What are systems? I look at what is a system and what’s not, what systems do, and why understanding systems is important. Systems and systems models are a cross-cutting concept in the Next Generation Science Standards.

Understanding Causal Loops: In this video, I show how to use diagrams to help analyze systems behavior. The example I use is a social studies or engineering topic about how building new roads to relieve traffic congestion can have unexpected consequences.

Seeing Beyond the Obvious: Wired to connect, trained to fragment, and what we can do about it – National Geographic World, WWW Fuller Fund Presentation.


Healthy Chickens, Healthy Pastures: Making Connections at Drumlin Farm and Beyond

A game designed to help people (ages 8-88) to “connect the dots” and think deliberately about living systems in a farm setting. The playkit includes a game, wikki stiks, systems glossary, systems maps, and more. A free curriculum guide is available here and you can download an article about the play kit here and here. If you are interested in a customized playkit, please contact me.

City Farm

I worked with WGBH to integrate systems concepts into an interactive farm game for middle school students. Players learn about sustainable practices by growing crops, protecting them against unforeseen problems, and determining how best to conserve resources. The game is so realistic. Check it out!