Traffic Jams, NetLogo, Excel, PBS, Science, kids, agent modeling of complex systems.

This was cool. I was looking for something different (but regarding NetLogo) and ended up finding a PBS Computer Science lesson plan involving solving Traffic Congestion problems, which is one of the everyday uses for agent modeling of complex systems.
 
In the videos is the journey of students in a classroom as they learn about the nature of traffic jams and what solutions communities use to solve them.
 
They took measurements, which they then put in Excel. They tried out different values until they came to what they thought was an optimum solution.
 
Then they took that information and modeled in NetLogo using a traffic grid of the whole area. There they found their model was great for that intersection but caused traffic jams in other parts of the neighborhood.
 
After messing around the sliders and watched the virtual cars as they moved through their neighborhood, they ended up with what they felt was an optimum solution to a difficult problem
 
They gave their suggestions to the traffic controllers of the city who implemented their new timings. In the end, they sat and watched cars and people flow through their intersection using the timing pattern they devised.
 
Love it! I would’ve loved these kinds of capabilities growing up and I’m glad they’re not only available now, but they’re democratized whereby anybody with a computer has access to be able to model complex systems that aren’t ‘pie in the sky’ but are capable of solving real world, everyday problems.
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