increased or maximized in number. So, they can make relation between eachparameter. The relation of the three parameter of those four graphs can possible is made whenwe are using this method. They can put all the four graphs in the same screen, so that they canobserve all the graph patter involved. Instead of using the experiment manually, it takes longertime for the student to do graphing same as to the graph in 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 and 4.0. Apart from thatthe graphing pattern is not that accurate compared to the graphing pattern by the computer.Thus the shorter time to obtain the results can encourage students to participate in theexperiment and discuss about the results during that time. The students also will show interestin conducting other experiment because of the shorter time consuming compared to thetraditional one.Graph analysis From graph 1.0, they can relate that, the decreasing of coconut palms occurred whenthere is increasing of population and statues. Until the decreasing numbers of coconut palmsmeet the maximum value of populations, the graph pattern is greatly decrease on that particularyears. However at the same particular years, the numbers of statues also reach the maximum
peak point which is greatly higher than the number of population and coconut palms. After thepopulation obtains the peak values, the decreasing occurred followed by the coconut palms.However the population numbers are greatly decrease until there is no population. Otherwise,the coconut palms are decreased until the minimum point which is when there is population, butat very least number of populations and the graph pattern of palms three become constant forthe next years. From that situation, it also gave effect on the number of statues which isdecreasing in number happen after the maximum point obtained and it is constantly decrease. There are several reasons according to the observation on graph 1.0, because of theincreasing of population will effect on the consumption of coconut palms which is act as sourcesof food and suitable for building homes, canoes and latticing necessary for the construction ofthe statue. That the maximum number of statues obtain when population also reached themaximum value, this is because during this particular years, there is organization and they aremore civilized which is ritual may occurred during that time. However when there is thedecreasing of coconut palms which also give effect on the population number by theconsumption of food and the sources for canoe and rope. The food and material sources for thepopulation decreased and there is not enough food because canoe cannot be build so that theislander can do some catch at the sea and the animal habitat also being influenced. Themigration occurred besides the population of rats that eat seed which is give effect on thegrowth of coconut palms tree. So the food sources cannot be preserved. While in graph 2.0, we can says that the birth fraction about 0.03 is not really influencedthe number of population because the graph shows slow changes of population number.However the number of population starts to increase after that. From this information, we canrelate that, as the changes in population number is slow, there is no effect on the consumptionof coconut palms because it still can supplied the resources for the islander without beingaffected. However if the population keep increased, the coconut palms will decreased gradually.Other than that, the number of statues obtained is also face with slow changes in data pattern.However when the number of population starts to increase, it is also increased which is morestiff than the number of population graph curve. As long as the number of population increased,the number of statue also increased. There are some reasons why the graph pattern becomes that way. This is becausewhen there is slow growth of population, the coconut palms which are act as resources will notbeing affected as the number of sources consumption are less than the number of sources. The
number of statue also slows in changes. This is because the population number is less at thebeginning, so that there is not enough manpower and during that particular years, thepopulation starting to civilize and organize. However, when the increasing of population starts tohappen, the number of statue also increased. This is because the islanders become morecivilized and organized. However, when the number of population and statues keep increasing,the number of coconut palms will have decreasing as the consumption of sources are keepincreasing. Based on graph 3.0, we are using birth fraction of 0.07 which is higher than the graph1.0. The data pattern of coconut palms shows the graph is increased starting from the 63 yearsbefore. The data pattern keeps decreasing until it reaches some minimum value and keepsbeing constant. The number of population starts to increase gradually until it reaches the peakvalues and then decreased drastically until there is no population. The data pattern of the statueis increased gradually with the population number. However, when it is at the peak value, whichis higher than the peak value of the population, it is also decreasing constantly. After that they would relate all the three parameters and give some logic reasons whythe graph shows that kind of pattern. They would relate it with the using of 0.07 birth fraction; itis actually give affect on the population number. This is because, as the birth fraction is about0.07 per years, it makes the population number increased from 62 years before and the numberof population keep increasing until it reaches the peak value. However, when the number ofpopulation is maximize, the number of coconut palms starts to decrease drastically until itreaches some minimum point. This is due to the maximize value of the sources consumption bythe islanders until the value the sources cannot accommodate with islander requirement. Thenumber of population keep decreasing until there is no population left, which is caused by thedecreasing of coconut palms as the population increased. When the sources cannotaccommodate with the increasing of the population, the absence eating issues began to arise.The coconut palms capability to reproduce has become severely limited by the proliferation ofrats which ate its seed. As coconut palms disappearances, there is no longer with the palmwood needed for canoe building, could no longer make journeys out to sea. Consequently, theconsumption of land birds, migratory birds, and mollusks increased. Soon land birds wentextinct and migratory bird numbers were severely reduced, thus spelling an end for EasterIslands forests. Already under intense pressure by the human population for firewood andbuilding material, the forests lost their animal pollinators and seed dispersers with thedisappearance of the birds. Due to this, it totally gives effect on numbers of population.
