Developed at West Virginia University through the support of NETL, Serendipity is a program that targets middle school teachers. The intent is to intercede at the eighth grade to present formulas and algorithms in the context of real world problems. Scientists have provided bridges between formulas and algorithms and real world applications. These bridges consist of dynamic models to evaluate the outcomes in the context of real world scenarios
Serendipity emphasizes the importance of model building in general and dynamic models in particular. The project uses StarLogo, a visual programming tool developed at MIT. Even though StarLogo can be a difficult visual programming tool, a simplified Serendipty teacher’s training manual reduces the time necessary to get teachers comfortable with StarLogo. Using the manual, participants are able to model, program, refine and adapt a model of an epidemic. We hope to tie the current middle school curriculum to the simple baseline models available.