Dollars and Sense, combines systems thinking and mathematical tools with computer simulations in challenging students to manage their personal financial futures.
Dollars and Sense: Stay in the Black: Saving and Spending, geared toward students as young as 10 (on up to adults!), progress from simple lessons in saving toward goals,
to saving and spending and finally to saving with interest. Dollars and Sense II: Our Interest in Interest adds greater realism, first by introducing how individual interest-bearing
and interest charging instruments (credit cards, mortgages, loans) work, then by challenging students to balance each in their efforts to maximize their chance for building a prosperous future.
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John Heinbokel and Jeff Potash have been long-time collaborators in educational system dynamics modeling since their introduction to the field in the late 1980s while Professors
of Natural Science (John, with a Ph.D. in oceanography from Scripps Institute in California) and American History and Religion (Jeff, with a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago)
at Trinity College in Burlington, Vermont. Originally drawn together to work on K-16 projects, by Jim Waters as the Waters Center portion of the larger Waters Consortium (now Waters
Foundation), Jeff and John collaborated on a number of interdisciplinary projects over the years, including courses (including the history of disease on human history, human
populations, and food dynamics), modeling workshops, and software (including a 17 lesson STELLA tutorial called Modeling Systems Self-Taught). More recently, Potash and Heinbokel
worked in Washington on a series of modeling projects involving a broad array of intelligence agencies together with Homeland Security.
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