Based on graph 4.0, when the birth fraction is 0.10 over the years, the populationnumber is keeps increased until it reached the peak value. While the numbers of coconut palmsare keep decreasing as the number of population increased. The number of statue alsoincreased with the number of population. However its peak point is lower than the peak point ofthe number of populations. When population reached its peak point, then it would decreasedrastically on the same years until there is no population left. The number of coconut calms alsodecreased as the number of population until it reached some minimum value and remainconstant. While the number of statue also shows some decrease but it is constant, not sodrastic. There are several reasons why the data show that type of pattern. For example the peakvalues of the statue is lower than the peak value of the number of population which is differ fromthe previous result, the peak value of the statue’s number is usually higher than the populationnumber. This is because as the number of population is at maximum, the coconut palmssources are still cannot accommodate with the level of food consumption by the islanders to dotheir routine. As the coconut palms cannot accommodate with the sources consumption by theislanders, it also give affect on the construction of statue for example rope production is limited,so that the statue cannot be removed and being degraded over the times when it is placed atthe disturbance area and there is limited material for the construction of statues.Simulation and prediction From all those observations it can stimulate the students to make prediction. They canmake prediction on what will happen in the future if the graph pattern is continuously decreased,increased or maximum birth fraction occur. The student will use their previous knowledge toguess what someone else is about to do. Then they will make prediction about what is likely tohappen in story. They will revise the prediction when they are able to get new evidence. Lastlystudents will write and trade stories about their prediction. This methods are able to polishstudents prediction skill which is the most important thing when we are in the job area forexample for teacher they would predict how many student will score in the examination, thespecialist stock able to predict which stock will bring profit or lose and contractor able to predicthow long the build process will fully completed. The teacher would ask the student what will happen when there is the change on thebirth fraction. When someone is guessing or made prediction, they will act as instructor and
reconstruct back if there is misconceptions about the relation of parameter based on the graph.The reconstruction would be made based on the graph and the teacher would ask the student ifthey want to change their prediction after they get some new evidence. If they changed theirevident after more evident were obtained, let them tell to the class which predictions werecorrect and how they knew.7.0 Conclusion: From this experiment, the students are able to engage their learning and take part inlearning. We should appreciate the power of simulation in visualizing and understanding scienceconcepts. From the using of and simulation, teachers are able to teach in an effective way andthe student can get a clear concept about the lesson. By this method, students are able toconduct any type of activity even though, as we compared to the real situation, it take longertime, expensive and dangerous. In other word, we can say that there is nothing impossible forus to conduct by the help of recent technology. Apart from that, students are able to be polishwith the making decision skill, communication skill, how to conduct an experiment skill andbecome more appreciate about the power of simulation. Students are able to know the mystery of the Easter Island from the problem statement.From that, they are able to conduct an experiment to know what the factors are causes thatisland to become a barren landscape and have such a large and heavy statue. Moreover, theislanders are kind of thin and small in population. From this problem, students are able to statethe relation of the ecological factors during ancient time before the island becomes such abarren landscape. They are also enabling to study the reason why the number changes in anyparameter could affect one another. Apart from that, teacher can encourage the student to takeprecaution as to avoid facing the same problem for example; we can preserve and conserve ourresources such as tree. We should avoid to so much dependent on the resources that is non-renewable, so that we will not faced with the limited or any depletion resources. What washappen on the Easter Island is the guide to the rest of world continent, if we do not take care ofour environment, we would suffer the consequences in the future. In my opinion, the function of simulation in Malaysian is one of the greatest efforts as toachieve the industrial status along the vision 2020. This simulation would make many changesto our country such as new product will be manufactured, new industrial sectors will be startedup, and new technology will be exploited. The traditional method is not longer fit into thischanging world. The simulation application also involved in teaching and learning process which
is it can help to develop students as to produced a good product that fulfils all the country need.That is why the simulation needs to be integrated into teaching and learning process, so that thestudent can be prepared enough before they jump into the real world. They can learn on tostimulate on an event-by-event basis, and generate detailed performance report. Other thanthat, they can identify the potential problems, take preventive measures, evaluate improvementsuggestion, and stimulate idea for higher productivity.8.0 References:Anu Maris. Introduction to modelling and simulation. State University of New York, Binghamto. Achieved on November 20, 2012 at http://www.inf.utfsm.cl/~hallende/download/Simul-2- 2002/Introduction_to_Modeling_and_Simulation.pdfComputer simulation. Achieved on November 28, 2012 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_simulationConsequences of deforestation on Easter Island: Easter Island (Diamond1995). Achieved On November 15, 2012 at http://rainforests.mongabay.com/09easter_island.htmEaster Island. Achieved on November 15, 2012 from Sacred Sites at http://sacredsites.com/americas/chile/easter_island.htmllee dunn (June 2002). Theories of learning achieved on November 16, 2012 at http://www.brookes.ac.uk/services/ocsld/resources/briefing_papers/learning_theories.pdfModels. Achieved on November 20, 2012 at http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=397581§ion=2.1Norman R.S and Richard Urbach. Simulation and prediction evidence on the usefulness of seasonal models. Achieved on November 28, 2012 at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=965975Simulation software. Achieved on November 16, 2012 from Wikipedia, free encyclopedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simulation_software
Teaching students to make prediction. Achieved on November 25, 2012 at http://suite101.com/article/making-predictions-lesson-plan-a90467