Newton meets JAVA - Simulating Physical Experiments with Greenfoot
In this module the students learn how to model physical processes in Greenfoot's development environment with an object orientated programming language (short OOP for object orientated programming).
First the students get to know the basics of physics and its laws (uniformly and steadily increased movement). They are also introduced to the development environment of Greenfoot. This is done by giving the students information as well as worksheets about the basics of physics. In those they have to apply formulas and calculate the results of experiments, conduct those experiments and then, with the help of a small guide, implement their results as projects in Greenfoot (visualize their experiments). Thus the students learn about Greenfoot's fundamental functions, if Greenfoot was not yet known.
Those functions will both be helpful and necessary for the projects.
Before the students can start working on their own projects, there will be a short planning phase. That is done in the form of a discussion in which the students - applying their gained knowledge - explain how scientific processes can be modeled in Greenfoot using OOP in Java. As already mentioned, Greenfoot offers many important functions for modeling. At this point of the module it is important to make sure that the students can handle Greenfoot and know all relevant methods. They should be able to describe all required classes and methods.
Afterwards, the students work in groups of three to four people to develop a model. The goal is to implement all required classes and methods in Greenfoot to create a runnable simulation of a physical process.
In the end all groups present their results during a discussion. It is very important that the groups explain the problems they faced during the implementation to create a link to the follow-up session in class.