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Next Generation Science Standards

NGSS Modeling & COVID-19

Author Post
Randy Russell Randy Russell 430 Points

Learning about (and using!) scientific models is a major emphasis in NGSS. Educational simulations and games about infectious diseases can provide students opportunities to work with simple models in the context of current events.

I have rounded up a list (with links) to several educational simulations & games from various source about diseases and the medical responses to them: https://flyrussell.com/reviews-disease.

Simulations and games provide minds-on, active learning opportunities for students. If you have suddenly shifted to online teaching and need help engaging students in ways that partially substitute for the decrease in face-to-face and hands-on engagement the normal classroom environment provides, consider adding educational simulations to the mix.

I'll be adding more items to my list in the coming weeks.


Mona Sadek Mona Sadek 244 Points

Thanks for your games and models, in my opinion modeling in science is very important to discribe the phenomenon and to make a clear view of it, that leads to deep understanding 

Ashalenia Graham Ashalenia Graham 985 Points

Thank you! That is very thoughful of you.  I am a student teacher teaching a 5 day science lesson for the first time virtually. So I need all the resources and tips that I can get!

Makayla Schluter Makayla Schluter 515 Points

Mr. Russell,

Thank you for sharing these incredible resources! I am a pre-service elementary education teacher from Wartburg College. I took a look at your list of resources and found them very fascinating. I had not realized such games and simulations existed.

Looking at the content and level of these simulations, I gather that these are obviously for high school level students, perhaps upper middle school.  I would be curious to know if you use these resources for assessment, and if so, how? Are their teacher functions in any of the resources? 

Also, I would love to know if there are any games and simulations of the same quality as your resources for elementary-aged students. I think these online simulations and games are a great platform to teach students about disease and its spread. 

Thank you very much for compiling and sharing these resources with the education community!




Jordan Downing Jordan Downing 320 Points

Mr. Russel, 


These resources are super cool! Thank you for sharing them with us. As a current college student who is on track to be a science teacher, these will be incredibly valuable to me. The simulations and games list that you have compiled is incredible. I can't imagine how difficult it must be teaching in the time of COVID. In my current methods class, we are required to create an online activity for our portfolio, I am definitely going to use one of yours! Thank you for the resource!

Tim Schwickerath Tim Schwickerath 415 Points

Thank you for sharing the resources for the interactive simulations about disease spread.  I'm a math teacher and I tie to the topic using exponential and logistic growth models.  I like to use the 3Blue1Brown video series to help student visually see mathematical concepts and I really enjoyed the video on simulating epidemics that was put out back in March.  Simulating an Epidemic

Ryan Lombardo Ryan Lombardo 135 Points

Thank you for the games, great way to get some students to learn.

Randy Russell Randy Russell 430 Points

Thanks Mona! In case your are interested, I've also posted a page with lists of models/simulations and games for teaching various science topics (not just disease spread) at: flyrussell.com/reviews

Nicole Anthony Nicole Anthony 702 Points

Thank you! These are great tools for students to use, they can play games and simulate models that are similar to what we have going on in our current events. 

Elizabeth Caroll Elizabeth Caroll 40 Points

Please tell, did you add another list? I can not find.

Sonja Gasper Sonja Gasper 35 Points

I love Pandemic, totally forgot students telling me about Infection so I will be checking that one out.

Thanks for the resources.

Nikita Hatley Nikita Hatley 4210 Points

Hello, my name is Nikita Hatley, and I.m a student at Henderson State University, where I am an elementary education major. I learned many new things and resources regarding the NGSS Module and COVID-19. I feel like after reading and looking at everything that was discussed in the forum, I realized a little bit more about the NGSS Standards and how to use them while going through a pandemic. I have a question about getting my students more involved with learning science while going through a pandemic with more interactive activities.

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