Dollars and Sense II: Our Interest in Interest uses engaging computer simulations to teach managing personal finances to students in middle and high school.
Learner-directed learning and systems thinking combine to make the concepts of saving, interest, and spending come alive.
Each of the 8 Lessons begins with an open-ended question or challenge involving a computer simulation to manage different and important aspects of personal finances. The higher the lesson number,
the harder the challenge.
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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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