Most modern science heavily uses computer models and simulations and education is responding nicely with a lot of instructors adding “computational modeling” to their courses. Our new app, Tychos, is for building computational models for science, e.g. computer simulations of orbiting planets, brownian motion, natural selection, that sort of thing. The part I love most about it is learning by doing.
Learn by doing — There are many science simulation apps already and they are very useful for students to play with and get some intuition about the phenomenon. Now imagine how much the author of the simulation learned when writing it—she needed to understand the phenomenon in great detail in order to translate it into code. What if all students went through that process? Of course a simulation app requires hundreds or thousands of lines of code with only a few of them actually related to the science. Tychos removes much of this boiler-plate code so an average student can write a science simulation in a handful of lines!